New hit-and-run alert system unrolled in New York City

New York City has unveiled a new hit-and-run alert system that supporters say will lead to more arrests.

New York City has unrolled a new alert system that, its supporters say, should make it easier for police to catch hit-and-run drivers. According to NY City Lens, the alert system, which works similarly to the amber alert system, will notify New Yorkers via text message, email, and other media about a hit-and-run within 24 hours of the incident. The system is the latest step the city has taken towards tackling the problem of pedestrian accidents, which have gone down considerably in New York City in recent years despite rising rapidly nationwide.

New alert system for hit-and-runs

The new alert system went into effect in March 2018 and is similar to the amber alert system for missing children. When a hit-and-run accident occurs that involves serious injuries or death, then the police can send out an automated message about the suspect car's make, model, year, and/or license plate via social media, text messages, email, radio, and television. The alerts would be sent out within 24 hours of the accident, but only if the police have enough information about the suspect's vehicle to issue such an alert.

Supporters of the alert system point out that currently only about half of hit-and-run accidents eventually lead to an arrest. In many cases, the public is not informed about a hit-and-run accident until days afterwards, which makes solving these cases even harder . With the new alert system, safety advocates hope that the police will be able to make arrests sooner. A bill has already been proposed in Albany that would expand the alert system statewide.

Protecting pedestrians

The hit-and-run alert system is just the latest measure taken by the city to reduce pedestrian deaths. Under its Vision Zero initiative, the city has committed itself to eliminating traffic deaths through 151 initiatives, such as lower speed limits, more protected bike lanes, and traffic calming infrastructure.

As Bloomberg reports, the initiative appears to be paying off as New York City pedestrian deaths last year reached their lowest levels since records were kept in 1910. That bucks a nationwide trend which has seen pedestrian fatalities rise dramatically. Nationwide, pedestrian deaths have soared 46 percent since 2009 and have reached levels not seen since 1990. That increase is being blamed on higher speed limits, distracted driving, increased traffic, and even marijuana legalization.

Help for injured pedestrians

Pedestrians who have been injured in accidents need to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In most cases, injured pedestrians have the right to pursue compensation for their ordeal, but pursuing a claim can be complicated. An experienced attorney can assist injured clients with the claims process and show them how much compensation they may ultimately be entitled to.