Anyone who witnesses a hit-and-run in New York City may get a chance to claim a $1,000 reward. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) introduced a bill on Wednesday, Jan. 4, that authorizes the city to reward tipsters up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a hit-and-run offender.
According to Int. No. 1418, upon the recommendation of the police commissioner, the mayor can pay a reward of no more than $1,000 to any person who provides information leading to the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of anyone involved in a hit-and-run that resulted in serious physical injury or death.
Law enforcement officers and other employees of the city or state are exempt from the reward. Also excluded is any person receiving information from any officer or city/state employee.
If passed, the law will go into effect 90 days after signed into law.
The issue of hit-and-runs is not new to the New York City Council. On Dec. 2, 2015, the Committee on Transportation introduced two bills addressing the issue. One bill increased the civil penalties anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 based on the damage done. The other bill required the police department to submit quarterly and annual reports of the number of incidents involving a critical injury.
During that same committee hearing, Inspector Dennis Fulton from the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation Office revealed a staggering number of hit-and-runs year to date. There were approximately 34,000 incidents of leaving the scene when property damage occurred and 4,000 cases where someone fled the scene when a personal injury occurred, totaling 38,000 hit-and-run cases in 2015.
Both of those bills were signed into law on Jan. 5, 2016.
According to New York Daily News, Rodriguez will introduce two other bills later this year addressing hit-and-runs. One bill will create an alert system designed to catch offenders. Another bill will require NYPD to investigate all hit-and-runs, including incidents where the driver of parked car is not present. NYPD is currently not required to investigate cases involving hit parked cars when the driver is not at the scene.
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