Monday, March 15, 2010
At the urging of two mothers who lost their children to hit-and-run drivers, Pennsylvania Senator Mike Stack of Philadelphia has introduced legislation to toughen penalties for leaving the scene of an accident where someone is hurt. Stack says, “We must do more to punish the cowardly motorists who have turned their vehicle into a lethal weapon and then abandon the injured or dying. We need to set up sound laws that deter this from happening and send a strong message that fleeing the scene will lead to serious repercussions.” Stack’s legislation would toughen the penalties for hit and run drivers that flee the scene of an accident that causes injury or death. If a victim suffers serious bodily injury, the penalty would increase from the current 90-day minimum prison sentence to a minimum of two years in jail. If a victim dies, the penalty would increase from a minimum of one year to five years in jail. Theresa Sautter, the mother of 2008 hit-and-run victim Marylee Otto, and Dolores Roberto, the mother of 2004 hit-and-run victim Peter Roberto, gave testimony this week to a senate committee reviewing the bill. Stack says, “Their emotional speeches were powerful, and it took a lot of courage and strength for them to talk about the senseless losses of their innocent children.” Stack says he does not think he will have any problem getting the law passed.