NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The City Council Transportation Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on stricter civil penalties for hit-and-run drivers.
The move comes as more than a dozen pedestrians have died on New York City streets since Halloween.
It was just last week that police spent hours on scene in Jackson Heights, Queens investigating a hit-and-run crash on Northern Boulevard that killed 17-year-old Ovidio Jaramillo.
The driver has not been found, but police released pictures of a man they want to question who they said was seen getting out of the passenger seat of the vehicle shortly after the incident.
According to published reports, there have been 38,000 hit-and-runs across the city so far this year, injuring 4,000 people with 34,000 cases involving only property damage.
Lawmakers are hoping the new possible penalties will make drivers think twice before leaving the scene after a crash.
Council member Jimmy Van Bramer is proposing the new fines, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.
According to his website, the minimum would be $250. If the victim is physically injured, the driver would have to pay $500 to $1,000. If that injury is serious, the penalty goes up to $1,000 to $5,000 and if the crash results in death, the penalty is $2,000 to $5,000.
The fines would be in addition to any criminal charges that might be filed.