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Corpus Christi Sees Increase in Hit-and-Runs

Olivia Finger11 months ago

In 2013 Corpus Christi altered the way police would respond to minor traffic accidents. This modification, however, may be the reason Corpus Christi is facing a rising number of hit-and-runs.

Police in this area have investigations and report writing for more diminutive cases of traffic violations on hold, KRIS-TV reports. 

Details of the Policy Change

Although the intention was to free up officer resources to otherwise aid more critical cases in the community, police have neglected drivers in minor wrecks. 

Now it seems community members are left to figure out who is at fault on their own; gathering information, collecting evidence, and interviewing witnesses.

Today, unintended consequences from the change in regulation have been plaguing the community.

Historically, police say, someone will flea the scene of an accident for failing to have neither insurance, nor a drivers license, or possessing an outstanding warrant, or being under the influence. Now, drivers will leave simply because they know police are unlikely to show up.

Officers are still required to respond to every call they get, including minor accidents. Now, however, the order in which the calls are received does not dictate what time officers are required to respond.

Captain Billy Breedlove, with the Corpus Christi Police Traffic Division says that the common misconception is that police will never arrive, but this is not true. “We’re still going to show up. We’re going to still facilitate. We’re going to still provide a level of service”.

Police say their resources are being stretched thin; therefore compliance by the community to take responsibility for smaller incidences could be beneficial.

Corpus Christi Sees Increase in Hit-and-Runs

Each month, Corpus Christi can expect around 200 hit-and-runs, according to data obtained by six investigators. A number that has increased just recently, and some community members believe it is a direct spillover cost of the police policy change.

Now, inconsistencies with minor police investigations have given violators more confidence to avoid responsibility.

Critics say the policy change has meant less police presence during accidents and has led to inconsistencies in how involved police are during investigations. Because of this, more drivers in minor car crashes are choosing not to take responsibility for their actions. 

Now, honest drivers may be seeing less justice brought to their claim. The person at fault now has time to alter their story, which gives clout to insurance companies for denying a claim. Insurance companies now advise their customers to document everything, including all major and minor details, in pictures, videos and written forms of information.

Police have deliberated a clarification of the policy, but do not plan to revert back to prior procedure in the near future.

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