In April of this year, Miami-Dade Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution, sponsored by Commissioner and bicyclist Jose Pepe Diaz, increasing the minimum sentencing for hit-and-run accidents. Unfortunately, Miami-Dade has the reputation for being the hit-and-run capital of our country. Prior to this resolution, there has not been a minimum sentence in hit-and-run incidents. This proposal will establish a minimum of seven years imprisonment for leaving the scene with injuries involved and a minimum of ten years for leaving the scene if a death occurred from the incident. The maximum of 30 years will remain.
Hit-and-run accidents are particularly dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. Cyclist Aaron Cohen was fatally injured in a hit-and-run incident in 2012 on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Key Biscayne police were able to track a damaged car to Michele Traverso. Traverso had multiple bad driving violations on his record and was only sentenced to 364 days in jail. Serving less than one year for leaving a person to die seems incomprehensible.
Drivers Utilize Precautions to Avoid Pedestrian and Cyclists Accidents
Drivers need to be aware of pedestrians and cyclists while driving. Slower speeds and attentive driving will aid in reducing the number of accidents that result in severe or fatal accidents. Pedestrians and cyclists, including bicyclists and motorcyclists, also must practice safety while sharing the road with automobiles.
Stricter Penalties to Deter Drivers
With stricter penalties, lawmakers are hoping to deter drivers from leaving the scene of an accident. In many cases, the severity of the injury or even death may have been prevented if the driver had acted in a responsible manner and contacted emergency help.
Miami-Dade, Florida lawyers at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, want to help you and your family reach full restitution if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
By: Jason Neufeld