State Rep. Abel Herrero joined law enforcement officers and hit and run victims to announce that a newly adopted "hit and run law" will increase penalties for such crimes.
"It is my hope that with this new law, lives will be saved, because we will not tolerate one person's lack of compassion for another person's life," Herrero said.
Herrero said the new law gives prosecutors another tool to fight with in the courts, increasing the penalty from 10 to 20 years in prison for drivers convicted of hit and run accidents.
For the victims of the crime, the tougher law is welcomed as a deterrent as well as a warning.
"So now if you get in trouble, you get more years in jail, and that way they can learn not to do nothing no more," said Christian Carrillo, a victim of a hit and run accident in March of this year.
"You know, when their day comes, you know they'll get their justice, and that's what excites me the most," said Mary Encinia, who lost her daughter to a hit and run driver. "I mean, I'm not alone in this. There's so many people that have been killed or hurt, you know, by hit and runs, and they need closure themselves."
"This is the reason why we've worked so hard to do what got done in the state house," said Joseph Ramirez, who lost his mother to a hit and run driver. "It took a while, but thanks to the leadership of our representatives, we know many families will be able to seek the justice that they rightly deserve."
The new, tougher hit and run law goes into effect this weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 1.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.