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LA City Council proposes Amber Alert-like notifications for hit-and-runs

A hit-and-run driver caused this patrol car to crash in Marina Del Rey on Monday, May 28, 2012.
A hit-and-run driver caused this patrol car to crash in Marina Del Rey on Monday, May 28, 2012.

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Councilmember Mitchell Englander won unanimous approval yesterday to take next steps for creating a  hit-and-run alert system. Dubbed "Medina Alerts" after Colorado hit-and-run victim Jose Medina, the alerts would be visible on highway signs and media reports in the aftermath of a severe and/or fatal hit-and-run car collision. Hit-and-run collisions in Los Angeles have been characterized as reaching epidemic proportions.

In 2012, the LA Weekly reported on an awfully high number of vehicular hit-and-run crashes in Los Angeles. The report said that the LAPD records about 20,000 hit-and-run incidents a year, 4,000 of which result in injury or death. Colorado recently approved state-wide implementation of Medina Alerts.

There is not enough data to show its efficacy, but it might be comparable to AMBER Alerts. Research has shown those alerts for kidnapping victims are not as effective as originally believed.

What do you think of this proposal? Why might it be effective? What could make it less effective? Do you have other creative solutions?


Dennis Gleason, Policy Director for Joe Buscaino - LA City Councilmember for the 15th District, including Harbor City, San Pedro, Watts

Larry Stevenson, created the hit-and-run alerts for Denver, Colorado; Spokesperson for the City and County of Denver, Colorado

Tim "Skip" Griffin, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at University of Nevada; studied AMBER Alerts