Statewide hit-and-run alert system starts Aug. 1

The State Patrol announced in a July 31 news release that the new statewide Hit-and-Run Alert System will begin operations Aug. 1.

The program was created as a way to enhance the ability for state and local law enforcement to collaborate with each other and the state Department of Transportation when recovering vehicles that have been involved in a hit-and-run. WSP clarifies that the program will focus on collisions that result in serious injury or death.

Chief John Batiste stated that over 300 hit-and-runs that degree were reported in 2022. “In many of those situations, information about the fleeing vehicle was available that, if widely disseminated, might have helped us find a dangerous driver,” he said.

Activation of a hit-and-run alert would occur if there is a serious collision, enough descriptive information regarding the vehicle is available and that the incident has been reported and is under investigation.

An alert would be sent to members of the public and media via direct alerts and social media of law agencies. WSDOT would also use its advisory radio systems and highway message boards to communicate with drivers on the road.