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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 9, 2016 09:25 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: HIt-and-Run Alert System (Jay Alerts)
 
In the near future, I will be introducing a package of two bills to establish a Hit-and-Run Advisory Alert system, to be known as “Jay Alerts.” The purpose of this legislation is to reduce hit-and-run accidents and enable quick identification and apprehension of motorists who flee the scene of an accident in which serious bodily injury or death result.

Alerts to vehicle repair facilities under this bill shall be referred to as “Jay Alerts” in honor of eight-year-old Jayanna Powell, who was struck and killed last month while walking home from school. The driver, a twenty-four-year-old male, allegedly fled the scene after striking Jayanna and attempted to hide his involvement by having a female acquaintance take the vehicle to a suburban repair shop twenty miles west of the city. Only after the auto repair shop owner saw a TV news report offering a reward for information leading to the driver’s arrest were police able to track down the suspect.

Subsequent to a hit-and-run accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death, the first piece of legislation would require the investigating law enforcement authority shall alert all vehicle repair facilities in Pennsylvania via system developed by PennDOT. The information provided shall include, but not be limited to, as available, the following:
  1. Vehicle make, model, year, and color,
  2. License Plate Number,
  3. Unique identifying characteristics, and/or
  4. Extent of damage
For the purposes of enabling this notification system, all vehicle repair facilities must register with the Department to ensure accurate contact information.

The second bill expands the current Amber Alert system to include Hit-and-Run Advisory Alerts. Similar to missing children, alerts displaying the information of vehicles suspected in hit-and-run accidents involving serious bodily injury or death will be broadcast to motorists on electronic signs and billboards, as well as via text message through the Pennsylvania State Police’s Wireless Emergency Alert system. Similar legislation has been enacted in California, Colorado, and Maryland.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to reduce the time between hit-and-run accidents and the apprehension of a suspect. This will hopefully discourage motorists involved in accidents from fleeing the scene and provide the families of victims more swift resolution. Questions or comments may be directed to my legislative director, Kyle Miller, at 717-787-5970 or kmiller@pasenate.com.



Document #1

Introduced as SB360

Description: The first piece of legislation will require investigating law enforcement authority to alert all vehicle repair facilities in Pennsylvania, via system developed by PennDOT, of vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents. For the purposes of this act, auto repair facilities will be required to register with the department and a duty will be imposed on owners of facilities to report vehicles matching the description provided to law enforcement. 
 

Document #2

Introduced as SB359

Description: The second bill expands the current Amber Alert system to include Hit-and-Run Advisory Alerts. Similar to missing children, alerts displaying the information of vehicles suspected in hit-and-run accidents involving serious bodily injury or death will be broadcast to motorists on electronic signs and billboards, as well as via text message through the Pennsylvania State Police’s Wireless Emergency Alert system. Similar legislation has been enacted in California, Colorado, and Maryland.