Smiley & Smiley, LLP

What is the concern over New York's hit-and-run laws?

Due to the many hit-and-run collisions that have recently transpired around New York City, many safety advocates and government officials have become gravely concerned. The overarching opinion: There may not be enough protections in place that safeguard you and other citizens against hit-and-run drivers.

How big is the problem? PIX11 News discusses the facts surrounding the hit-and-run issue. Last year, law enforcement only solved approximately one percent of over 44,000 cases. Furthermore, the year 2016 showed 39 hit-and-run deaths while the previous year had 29. And, in just the three days that followed the New Year’s holiday, hit-and-run drivers killed three people. Despite the statistics that show a continuing dilemma, New York’s current laws do not allow the police to investigate every incident. For example, if you are absent when a hit-and-run driver damages your car, and the incident does not result in any fatalities, law enforcement has no duty to perform an investigation into your case.

So, what is being done to address the problem? The head of New York’s transportation committee is working to discourage wrongdoers while motivating citizens to be more involved. This includes passing legislation that stipulates the following:

  • The city will expand NYPD’s collision investigation department
  • Law enforcement will examine all hit-and-run cases
  • The city will enact a system that sends out alerts when a hit-and-run incident occurs
  • Citizens who provide information leading to a perpetrator’s arrest will be given a cash reward You may not be able to completely avoid a hit-and-run accident; however, the newly proposed laws may help reduce the impact that the collision has on you.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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