California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, introduced legislation that would create “Yellow Alerts” for serious hit-and-run collisions using the Emergency Alert System.
The law, AB 47, modeled after similar legislation in Denver, would give law enforcement agencies authority to issue alerts to the public with descriptions of vehicles suspected of fleeing the scene of an accident that involved major injuries or fatalities. Since the law was adopted in Denver in 2012, police made arrests in 13 of the 17 accidents that prompted an alert. In comparison, only 20 percent of fatal hit-and-run suspects are caught in California.
The cost of “Yellow Alerts” is very small. The information would be initially sent to the California Highway Patrol, who would decide whether an alert is warranted. Nearby highway signs and/or text alerts would broadcast the information to the public.
“It’s time that the law started reflecting our values. Accidents happen, but if you don’t stop it becomes a crime,” Gatto told press.
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