FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The cities of Fresno and Clovis are looking to put the brakes on illegal street racing and sideshow events. Several city leaders reemphasized their stance on street racing on Monday, according to officials.
“To those who decide to participate in a street racing event. Not in Fresno, that is our message today, not in Fresno,” said Jerry Dyer, Mayor of the City of Fresno.
According to the City of Fresno’s ordinance that is going into effect on June 22, anyone could be cited for simply watching a sideshow.
The City of Clovis is debating on adopting a similar order in its city council meeting, according to officials.
If it passes, it could be exactly like the one in the City of Fresno, as officials from both cities said that they try to ultimately stop illegal street racing.
“One is too many. One street racing event can cause the loss of life for someone in our community, and oftentimes an innocent bystander,” said Dyer.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer with Police Chief Paco Balderrama and City Councilman Mike Karbassi are trying to bring illegal street racing and sideshows to a complete stop.
“If you’re gonna engage in one of these events, then we’re going to be out there in full force to stop you, to put you in jail, to take away your car,” said Balderrama.
“If some person wants to go twice the speed limit through a red light just because they’re racing, it’s not ok. It’s just plain wrong,” said Karbassi.
Karbassi is referring to a street racing crash that happened the day after Christmas in 2020, in which the 18-year-old driver of a Mustang, along with three family members, died.
Karbassi says this incident was near and dear to his heart and is the catalyst for his push to stop sideshows.
“To lose a 17-year-old and her two cousins to an irresponsible illegal street racer who also lost his life. It’s unacceptable. Since this happened, I’ve been on a mission to improve safety on our roads,” he said.
This year, there have been 20 traffic deaths in the city, the same number as last year at this time.
According to the police, this number is too high and they are working on filling 14 current vacancies in the motor unit within the department through funding approved by the city council.
“That’s the goal, is to fill all of those vacancies so we can have more motorcycle officers out there,” said Balderrama.
“I signed a pledge, no new cops, no budget so I’m going for it to exceed that number, and I hope those officers are in the motor unit. That’s my goal,” said Karbassi.
In Clovis, their potential spectator ordinance has a recommendation to be approved by the council that would go into effect 30 days after its approval.