Penn. Bill Would Use Collision Shops to ID Hit-and-Run Vehicles

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April 7, 2022—Auto repair shops in Pennsylvania could soon play a role in helping track down drivers of hit-and-run crashes that leave a victim seriously injured or dead.

According to a story by the Penn Live Patriot-News, the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Anthony Williams, (D-Philadelphia), calls for the creation of an alert system to notify repair shops for vehicles involved in a hit and run crash involving a serious injury or death within a certain time period after the incident occurred.

The Senate Law & Justice Committee approved the bill by an 11-0 vote. It now is in a position to be considered by the full Senate.

“Repair shops will be put on notice that if someone comes within a certain period of time with damages to their car that were alerted by the state police, … that information would be advanced to the state police and then they would investigate those cars,” Williams says.

If a shop fails to report a vehicle matching the description of one in the alert system, the owner or operator of the shop could be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor.

Williams says state police have some concerns about the cost and technology to implement such a notification system but he thinks both can be overcome.

The Pennsylvania State Police and PennDOT offered a statement about the bill, saying they “appreciate the intent behind Senate Bill 24. While we will continue to review the legislation, there are initial concerns that inserting a new alert in addition to the Amber Alert and Missing and Endangered Person Alert systems [which Pennsylvania is nationally recognized for implementing] could impact their overall effectiveness.”

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