Senate Cracks Down on Hit-and-Run Drivers

May 07, 2014

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that increases the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident when a death, injury, or damage of property occurs. The bill (S2503), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), would deter drivers from leaving injured victims on the road, facilitate police investigations, and enable timely chemical testing of a driver if warranted.

“Each day, it seems there is another reckless driver who injures or claims the life of an innocent victim and compounds that crime by leaving the scene of the accident,” Senator Golden said. “These criminals show a blatant disregard for human life and this bill increases the penalties to reflect the seriousness of their actions. I urge the Assembly to act so we can make our streets safer and bring hit-and-run drivers to justice.”

On Sunday in Canarsie, Brooklyn, a man allegedly fleeing police from an earlier hit-and-run caused a three-car wreck that killed a nine-year-old girl returning from church, as well as injuring five others. 

On Monday, a man in Midwood, Brooklyn, was struck and critically injured by a hit-and-run driver. 

In March 2013, a hit-and-run driver devastated the Williamsburg community when Nachman and Raizy Glauber, were killed, and their baby, delivered by cesarean section, died a few days later.

Under provisions of the bill, drivers who flee from the scene of an accident where someone was killed would now face Class C Felony, resulting in a sentence of up to 15 years of imprisonment. The penalty for repeat hit-and-run drivers who cause property damage or personal injury, would be elevated from a Class E Felony to a Class D Felony. The bill increases the penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident without stopping and/or reporting it, and causing property damage, from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class E Felony. 

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.