A Senate judiciary panel approved a bill June 14 that would
change North Carolina’s hit-and-run law. The House-approved bill now moves to
the full Senate for further consideration.
Sponsored by Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, the measure
would make it a crime if a driver and a passenger switch seats after an
accident and flee an accident scene.
Under the bill – HB217 – if the driver involved in an
accident that results in a death or serious injury allows or agrees to have the
vehicle moved before an officer authorizes the vehicle to be moved, they could
be charged with a felony. If the accident caused significant property damage
without serious injury, offenders would face misdemeanor charges.
An exception would be made if someone leaves the scene to
seek medical attention or emergency assistance.
North Carolina law now only punishes the driver of a vehicle
in a hit-and-run accident.
Lawmakers are scheduled to take up the bill on the Senate
floor Tuesday, June 21.