August 23rd, 2021
The Honorable Anthony J. Portantino
Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2206
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 3 (Fong) – as amended August 16th, 2021 – SUPPORT
Dear Senator Portantino:
I am writing you on behalf of We Save Lives and our more than 50 partners, to urge your support of AB3 (Fong). As the COVID-19 shutdowns cleared the streets, communities across California have seen a staggering spike in illegal street racing. Illegal street racing is not only dangerous, but it often has fatal consequences for participants, pedestrians, bikers, commuters, and law enforcement alike. Take the recent fatal crash in Burbank that tragically killed 3 people young people. These deaths were preventable.
I urge you to support AB 3 (Fong), which brings parity to the penalties associated with illegal street racing and sideshows.
“Exhibitions of speed” occur when an individual accelerates or drives at dangerous and unsafe speeds to show off or make an impression in our streets and intersections. Over the past five years, CHP reported a nearly 300% surge in exhibition of speed citations.
Some of the most consequential exhibition of speed cases occur at “sideshows.” Sideshows occur when two or more vehicles block or impede traffic on a highway, for the purpose of performing vehicle stunts, speed contests, or reckless driving, for an audience. AB 3 would give courts the authority to issue a driver’s license suspension upon conviction of motor vehicle exhibition of speed, if the violation occurred as a part of a sideshow.
Statewide law enforcement groups have identified driver’s license suspensions as an effective tool for deterrence for illegal street racing activity. In 2019, California courts ordered 349 driver’s license suspensions for speed contests upon conviction. Of those cases, the recidivism rates dropped by 99%.
AB 3 provides courts with a proven tool to deter individuals from engaging in sideshows, while requiring additional court discretion to consider several factors before issuing a license suspension to alleviate any undue burden.
Reckless sideshows and street races are equally dangerous crimes and both pose an equal risk to our communities. However, only a conviction for the latter can result in a suspended license. AB 3 closes that loophole. Please support AB 3 (Fong) and help save lives.
Founder, We Save Lives
cc: Assemblyman Vince Fong, Author
Vice Chair Patricia Bates, Senate Appropriations Committee
Members, Senate Appropriations Committee