BUFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Several Erie County police agencies are reporting there’s an uptick in hit and runs. Now, police aren’t only trying to solve them but to figure out why more accidents like this are happening.
“It takes less than a second for your distraction to lead to one of these tragedies,” said Lt. Jeff Rinaldo with the Buffalo Police Department.
He says they’re seeing more accidents, in general, being caused by both distracted drivers and pedestrians.
“People, in general, aren’t paying attention in and around roadways,” said the lieutenant.
While he’s not sure if that’s the exact reason to blame for the hit and runs, it does concern him and other police officers.
The member of BPD says hit and run statistics ebb and flow – they’re higher in some years than others. He feels drivers aren’t really thinking about unsolved cases in the moment when they decide to pull off from an accident.
“People panic at that moment,” said Lt. Rinaldo. “For whatever reason – whatever extenuating circumstances like they don’t have valid license or insurance and then they panic and leave.”
While some cases remain unsolved for weeks or months, police are continuously putting together pieces of footage and evidence, trying to find the person responsible.
“I don’t think any person that’s involved in an accident should take some solace in the fact that there’s a number of these that have yet to be prosecuted because in the end they all will see some prosecution.”