Illinois eliminates statute of limitations for hit-and-run cases

| Monday, August 15, 2005

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law Aug. 8 eliminating the statute of limitations for drivers involved in hit-and-run accidents in the state.

Previously, drivers in Illinois could not be held responsible for their actions unless they were charged within three years of an incident.

The new state law, previously HB885, gives investigators and prosecutors all the time they need to find and bring to justice drivers who leave the scene of an accident that results in death, injury or vehicle damage.

Blagojevich said drivers must take responsibility for their actions when involved in a crash.

“You won’t be able to run out the clock anymore,” Blagojevich said in a written statement.

More than 70,000 hit-and-run accidents occur across Illinois, including minor incidents in which a motorist “taps” another vehicle and drives off, The State Journal-Register in Springfield reported. Information wasn’t available about how many of those accidents involved injuries or deaths.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2006.

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