NYC Councilman pushing for tougher hit-and-run penalties

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Josh Einiger reports from Lower Manhattan.

On the heels of the deadly hit-and-run of the popular radio personality known as DJ Jinx Paul last month, a city councilman will propose laws designed to find and arrest hit-and-run drivers. It includes a reward fund as a public incentive.

It's an alarming body count. Four pedestrians killed in just 16 days, and all of them left for dead by drivers who lacked the basic decency to stop.

Those left behind include a Manhattan 6 year old, still too young to realize what it means to be fatherless.

"And that's something he can't get back," the victim's wife said.

A huge Queens family is now planning a funeral.

"I tried not to believe this had happened, but I had to wake up to reality," the victim's family member said.

And a Brooklyn mother of three, whose husband narrowly survived a hit-and-run himself.

"We just got done celebrating Christmas with her three kids. All that just got taken away in less than one second," the victim's family member said.

Then there was the man mowed down in Brooklyn who still hasn't been named. And these are just the hit-and-run victims who died.

"We have to go deep in the root of why this is happening," said Ydanis Rodriguez, a New York City Council member.

So Wednesday, a pair of lawmakers plan to take action. City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez will introduce a bill adding an automatic reward for tips that crack a case like this.

"Obviously the cost of losing a human life is irreplaceable," said Carmen de la Rosa, a New York City Council member.

On her first day as an assembly member, de la Rosa will rally support to close a key loophole.

Right now, she says the penalty for leaving the scene of a crash is nowhere near as harsh as the penalty for DWI, so drunk drivers simply flee.

"They think that if they're drunk they're going to get in so much trouble that they'd rather leave, sober up and come back and turn themselves in," de la Rosa said.

"We are in the middle of a crisis where unfortunately hard working New Yorkers, middle class, working class, upper class, they are losing their lives because many drivers, they are leaving the scene knowing that they are killing people," Rodriguez said.
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hit and runlegislationrewardNew York City
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