On January 1, 2016, the State of California launched a new system intended
to track down hit-and-run drivers. As San Diego injury attorneys, we are
hopeful that the new system will help car accident victims obtain the
justice they deserve.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s
(NHTSA) crash data, the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes is on the
rise, increasing 13 percent from 2009 to 2011. There were 1,449 hit-and-run
deaths in 2011, the most recent year for which statistics were available.
The statistics are particularly concerning given that traffic fatalities
are generally trending downward.
Fleeing the scene is
particularly common after a pedestrian accident. According to the AAA Foundation for Public Safety, 20 percent of all
pedestrian fatalities are hit-and-runs. In many cases, the driver is impaired
and continues to put others at risk after the crash.
To help identify drivers who leave the scene of a California accident,
the state recently launched a “Yellow Alert” notification
system for hit-and-run incidents resulting in death or serious injury.
As with AMBER and Silver Alerts, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will
work with requesting law enforcement agencies to determine whether the
hit-and-run meets the specified criteria for a Yellow Alert, which include
the availability of information about the hit-and-run suspect or the suspect’s
vehicle, and whether disseminating the information will be helpful.
Supporters of the new law (AB-8) are hopeful that the new system will deter drivers from leaving the scene
of a serious crash and help police officers arrest those who do. In Los
Angeles alone, there were 20,000 hit-and-run accidents in 2014, killing
27 people and seriously injuring 144. Police were only able to track down
the driver in 20 percent of the cases.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a California car
accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, don’t hesitate to contact
a personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. Relying on more than 30 years of legal experience, we are
dedicated to protecting the rights of California injury victims.