LAPD Alerts Media to Their Confusion on Traffic Laws

1_11_10_lapd.jpgFinally, the LAPD grabs the driver that knocked that bike over. What? They're cuffing and searching the rider for nothing more than being in a group ride? Oh. Photo: Dr. Alex Thompson/Flickr

(Updated, January 13, 2010: While the release was handed to Mr. Morales, it turns out it was not cleared by the central media relations staff.  At their request, the names of the victim and suspect have been removed both here and in the previous comments section.)

Yesterday, the LAPD released a press release on last week's hit-and-run crash in Downtown Los Angeles and it was posted on the comment thread by the Eastside Bike Club and Voice Newspapers Carlos Morales:

FELONY HIT AND RUN IN CENTRAL AREA
On January 6, 2010, at approximately 8:25 a.m. thirty-seven-year-old xxx, a resident of Los Angeles was driving her 2007 Porsche Caynan eastbound on 2ns Street in the number two lane, when she collided with the rear of xxx riding his bicycle eastbound in the number two lane of 2nd Street.

According to witnesses xxx got out of her vehicle and stated the sun was in her eyes. She checked on the condition of xxx, asked a witness to call 911, re-entered her vehicle and fled the scene. xxx was transported by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital and treated for chest and back pain.

Approximately one-hour later xxx went to Rampart Station to report the incident. xxx was not under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and she is a license driver with insurance. Due to Everett fulfilling the requirement of20001 (a) VC she was not arrested for hit and run.
This case will be presented to the City Attorney's Office for review.

The good news is that the LAPD is still referring to the crash as a "felony hit and run."  The bad news is that they don't seem to understand the California Vehicle Code.  "Dude on a Bike" posted links to CVC 20001, which, amongst other things,requires compliance with CVC20003.  Both statutes are available after the jump.  You tell me, does it sound like Ms. Everett complied with both statutes?

CVC 2001:

Duty to Stop at Scene of Accident

20001.  (a) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004.

(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine .

(2) If the accident described in subdivision (a) results in death or permanent, serious injury, a person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. However, the court, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may reduce or eliminate the minimum imprisonment required by this paragraph.

(3) In imposing the minimum fine required by this subdivision, the court shall take into consideration the defendant's ability to pay the fine and, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may reduce the amount of that minimum fine to less than the amount otherwise required by this subdivision.

(c) A person who flees the scene of the crime after committing a violation of Section 191.5 of, or paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 of the Penal Code, upon conviction of any of those sections, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed, shall be punished by an additional term of imprisonment of five years in the state prison. This additional term shall not be imposed unless the allegation is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted by the defendant or found to be true by the trier of fact. The court shall not strike a finding that brings a person within the provisions of this subdivision or an allegation made pursuant to this subdivision.

(d) As used in this section, "permanent, serious injury" means the loss or permanent impairment of function of a bodily member or organ.

Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 854, Stats. 1999. Effective October 1, 1999.
Amended Sec. 30, Ch. 747, Stats. 2007. Effective January 1, 2008.

CVC 20003:

Duty Upon Injury or Death

20003.  (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person shall also give his or her name, current residence address, the names and current residence addresses of any occupant of the driver's vehicle injured in the accident, the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and the name and current residence address of the owner to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and shall give the information to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. The driver also shall render to any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting, or making arrangements for transporting, any injured person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if that transportation is requested by any injured person.

(b) Any driver or injured occupant of a driver's vehicle subject to the provisions of subdivision (a) shall also, upon being requested, exhibit his or her driver's license, if available, or, in the case of an injured occupant, any other available identification, to the person struck or to the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, and to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident.

Amended Ch. 1103, Stats. 1991. Effective January 1, 1992.
Amended Ch. 621, Stats. 1992. Effective January 1, 1993.

Thanks to Carlos Morales, Ross Hirsch, Danny Jimenez and Colin Bogart for basically writing this story for me.