Hit-and-run alert system becomes law in Colorado

Photo: Amber Alert
An image of an Amber Alert appearing on a billboard in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on July 5, 2010. Similar alerts will be posted statewide in Colorado targeting hit-and-run offenders.

Colorado Governor Hickenlooper has signed a bill creating the country’s first statewide alert system aimed at catching hit-and-run drivers.

The new law creates a system similar to an Amber Alert, which notifies the public when a child goes missing.

But Colorado’s new Medina Alert creates the tools needed to tell the public to be on the watch for a vehicle involved in a serious hit-and-run accident.

It was named after 21-year-old Jose Medina, killed three years ago by a hit-and-run driver in Denver.

The system includes alerting the media and taxi drivers, and issuing bulletins on electronic highway signs and on social media.

Denver Democrat, Representative Daniel Kagan spoke in support of the bill last month from the House floor.

“If you do a hit and run and you seriously injured somebody, or, God forbid, killed them, your name will be in lights all over the state," Kagan predicted. "So don't even think about hit and run driving. You’re going to get caught.”

Denver and Aurora already have citywide Medina Alerts.

During the two years they've been in place, 17 alerts have helped result in 13 cases solved.