Scumbags who run from the scene of serious accidents face jail time, the loss of their licenses and, if they've been drinking or getting high, probable DUI cases. For now "serious" means death or bodily injury.
But minor scrapes mean a hit-&-run driver faces minor consequences. Until now.
L.A. area state Assemblyman Mike Gatto this week proposed a new law that would mean automatic license revocation for runners in accidents involving victims who are able to walk away with minor injuries:
His bill, AB 1532, was announced this week. Gatto's office says:
Right now, there are few consequences for hit-and-run offenders whose victims are lucky enough to walk away with only minor injuries. Current law creates serious consequences, including license revocation, for individuals who commit a hit-and-run that results in death or serious bodily injury.
Losing your license would apply to more minor collisions, then, too.
Gatto, by the way, is the guy behind AB 184, the just-enacted law that extends the statute of limitations on hit-and-run cases from three years to six.
That law, inspired in part by LA Weekly reporting on L.A.'s hit-and-run epidemic, takes away incentive for some hit-and-run artists to hide for three years, when they would be home free if police came calling.
See also: L.A.'s Bloody Hit-and-Run Epidemic.
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Of his latest legislation, Gatto says:
The only way to know if you hurt someone is to stop. The only way to get someone medical help is to stop. Allowing drivers who don't stop to keep their license, adds insult to their victim's injuries.
The city of L.A. is home to about 20,000 hit-and-run collisions a year. Gatto calls his proposal a "sensible fix."