Will WA State’s New “Hit-And-Run” Alert System Help Safety?
This week, WA State's new hit-and-run network went into effect.
Hit-and-run network will broadcast suspect descriptions
According to the Washington State Patrol, last year over 300 Washington drivers were victims either by injury or death in hit-and-run accidents.
According to the WSP:
"Alerts will be sent out to the media as well as to those who sign up to receive them electronically. Local law enforcement public information officers will also post them on social media. If there is enough identifying information regarding the fleeing vehicle to be helpful for the traveling public, WSDOT will use their electronic highway Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radio systems in specific locales to aid in identifying a dangerous vehicle."
Think of it as an 'amber alert' type of system. Supporters say it will help enhance traffic safety and assist law enforcement. However, critics say is this an attempt to greatly minimize pursuits by law enforcement.
To meet the criteria of a hit-and-run the WSP says the incident must:
- "A hit-and-run collision resulting in serious injury or death.
- Enough descriptive information is available to assist in locating the suspect vehicle (i.e. a full or partial license plate, a description of the vehicle and any possible damage, location and direction of travel, etc.
- The incident has been reported and is being investigated by a law enforcement agency"
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