Washington state launches hit-and-run alert system

Washington state's new hit-and-run alert system will officially begin operations Tuesday.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 7:14 AM PDT
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CLARK COUNTY, Wash. (KPTV) - Washington state’s new Hit-and-Run Alert System will officially begin operations Tuesday.

The new system was authorized by the state legislature this year and will be active for a two-year pilot period. It will essentially use the cooperation of many different law enforcement agencies to find the drivers responsible for hit-and-run crashes that result in a death or someone being seriously hurt.

“Last year, our state saw over 300 hit-and-run collisions resulting in serious injury or death. In many of those situations, information about the fleeing vehicle was available that, if widely disseminated, might have helped us find a dangerous driver,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste. “We are working with our partners in law enforcement across the state and in highway safety at WSDOT to get the word out about these often devastating crimes.”

For a hit-and-run alert to be active, the incident has to meet three requirement:

  • The incident must result in serious injury or death.
  • There must be enough descriptive information to help locate the suspect car, like a full or partial license plate number, a description of the car, any possible damage, or a location.
  • The incident must be reported to and investigated by police.

Once the alerts are generated, they will be sent out to those who sign up to get them. They will also be posted on social media, and if there is enough information about the car being searched for, Washington state’s transportation department will use their electronic highway signs to aid in finding the dangerous driver.

With this new system being launched Tuesday, the state’s patrol unit asks that if you see what you think might be a suspect vehicle, to call 911 and report your location.

SEE ALSO: Struggling Oregon restaurant owner hired a robot to help her servers. Then the angry messages began.

If you’re interested in learning more about the new alert system being launched, FOX 12 NOW will be interviewing Washington State Patrol’s Director of Communications at 1 p.m. Tuesday. You can watch the interview on kptv.com or on the FOX 12 Oregon YouTube channel.