Lt. Greg Bueno said to Fox4Now on July 5 that, “The volume of hit and run crashes have up-ticked every year in the past several years.” With Lee County ranking 8th in the state Lt. Bueno said, “… that's substantial when you are talking about 400,000 crashes. That's 25 percent of the time someone is leaving the scene of a crash, which is strongly discouraged and simply not allowed.”
On July 1, 2014 Florida penalties for hit-and-run drivers changed when the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act (section 316.027, Florida Statutes) became law. Aaron Cohen, a 31-year-old father and avid bicyclist, lost his life when he was fatally struck by an alcohol-impaired driver who fled the scene in February 2012 in central Florida. The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act imposes a mandatory minimum of 4 years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in a fatality. Prior to the law’s enactment, the driver who left the scene of the accident was only sentenced to two years in prison which is a lesser sentence than what the motorist would have served had he or she been sentenced on a DUI manslaughter charge.
FHP troopers say they hear all different kinds of excuses from the drivers who leave accident scenes. They include, “I do not have insurance. I had a drink, I was scared.”
“There are no excuses for leaving the scene of an accident,” said Cape Coral Car Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. “Many accident victims could be saved if drivers did the right thing – remain at the scene and call 911. Before thinking about leaving the scene, think about the situation if the victim was a member of your own family.”
The Florida Department of Transportation has a new campaign called Stay at the Scene. This campaign aims to reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida. Its focus is to educate drivers on their responsibilities if they are involved in a crash and the serious consequences they face if they do not stay at the scene.
In February 2018 the Pensacola News Journal quoted an FHP spokesperson as saying, “We need education, getting into the schools and talking to young people on the penalties involved and trying to get them to see the other side of the coin if they were a victim or one of their family members was a victim in this case. This is one of those crimes where it could be the only thing on a person's record because it's a stupid decision at one point where you weren't thinking and you made a snap decision, but you've got to think about the victims involved in the case."
“Should you or a loved one be injured in a hit and run accident, please contact our firm. We have the experience to assist you in determining your rights,” said Attorney Spivey.
Cape Coral Car Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.