Hit & runs are tragically increasing and we need to aid the victims of this growing trend – not protect the driver who cowardly flees.
The LA Times reported in 2014:
- In 2009, it was estimated that 48% of all collisions in LA were hit and runs, nationally it’s 11%.
- Per CHP over 7500 people were seriously injured or killed by Hit and Runs in 2012, this works out to an average of just over 1 an hour.
- Over 5,600 bicyclists were injured from Hit and Runs in LA County between 2002 and 2012. This was a 42% increase over that time period.
- Between 2008-2012, 80% of LAPD Hit and Run cases remained unresolved.
The epidemic isn’t limited to only Los Angeles. The California Highway Patrol reported that in California:
- 194 people were killed from Hit and Run collisions in 2012 at a cost of $717,218,000 (estimated medical and lost productivity).
- Hit and Run deaths increased 31.7% from 2010 to 2012.
- 18,824 people were injured from hit and run collisions in 2012.
Hit-and-run accidents are epidemic throughout California, with law enforcement officials as well as biking and walking advocates looking for ways to hold the cowards who commit these crimes more accountable for their actions. City of Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, representing a city that has become the hit and run epicenter of California, stated that a combination of new laws, stiffer penalties, and increased awareness are needed in order to cause drivers to take greater responsibility for their actions. AB 8 falls into the category of new laws Chief Beck calls for. AB 8 creates a “Yellow Alert” that will allow local law enforcement to ask the California Highway Patrol to access the state’s network of changeable message signs, on a regional level, when there is a hit and run accident if certain criteria are met. The criteria stated in the bill are:
-A person has been killed or has suffered serious bodily injury during a hit and run accident and the local law enforcement agency has either:
-A complete license plate number of the suspect’s vehicle;
-A partial license plate number and the make
-The identity of the suspect.
It is only after this threshold is met that CHP would consider the request by local law enforcement to access the changeable message sign network. This measure is based on legislation that was recently Enacted in the state of Colorado, where a rise in tragic hit and runs, followed by the tragic hit and run death of Denver valet Jose Medina just days before his wedding, prompted the creation of the Medina Alert for hit and run accidents for all of Colorado. In the period of time that these alerts were used in the city of Denver, before statewide enactment, 13 of 17 hit and runs that triggered these alerts were solved—a nearly 76% success rate.
WHAT THE BILL DOES?
AB 8 gives law enforcement a new tool to combat the hit and run epidemic that has plagued California. Allowing local law enforcement to access the state’s network of changeable message signs will enable information about a suspect to get out faster and to more people, thus increasing the chances of an arrest. Too often, the trail in these cases runs cold because the lag time in getting out information to the public allows these criminals to go into hiding and repair their vehicles to eliminate any evidence of their crimes. This bill will give hope to the families of hit and run victims that justice will be served.
How are some of the ways YOU can help?
- Spread awareness of the April 19thFinish the Ride event in Los Angeles by posting the event flier on your corporate website and social marketing pages as well as your personal Facebook pages.
- Have an in-depth article in your magazine on how TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE LAWS and interview Damian Kevitt.
- Feature one of the Finish the Ride ads as a PSA (full page, half page, ¼ page.)
- Attend the event or become a sponsor. It’s a good cause that will benefit many, and it will be a fun day. 6 mile mass fun ride, 22 mile easy ride, 27 mile leg burner and 50 mile half century. There’s also a 10K fun run/walk.
- Write a letter in support of the bill and e-mail it to Nardos Girma at Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s office; Nardos.Girma@asm.ca.gov. (example letter from the OC Sherriff included.)