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City's New Program To Stop Hit-And-Runs Will Not Fix Anything

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The city just unveiled a new program to stop hit-and-run driving, and it's not going to fix anything.

Hit-and-runs are a huge crisis in L.A. Not only are there 20,000 a year—killing 27 people and seriously injuring 144 last year—but L.A. drivers are far more likely to flee the scene of a crash than elsewhere in the country. Here, 50 percent of hit-and-run drivers will speed away from a crash, compared to just 11 percent in the rest of the country. (Who says Angelenos are shallow?)

L.A. badly needs to combat this public safety crisis. So, what is the city's revolutionary idea? Bear with us while we explain it: the city will now send out tweets and Facebook messages with car descriptions, and send you a text too if you sign up for the city's emergency alert system.

"Wait," you may be thinking, "how are they not doing that already?"

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Councilman Mitch Englander told the city council today, "When somebody hits somebody on the side of a road and leaves them there to die ... it's inhumane, and it's a crime." Well, duh! But the city needs a more clever solution than live-tweeting it. We have a town full of ambitious politicians that want to set national models; we have cameras everywhere (just ask a celebrity); we have a talented police department; and people here have a civic spirit. There's no reason why 50 percent of drivers should think they can get away with a crime unpunished here, but if the city doesn't take it seriously, this problem is going to continue.

There's a solution to this problem—it's just not social media.