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Cracking down on hit-and-run drivers

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 12 2014 09:03:08 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 13 2014 05:11:58 AM CST

Cracking down on bad drivers

AW Driving School instructor Andre Wilkerson sees hundreds of students each month.

"We teach behind the wheel driving, defensive driving, awareness of defensive driving," he explained.

His pupils learn about the hazards of the roads and what to do if they're ever involved in an accident.

"You never flee the scene of an accident. When you flee that's when you have the risk of going to jail," shared Wilkerson. "You don't know if you actually hurt or killed somebody. You definitely have to stop the car."

Federal data shows fatal hit-and-run wrecks are on the rise. From 2009 to 2011 the National Highway Safety Administration reports deadly crashes involving pedestrians jumped up by more than 300.

Since 2006 there's been a Steer Clear law on the books in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It requires drivers to move over or slow down when an incident is happening on the side of the road.

"If you see a motorist that has broken down or has their four-way flashers on, to adequately move over to the left lane, pass the vehicle and then move back over," said Wilkerson.

Safety experts recommend folks behind the wheel don't pull over on the side of busy highways. Instead, use designated pull-over zones or nearby parking lots.

"If your car breaks down and it's immobile, just call 911," Wilkerson said. "Call your insurance company, and have them send out a tow truck."

Wilkerson also suggests stocking your trunk with things you can use in case of an emergency situation.

"Buying the emergency safety kit, which has the triangles, which has the flares and all the safety measures that you would need."