This February, for Hit and Run Awareness Month, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) is reminding all motorists to stay at the scene when involved in a crash.
The initiative seeks to solve hit and run cases and reduce the number of hit and run crashes in Florida in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Association of Crime Stoppers and AAA – The Auto Club Group.
In 2019, preliminarily, there were more than 105,000 hit and run crashes in Florida.
“If you are involved in a crash, stay at the scene,” said FLHSMV Executive Director, Terry Rhodes. “For starters, it’s the law, but staying at the scene could also save a life.
“Leaving the scene of the crash will only ensure you receive more serious penalties, no matter the severity of the crash. I urge members of the public to report any information on hit and run crashes anonymously to Crime Stoppers.”
Under Florida law, a driver must stop immediately at the scene of a crash on public or private property that results in property damage, injury or death. Leaving the scene of a crash 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.
According to FLHSMV analysis, over 84 percent of all hit and run fatalities from 2015 to 2019 occur at night or during low-light hours. Additionally, while bicyclists and pedestrians are involved in a small percentage of hit and run crashes overall, bicyclists and pedestrians make up 21 percent of all hit and run fatalities.