Florida's growing hit-and-run problem

2:42 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida has a growing problem with hit-and-run crashes.

Florida police responded to nearly 70,000 hit-and-run crashes that injured about 17,000 people last year.

Those crashes killed 168 people. One hundred of those victims were pedestrians. The drivers just drove away after running them down.

"Fatalities resulting from hit-and-run crashes are a growing problem in Florida. In 2012, there were 4,414 traffic crashes involving pedestrians and over half of those resulted in injuries," said Major Mark Welch of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Now police are launching a campaign to make it clear that if you're involved in a crash, you must stop and wait for police to arrive.

Welch says leaving the scene of a crash involving a death can send a driver to prison for 30 years, or if there are injuries, the penalty is up to five years in prison plus fines.

"As a driver, it's your responsibility to remain at the crash scene and help anyone that may be injured, provide vehicle information, registration and driver's license information to law enforcement so a crash report can be completed."

Major Welch says drivers leave the scene of a crash for a variety of reasons, including a suspended driver's license, no car insurance or they're impaired.

He says the law requires all drivers to remain at the scene of crash and witnesses or passengers should also stay until an officer arrives.

After a crash, drivers are supposed to help any injured people, call police, gather vehicle and driver information, and sketch the scene.

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