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DA touts benefits of proposed hit-and-run bill

Published On: Mar 13 2014 08:09:42 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 13 2014 08:09:48 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

A proposed California bill could have huge implications for hit-and-run drivers.

The legislation is sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles). Assembly Bill 1532 would automatically suspend the license of the involved motorist who flees the scene of a crash.

"Just from a punishment standpoint, those people should be punished. I have no problem taking their driver's license away."

-Shasta Co. District Attorney Steve Carlton

Under the proposal the law would apply no matter the severity of the victim’s injuries.

The punishment would require at least a six-month license suspension.

"Hopefully it's going to be a deterring effect on these people, and time will tell,” said Shasta County District Attorney Steve Carlton. “People argue that the death penalty is a deterring effect. Just from a punishment standpoint, those people should be punished. I have no problem taking their driver's license away."

Carlton said Shasta County sees thousands of hit-and-run crashes every year. He said hundreds lead to injury.

The legislation passed the state’s Assembly Public Safety Committee with a unanimous vote Wednesday. It will need to clear the Assembly and Senate to be passed into law.