Why Not Run? The Hit-and-Run Crisis Strikes Home

40,000 hit-and-run collisions occur in Los Angeles County every year. Of those, 8,000 hit-and-runs resulted in injuries or deaths. While the national average for hit-and-run collision is about 11%, in Los Angeles County the rate is over 50%. On the streets of Los Angeles, there are now a staggering 20,000 hit-and-run injury accidents annually. Los Angeles does not even take reports for non-injury hit-and-runs unless they involve City property. Hit-and-run drivers kill about 22 bicyclists, 40 motorists and 92 pedestrians each year. Another 324 bicyclists, 1,004 pedestrians and 2,293 motorists are injured annually. It has only recently been officially acknowledged that 52% of all injury street accidents and a slew of recent deaths resulted from hit-and-run accidents.  It finally led Police Chief Charlie Beck to declare that Los Angeles is suffering from a “Hit-and-Run Crises” with another 7% increase in fatal and severe injury hit-and-run collisions expected to be reflected in the upcoming 2013 statistics.
The Automobile Club of America found that unlicensed drivers are 66.36 times more likely to be a hit-and-run driver than a licensed driver.  The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that unlicensed drivers are three times more likely to be involved in fatal collisions.  The high number of hit-and-runs correspond with the high number of the undocumented who are unlicensed or witnesses unlikely to come forward.  On October 3, 2013, California’s governor signed a bill into law to permit the undocumented the ability to obtain driver’s licenses.   The new law, however, does not become effective until […]