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LA & California lawmakers struggle to address hit-and-run 'epidemic'




An 'Amber Alert' sign over I-85 North in metro-Atlanta alerts the public to keep an eye out for a 1994 blue Chevy pickup truck thought to have been stolen by murder suspect Brian Nichols. March 12, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia.
An 'Amber Alert' sign over I-85 North in metro-Atlanta alerts the public to keep an eye out for a 1994 blue Chevy pickup truck thought to have been stolen by murder suspect Brian Nichols. March 12, 2005 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Davis Turner/Getty Images

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Tomorrow, L.A. City Councillors will vote on expanding alerts for severe hit-and-run car collisions, so that social media, law enforcement, even UBER, taxi and Metro workers would be notified about suspects.

The motion does not go as far as a California bill being considered in Sacramento. Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D - 43) reintroduced AB 8 in December which would spur "Yellow Alerts" on LA freeway billboards with details of hit-and-run suspects, similar to AMBER alerts for child kidnappings. The effectiveness of such alerts is an open question. Criminology professor Tim Griffin of the University of Nevada says AMBER alerts have been effective in familial abduction cases, but not stranger abductions.

What are the implications of his research on Yellow Alerts? Last year, Governor Brown vetoed Gatto's last iteration of this bill due to cost concerns. Has Gatto addressed that issue?

Guest:

Mike Gatto, California Democratic Assemblymember for District 43, including, Burbank, Glendale, and parts of Los Angeles including East Hollywood and Silver Lake; Author of AB 9 - yellow alerts for hit-and-run incidents.

Tim "Skip" Griffin, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at University of Nevada; studied AMBER Alerts