Senator Kevin Dahle’s (DFL-Northfield) hit and run bill, which requires drivers to determine what they struck after a collision, received its first committee hearing today. Sen. Dahle was joined by Kris Zell, whose brother Kane Thomson was the victim of a hit and run in 2007 and Kelly Moller, Prosecutor and Interim Executive Director of the Minnesota Alliance on Crime in presenting the bill.
“I am grateful for Ms. Zell’s willingness to discuss this issue in committee today,” said Sen. Dahle. “This is a difficult thing to discuss and her testimony highlights just how important this legislation is.”
The legislation closes the loophole in the current law that allows drivers to flee the scene of a collision and then, if caught, escape liability by claiming that they did not know what they struck.
In 2007 the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed a hit and run conviction based on the language in the current statute stating that the legislature could rewrite the law to require drivers to stop and determine what was struck. The loophole in this law has continued to be a problem since that time.
“Stopping and offering assistance could make the difference between life and death and loopholes in state law should not allow someone to leave the scene of the accident,” said Sen. Dahle. “This is a common sense change that needs to happen. I am hoping to see bipartisan support as the bill makes its way through the political process.”
The committee recommended the bill to pass and rereferred it to the Judiciary Committee.
Senator Dahle encourages constituents to contact him with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic via phone or email. Sen. Dahle can be reached by phone at 651-296-1279 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.