The Senate Public Safety Committee passed legislation to reduce the number of hit-and-runs on a 7-0 vote. AB 8 by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) will institute the “Yellow Alert” system, allowing law-enforcement officials to engage drivers in helping identify and apprehend hit-and-run drivers.
The bill will permit law-enforcement officers to use the state’s existing network of freeway signs to broadcast information about vehicles suspected in hit-and-run incidents. Alerts will only be issued by local law-enforcement when there is a sufficient description of the offending vehicle or the identity of the suspect is known. The “Yellow Alert” system will also be limited to the area where the hit-and-run crime occurred and will only be used when the hit-and-run results in death or serious bodily injury.
Los Angeles City officials are now offering a $50,000 standing reward for information in hit-and-run cases.
The Los Angeles Police Department reported that 80 percent of all hit-and-run crimes were unsolved from 2008 to 2012.
“California has the existing alert infrastructure in place and it costs us next to nothing to use it,” Gatto said. “I have no doubt the Yellow Alert System would help apprehend criminals and have them brought to justice.”
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