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New York - Newly Enacted NYC Law Broadcasting Identifying Info On Hit And Run Drivers May Be Expanded Statewide

Published on: March 19, 2018 06:00 PM
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FILE - A hit-and-run alert system has taken effect this week. Members of the Orthodox Jewish community attend a news conference on the deaths of a couple and their unborn child in a hit-and-run crash in Brooklyn on March 4, 2013. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer PlattFILE - A hit-and-run alert system has taken effect this week. Members of the Orthodox Jewish community attend a news conference on the deaths of a couple and their unborn child in a hit-and-run crash in Brooklyn on March 4, 2013. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

New York - A recently enacted law that releases identifying information to the public about drivers involved in serious hit and run accidents in New York City may be just the first step towards an effort that would provide greater safety to residents throughout the state.

The Hit and Run Alert System, which became law in December, was sponsored by City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and was named for Jean Paul Guerrero, a popular radio personality who died in a hit and run accident in Brooklyn in 2016.

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The law went into effect this past weekend after a 90 day implementation period and was inspired by the Amber Alert system which releases information about the make, model, color and plate number of a vehicle being sought by the authorities.

Under the new legislation, similar notifications could be released via email, text messages, phone calls, television, radio or social media in any accident that results in death or a critical injury, giving members of the public the ability to help police apprehend the guilty parties.

Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa drafted a similar bill last year that would expand the law to include hit and run accidents anywhere in New York and broadcasting the alerts statewide.  While that bill was never brought to the legislature for a vote, De La Rosa has introduced another measure this year which she hopes will be approved before the legislative session ends at the end of June.

“If a reckless driver is involved in a hit and run in New York City, it is easy for them to flee the city in a very short time and once they leave the city, they are no longer within the NYPD’s jurisdiction,” De La Rosa told VIN News.  “We want to make sure that other New Yorkers could also help bring justice in these cases.”

De La Rosa estimated that there are 40,000 deaths from hit and run accidents in New York City alone each year.  A 28 year old man died in the Bronx this morning in a fatal hit and run accident, prompting Rodriguez to hold a press conference this afternoon calling on the NYPD to allocate additional resources to investigating what he called a “hit and run epidemic in New York City.”

“Even one death is too many,” said De La Rosa. “Hit and run accidents are avoidable crashes and we need more education and enforcement to stop them. We have the tools to prevent those deaths and we have the responsibility to act, using those tools to help prevent these losses.”



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