North Carolina panel advances hit-and-run bill

| 6/20/2005

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.