The Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee Friday advanced a proposal to set up standing rewards to help find, arrest and convict hit-and-run drivers.

Councilman Joe Buscaino and others say they are hoping to create automatic reward offers — similar to ones that already exist for graffiti and vandalism crimes — to try to curb what they call an epidemic of drivers fleeing the scene and failing to render aid after hitting pedestrians, other cars or property.

One idea being considered for the reward amounts is to set up a tier, ranging between $1,000 for property damage all the way up to $50,000 if the hit- and-run is fatal.

The committee members asked that the proposal be put on a fast track so that it could go straight to the City Council, which would vote on whether to instruct the City Attorney to draft an ordinance.

The committee also instructed the Los Angeles Police Department, the Department of Transportation and the Emergency Management Department to further develop a system to send out alerts, using social media and other existing city warning systems, following a hit-and-run crime to increase the chances of catching fleeing drivers.

—City News Service

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