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Hit-and-run accidents focus of new California legislation

Comparative vulnerability is a prime consideration in virtually every type of vehicle accident in California and elsewhere.

To wit: It's not a hard call to determine who generally emerges a bit more unscathed in an accident in which a commercial truck plows into the side of a small passenger car.

Likewise, the outcome of a hit-and-run accident is a tragically one-sided affair in nearly every case. Indeed, such incidents are centrally marked in most instances by a driver shrouded in a protective shell striking a defenseless person lacking any protection at all.

The too-often tragic aftermath related to a hit-and-run crash focuses with numbing frequency upon the catastrophic -- and sometimes fatal -- injuries suffered by motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Such victims face stark odds in their fight for survival. And their challenges are of course magnified to an obscene level when a motorist who struck them flees the scene without reporting the incident.

One Southern California lawmaker wants to raise awareness in the state regarding hit-and-run episodes.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Glendale) notes the obvious, calling such episodes "callous." He wants a bill that he sponsored to result in Yellow alerts being quickly posted on roads nearby hit-and-run accident sites, believing they will aid in higher apprehension rates for offenders.

Gatto notes a stated concern that such alerts might confuse and desensitize California's driving public, with state motorists already receiving information regarding child abductions and missing seniors via Amber and Silver alerts, respectively.

Gatto doesn't believe that will be the case, given that the Yellow alerts are envisioned to operate only in very specific areas.

The bill -- with the shorthand appellation of AB 8 -- has cleared the state Assembly and will next proceed to the California Senate for further review.

Source: Fox 40 News, "Should California implement Yellow alerts for hit-and-runs?" Sonseeahray Tonsall, June 3, 2015

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