Strict Hit-&-Run Law Approved by California Legislature

Strict Hit-&-Run Law Approved by California Legislature

Following LA Weekly's coverage of Los Angeles' "hit-and-run epidemic," which showed that motorists involved in these collisions simply need to flee and run out the three-year statute of limitations to be home free, L.A. area Assemblyman Mike Gatto got to work.

See also: L.A.'s Bloody Hit-and-Run Epidemic.

His legislation, Assembly Bill 184, proposed to lift any statute of limitations on alleged hit-and-run drivers, meaning they could be prosecuted at any time during their lives. However, amendments and compromises nixed the unlimited statute and doubled it instead -- from 3 to 6 years. Not bad.

The bill is headed to the governor:

AB 184 passed the assembly today after last-minute amendments in the senate yesterday, Gatto's spokesman, Justin Hager, told us.

Because the legislation passed today it appears Gov. Jerry Brown will have 10 days to sign it -- if he gets it by Thursday. (It will take a day or two for final language to be clarified for the record by capital staffers). If he gets it after that then the deadline to sign it would be Oct. 13, Hager said.

See also: Chief Beck's Hit-and-Run Crisis.

In any case the new law would, if signed by the gov, give police an extra three years to track down hit-and-run drivers.

Gatto:

AB 184 will allow victims of hit-and-runs and law enforcement to obtain justice from cowards who do everything possible to avoid responsibility for their actions. Thousands of hit-and-run victims suffer life-threatening injuries annually. Allowing the perpetrators to avoid prosecution just adds insult to these injuries.

Seven people have reportedly died in the last three weeks alone in hit-and-run collisions in the city of L.A.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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