Action News reports that Northeast Florida has had an increased number of deadly hit-and-run crashes this year. One of the reasons is because the FHP has a delayed response to an accident scene. An example of this was a recent crash that occurred on Interstate 295. The crash caused the death of a young woman. Investigators say the driver responsible for causing the deadly crash is still out there.
The Florida Highway Patrol sees the uptick as a troubling trend. With hit-and-run crashes, time is of the essence. Why can’t FHP get to an accident scene quickly? There is an increase in workload for FHP patrols across Troop G, which covers northeast Florida. The increased workload has put a strain on the agency, causing longer response times. It used to take about 30 minutes for FHP to arrive on the scene. Now, the wait has more than doubled. Wait times now average between one and two hours. Those added minutes could mean the difference between finding the driver responsible for tragic hit-and-run crashes and not.
Many people get impatient and don’t want to wait around for an officer so they leave the scene. People need to remember that when a driver leaves the scene of a crash, the incident is classified as a hit-and-run. According to data Action News obtained from FHP, there have been almost 3,450 crashes this year.
It’s not just northeast Florida — the entire state is dealing with an increase in deadly hit-and-run crashes. According to FHP, 3 out of every 5 traffic fatalities in 2012 were pedestrians struck in hit-and-run crashes. Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in injuries carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison; up to 30 years if it results in a death.
So, if you are involved in an accident, remain calm, be patient and wait on the scene until an officer arrives.