Sign this petition to show your support for stopping hit-and-runs in California!
In the City of Los Angeles, 20,000 hit-and-run crashes occur annually, resulting in over 4,000 injuries. Of those injuries, 150 will be severe or fatal ones, and people walking and biking are disproportionately affected, accounting for 75% of those severe injuries and deaths.
While other crime rates in the City of L.A. have fallen over the past several decades, hit-and-runs have held steady or increased. If you are hit and severely injured or killed while walking or biking, there’s a greater than 1 in 5 chance that the driver will not stop. In February 2013, a motorist hit Damian Kevitt while he was biking through Griffith Park in L.A., pinned him down, and then dragged him several hundred feet, leading to severe and near-fatal injuries. Hit-and-run victims are often more severely injured or killed during the act of fleeing than from the initial collision. Stopping after a collision saves lives.
So why do people run? Because they’re likely to get away with it.
Los Angeles is at the center of a larger statewide problem that needs to be addressed throughout California. The chance of someone being penalized for a hit-and-run crime, even if the perpetrator is caught, is so low that it is often worth the risk. Drivers that are drunk face lesser consequences if they leave, sober up, and maybe turn themselves in if they see their case on the news. The meager penalties that do exist are rarely enforced. Prosecutors often downgrade charges or allow civil compromise, letting drivers off with a slap on the wrist. Drivers that flee the scene do not lose their driving privileges, despite neglecting the most basic responsibility of operating a motor vehicle.
We call on the California State Legislature and Governor to revoke driving privileges of hit-and-run drivers and to increase penalties to remove the incentive to flee when drunk.
We call on law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to treat hit-and-run collisions like the violent crimes that they are by regularly reporting statistics, allocating adequate resources for investigations, and imposing appropriate penalties on perpetrators.