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HIT AND RUN - BAD TO WORSE

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hit & run graphicFlorida has seen an increase of fatal hit-and-run crashes during the last two years. The Patrol is partnering with the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Florida Department of Transportation to combat the problem. The campaign aims to reduce the number of hit-and-run crashes in Florida by educating drivers on their responsibilities if involved in a crash and the consequences they face if they leave a crash scene.

link to Active Hit & Runs website What to do after a crash:

  • CALL law enforcement.
  • REMAIN calm.
  • ATTAIN vehicle, witness and driver information.
  • SKETCH the scene, showing vehicle crash locations.
  • HELP the injured.

A few hit-and-run facts for Florida:

  • Hit-and-run crashes involving fatalities increased from 162 in 2011 to 168 in 2012.
  • The number of hit-and-run crashes statewide equaled 69,994 in 2012.
  • Three out of every five fatalities in 2012 were pedestrians struck in hit-and=run crashes.

What does Florida law say?

Effective July 1, 2014 - Drivers Leaving the Scene of a Crash - 316.027

Creates the "Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act." Requires the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash that results in serious bodily injury to a person to immediately stop the vehicle and remain at the scene of the crash. Imposes a mandatory minimum sentence, with respect to cases involving DUI and death, by increasing the penalty for leaving the scene:

  • Changes the charge for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious bodily injury to a person to a 2nd degree felony, rather than a 3rd degree felony;
  • Imposes a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person;
  • Increases the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment from 2 to 4 years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person while driving under the influence (DUI);
  • Imposes a minimum driver license revocation period of at least 3 years, and driver education requirements for leaving the scene of a crash;
  • If the victim is a "vulnerable road user," offenses for leaving the scene of a crash are ranked one level higher than specified in the Criminal Punishment Code;
  • Authorizes a defendant to make a motion in court to depart from the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death, unless the violation was committed while the defendant was DUI; and
  • Authorizes the state to object to the defendant's motion and authorizes a court to grant the motion upon a finding that imposition of the mandatory minimum term would constitute or result in an injustice.
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