California Senate passes bill to help catch hit-and-run drivers

The California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that is designed to decrease the amount of hit-and-runs.

Cyclist, pedestrian and street-safety groups urged the committee’s members to pass the bill. Julie Creed, whose son was involved in a hit-and-run and seriously injured, testified that her son’s friend died in a different hit-and-run a few months later.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Dist. 43) introduced the legislation, which will launch the“Yellow Alert” system, enabling law-enforcement officials to collaborate with drivers to identify and arrest hit-and-run drivers. Law-enforcement officers can now access the state’s existing freeway-signs network to distribute information about potential vehicles involved in hit-and-runs. Local law enforcement will issue alerts as soon as an accurate description of the suspect or vehicle is confirmed.

“It’s gotten to the point to where not a single week goes by without seeing another hit-and-run tragedy occurring,” Gatto said. “People flee because they know there’s little chance that they’ll be caught.”

“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.”