How To Get Away With A Hit-And-Run In Los Angeles
Nearly one out of two car accidents in Los Angeles involves a hit-and-run. There are 4,000 injury or death-related collisions involving people fleeing the scene in L.A. each year. One-hundred of those cases involved pedestrian deaths.
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Those facts we know from Simone Wilson's excellent cover story in today's LA Weekly: "L.A.'s Bloody Hit-and-Run Epidemic."
In it we also learn how to hit-and-run with impunity, something that's done often:
-Do it in a city, like L.A., where traffic cops are scarce: In this city of nearly 4 million, the understaffed LAPD has only about 12 traffic investigators in each of its four areas patrolled by the department's Traffic Division -- Central, South, West and Valley.
If you happen to hit someone or something and a patrol cop responds and undertakes the initial investigation, it's possible the officer won't be trained to catch clues -- pieces of your car, tire marks, etc. -- that could lead to your whereabouts.
-Make sure nobody dies: The LAPD puts a higher priority on death investigations involving hit-and-run drivers. Death, then, gets the victim an automatic referral to Traffic Division detectives. Even then, says West Traffic Detective Brent Johnson, "There are times when there's nobody from Traffic available" to respond quickly. "It just depends on if units are tied up or not."
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