The Millstone Times January 2019
Assemblyman Edward Thomson joined Jill Horner on Comcast’s Newsmakers this month to discuss his legislation imposing tougher consequences for leaving the scene of an accident that causes serious injuries.
“Honestly, there are only one or two reasons that you would be leaving a scene and none of them would be very good,” explained Thomson (R-Monmouth).
Thomson said the legislation he is drafting, along with Sen. Robert Singer and Assemblyman Sean Kean, would make a mandatory minimum sentence
of three to five years for fleeing the scene of an accident when the victim sustains serious
A hit-and-run causing serious injury is a third-degree crime in New Jersey, punishable by three to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. But, there is no mandatory penalty.
“That’s really the catalyst of this legislation,” said Thomson. “As a father I can tell you that if any one of my children were left on the side of the road by someone after being hit by a car, there is just no excuse for that.”
New Jersey hit-and-run statistics are disturbingly high and rising. According to information provided by the state police, the number of fatal hit-and-runs increased 38 percent between 2013 and 2016 with 413 deadly crashes. The most common victims are pedestrians.
The lawmakers developed the legislation after a 14-year-old Point Pleasant girl was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver.
The girl was struck while riding a bicycle and was carried on the hood of the car before being thrown from the vehicle, police said. The driver fled the scene and covered her car with a tarp when she got home after the crash.