City Council Approves Alert System For Deadly Hit-And-Run Crashes
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday unanimously approved legislation that calls for the installation of a system to send out alerts when a vehicle description is available following a serious or fatal hit-and-run incident.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports Councilman Mitch Englander introduced two motions in April, which included a resolution (PDF) to support any state legislation to create an alert system for California.
A second motion instructed the Los Angeles Police Department to report back on the feasibility of implementing such a system in Los Angeles.
Named after Jose Medina, a 21-year-old man killed by a driver in Denver who drove away after the crash, the “Medina Alert” is similar to the Amber Alert system and enables authorities to quickly broadcast information about a hit-and-run collision to the public on highway signs and through the media.
“A hit-and-run is not an accident; it’s a crime,” Englander said.
According to Englander, the Medina system has seen some success in Denver, where the city has partnered with cab drivers and others who spend their time on the road to alert them when a collision occurs. Out of 17 Medina Alerts issued, 13 cases have been solved.
Englander hopes the alert system will have a similar impact in LA, which saw an annual average of 22 severe or fatal hit-and-run collisions involving bicycles and 92 involving pedestrians between 2007 and 2011.
Over that time period, LAPD investigators were only able to solve 20 percent of the cases, according to Englander’s office.