Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R,C,I-Watertown) announced Tuesday that legislation he cosponsors that would strengthen penalties for those who flee the scene of an accident (A.3964) is one step closer to becoming law. Walczyk is a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee, which this week voted to advance the bill through the committee process.
“Sadly, in our culture today, too many people flee the scene of an accident rather than doing the right thing and call the authorities and check in with the other passengers or property owners,” said Walczyk. “Accidents are going to happen – it is a fact of life. But it’s so critically important that people take responsibility for their actions, especially when another person’s health – life or death – could be at risk.”
The bill would create a fine of up to $1,000 for first-time offenders who leave the scene of an accident and increase fines for repeat offenders. If enacted into law this session, the bill would take affect this fall.
Although Walczyk encourages anyone involved in an accident to contact authorities immediately to ensure proper emergency medical care can be provided, currently you can file a report after the fact if needed. According to existing state law, drivers in New York state have ten days to file an accident report if they are involved in an accident where either someone is injured or killed, or an estimated $1,000 in property damage occurred. To learn more about this or to file a claim after the fact, please go to: https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv-records/how-file-motorist-accident-report.