According to law enforcement officials hit and run accidents in Florida went up 23% in 2014. There were over 80,000 hit and run crashes. Because of this they will be starting a new campaign to let drivers know that leaving the scene of an accident can and will result in very serious penalties than staying and filing the proper report and informing your insurance company.
More than half of these accidents included pedestrians according to the Florida Highway Patrol. In the coming months they will be holding events and press conferences around the state to help inform people of the dangers and consequences of these actions.
Last year Governor Rick Scott signed a law that increases the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident or crash. The new law makes this a second degree felony with a minimum of 4 years in jail for leaving the scene of a fatal crash. This could also result in a 3 year loss of license after jail time served. If the driver is found to be under the influence the penalties will increase.
“Leaving the scene makes the situation worse, not only for those who flee, but even more so for the victims left behind,” said Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “It is crucial that all individuals involved in a crash, including witnesses to a crash, contact 911 and remain at the scene until help arrives. Every life matters and every second counts.”