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Florida Highway Department Names This Hit and Run Awareness Week

Hit and Run Logo | FHP | DHSMV
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes in the state in 2015.

TAMPA BAY – Police agencies from across Tampa Bay kept an eye out Monday (Feb. 15) for a woman suspected of being the driver in a fatal hit and run. Ironically, Monday was also the first day of a statewide Hit and Run Awareness week.

The week designated because the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says there are too many hit and run incidents across the state. The designation is needed, the DHSMV said, in an effort to highlight the impacts of leaving the scene of a crash and to reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida.

In 2015, there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes in Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol alone worked23,333 of these crashes. Each year, the percent of hit and run crashes holds steady, which means the problem of drivers fleeing the scene isn’t getting better, according to the DHSMV. Last year, hit and run crashes resulted in more than 19,000 injuries and 186 fatalities. Vulnerable road users are particularly at risk and in 2015, more than half of the hit and run fatalities were pedestrians. Approximately one out of every four pedestrian crashes resulted in the driver’s leaving the scene.

“The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles stresses to each driver, if you are in a crash, donot leave the scene,” DHSMV executive director Terry L. Rhodes said. “Remaining on the scene will not onlyspare a driver significant legal penalties, but may save a life.”

Colonel Gene Spaulding, director of the FHP, said, “People leave the scene of a crash for several reasons. They are scared, they may be impaired, they may have a suspended driver’s license or they may not have insurance. No matter what the reason, as a driver, it is your responsibility to remain at the crash scene to respond and help anyone who’s injured.”

Under Florida law, a driver must stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property that results in injury or death. If a driver flees the scene, the situation becomes even worse. Leaving the scene of a crash with injury or death is a felony and a driver, when convicted, will have their license revoked for at least three years and can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.Last year, 18-27 year olds were charged with more than a third of all hit and run crashes, 70 percent of which were issued to males. The most important thing a driver can do when they are involved in a crash is to remain at the scene, DHSMV officials said.

Facts about hit and runs in Florida:
  • In 2015, there were more than 92,000 hit and run crashes in Florida.
  • Of those, the FHP  worked more than 23,000.
  • Each year the percent of hit and run crashes stays steady, which means the problem of people fleeing the scene isn’t getting better.
  • There were more than 19,000 injuries resulting from hit and run crashes, with more than 1,200 of those involving serious bodily injury.
  • Vulnerable road users are particularly at risk. In fact, there were 186 hit and run fatalities in 2015, over half of which were pedestrians.
  • About one out of every four pedestrian crashes resulted in the driver’s leaving the scene.
  • Under Florida law, a driver MUST stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property which results in injury or death.
  • More than 80 percent of hit and run crashes result in property damage only.
  • If a driver flees the scene, the situation becomes even worse. Leaving the scene of a crash is a felony and a driver, when convicted, will have theirlicense revoked for at least three years and can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of four years in prison.
  • In 2015, 18-27 year olds received over a third of all hit and run citations issued, 70 percent of which were written for males.
  • The most important thing a driver can do when they are involved in a crash is to remain at the scene and call for help. Staying at the scene will not only spare a driver significant legal penalties, but may save a life.
  • The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles encourages drivers to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving.

For information about the DHSMV or the FHP, go to flhsmv.gov.

Florida Highway Patrol | Hit and Run Awareness Week | Fatal Hit and Run | TB Reporter

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Florida Highway Department Names Hit and Run Awareness Week
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Florida Highway Department Names Hit and Run Awareness Week
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This week is Hit and Run Awareness Week. The week was established by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to highlight the impacts of leaving the scene of a crash and to reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida.
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TB Reporter
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