Loophole means less jail time for hit-and-run drivers

Under current New York state law, leaving the scene of a fatal accident can lead to between two and seven years behind bars. That sentence

Under current New York state law, leaving the scene of a fatal accident can lead to between two and seven years behind bars.

Under current New York state law, leaving the scene of a fatal accident can lead to between two and seven years behind bars. (11/6/13)

MASTIC BEACH - A legal loophole is allowing drivers who flee a fatal accident to serve less time than they might have if they had stayed at the scene.

Under current New York state law, leaving the scene of a fatal accident can lead to between two and seven years behind bars. That sentence is far less than the penalty a driver would face if he or she stayed at the scene and it was proven that they were drunk or high.

This past year, three bills to strengthen the law passed the state Senate, but they all got tied up in the transportation committee in the Assembly. State Sen. Ken LaValle says some members of the Assembly don't want to "over-legislate."

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, who has been pushing to tighten leaving the scene laws, says it all comes down to lobbying power. He says there hasn't been enough pressure for certain Assembly members to pass the bill.

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