Perhaps one of the main reasons for L.A.'s crazy hit-and-run epidemic is that if you flee the site of an accident and wait it out for three years, you can't be prosecuted.
That's because the statute of limitations would be up on your case. After reading LA Weekly's amazing coverage of hit-and-runs, including our airing of the fact that nearly half of all collisions in town involve a fleeing motorist, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto of L.A. is moving to plug up that statute-of-limitations loophole.
Citing the Weekly's work, Gatto today …
… announced that he has introduced a bill that would bring an end to the three-year get-out-of-jail-free card for hit-and-run artists.
According to a statement from his office:
Gatto's bill extends the statute of limitations for such offenses to three years from the date of the offense, or one year after the suspect is identified by law enforcement, whichever is later.
Sounds like a no-brainer.
Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition:
It's hard for us to encourage people to bike and walk when our streets are treated like the Wild West. The LA County Bicycle Coalition commends Assemblyman Gatto for bringing attention to this issue and giving hit-and-run victims hope that their perpetrators might be brought to justice once identified.