NEW YORK A new law takes effect Saturday to help catch drivers involved in hit-and-run crashes in New York City.
The system, similar to an Amber Alert, would send alerts right to cell phones urging people to be on the lookout for the vehicle involved.
Three years ago i brought up this issue at a public vision zero meeting. Politicians were clearly frustrated with the amount of drivers leaving scenes of an accident but didn’t turn their frustration into tougher laws for hit and run drivers. Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams said at the time, “Laws are too lax on hit and run drivers”.
Lawmakers will be trying to catch the hit and run drivers quicker. Catching hit and run drivers quicker is all nice but the laws must be tougher for any driver leaving the scene of a collision.
The legislation, passed by City Council in a 47-0 vote on Nov. 16, calls for the creation of an Amber Alert-like system that notifies the public about vehicles involved in hit-and-runs within 12 hours after it is determined that they caused death or serious injury.
Advocates say it will help police catch the responsible drivers quicker and alleviate what state Assemb. Carmen N. De La Rosa (D-Inwood) described as a hit-and-run “epidemic” at a news conference on Saturday afternoon.
“The time spent looking for the cars is critical because in that time these drivers can destroy the evidence,” said De La Rosa. “We know that when the information is given to the public, we can help law enforcement bring these people to justice.”
More than 4,000 hit-and-run crashes happen every year in New York City.