Friday, October 11, 2013

KCET: Hit-and-Run Bill Sent to Governor Jerry Brown for Approval

This article on AB 184, my legislation to increase the statute of limitations for prosecuting hit-and-run drivers is particularly powerful because of the image of the "ghost bike" in Pasadena. 

September 10, 2013
by City News Service

Following a spate of fatal hit-and-run crashes in the Southland, state lawmakers approved a bill extending the statute of limitations for such crimes from three years to six years.

In the last month, more than a dozen people were killed in hit-and-run collisions in Los Angeles and Orange counties, including seven victims in the city of Los Angeles, according to Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, who sponsored the legislation. Many others, including a three-year-old boy, were seriously injured by motorists who drove off after crashing into victims.

A memorial "Ghost Bike"  in Pasadena left for hit-and-run victim Jocelyn Young, 
who was killed while riding her bike in 2011. 
Photo from  waltarrrrr/Flickr/Creative Commons License
"AB 184 will allow victims of hit-and-runs and law enforcement to obtain justice from cowards who do everything possible to avoid responsibility for their actions," Gatto said.

Under current law, motorists who flee the scene of an accident can simply "run out the clock," as it can take months to track them down.

The identity of the driver of a mini-van who hit bicyclist Damian Kevitt and dragged him more than quarter-mile down the Golden State (5) Freeway in Los Angeles in February remains unknown...

..."It's hard for us to encourage people to bike and walk, when our streets are treated like the Wild West," said Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

The assembly vote was 68-0 in favor of the bill, which the Senate passed earlier on a 37-0 vote.

The bill goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval.

You can read this article and more by visiting KCET's website HERE

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Mike Gatto is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee in the California State Assembly.  He represents Burbank, Glendale, La CaƱada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, and Silver Lake.

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