Georgia Governor’s Signs Bill to Increase Hit-and-Run Penalties
GEORGIA – According to an online news report posted by ajc.com, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has signed a bill into law that increases the criminal penalties for people convicted of hit-and-run collisions.*
The bill, known as Senate Bill 1, was signed into law by Gov. Kemp on May 3 and will go into effect on July 1, 2019. The law makes hit-and-run accidents with serious injuries felony crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Current law in Georgia (prior to passage of Senate Bill 1) applies only to hit-and-run crashes in which the suspect was driving under the influence or driving recklessly.
The law is also named “C.J.’s Law,” after a 23-year-old man who was struck and killed by a vehicle while walking on Piedmont Road in Cobb County, Georgia, in 2009. The victim was struck by two vehicles, the first of which fled the scene. The driver of that vehicle has never been located or prosecuted.
The victim’s family members say that while the new law is not likely to result in justice for them, they are glad to see some change in the state.
“We don’t feel C.J.’s Law will help our family, but we want it to be as impactful as it can to help families who are victims of this cowardice crime,” said a cousin of the victim.
Georgia Rep. Mable Thomas worked with the young man’s family to create and pass C.J.’s Law, and she said she hoped to gain approval in 2020 for funding for driver education about the new law.
“Hopefully, the public will understand the responsibility of driving a car and not using your vehicle as a tool or weapon in destroying lives,” Thomas said.
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