Friday, September 30, 2011

Another hit and run

I am sad to report that an Augsburg student was the victim of a hit and run accident over a week ago. So far no leads, no one has come forward, and the local news media seems to have already tired of this story. Is it true that hit and run accidents are no longer news unless the community rises up in anger?

Nineteen-year-old Jason Stevens of Rochester does not deserve to be forgotten anymore than Ped does. He was an honors student and an athlete. The Highway Patrol is investigating, but it sounds like this hit and run driver was not courteous enough to leave behind any clues.

I have to wonder if this driver was encouraged by the success (so far) of the Senser family's hit and run strategy. Does Minnesota law enourage drivers who hit pedestrians to drive off?

Mari, a law student at William Mitchell College of Law, contacted me recently to see if I would talk to some students there about Ped's case. I declined because I am very busy, but also because I have shared everything I know about Ped's case in my blog.

But maybe Mari's classmates could be motivated to study Minnesota's DWI and hit and run laws to see if they work the way they are supposed to. I do not get the sense that they do. If Mari and her law school classmates would like to lobby the legislature for stronger laws to protect the innocent, I'd be glad to serve them dinner at True Thai, and then talk to them to see how I can help to get a new law passed, one that will make the Twin Cities safe for pedestrians again.

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I think I need to publish these posts more quickly. Here is yet another hit and run story. I'm sure if I look again, I will find some more. Hit and run accidents are up 15% in recent years, and one reason (aside from alcohol) is that there are more people driving who do not have licenses.