The Napa Police Department is kicking off its new Traffic Safety Program this month by declaring March the month of hit-and-run collisions.
Each month, officers will identify a safety issue, said Officer Josh O'Mary. Officers will receive training, educate the public, conduct special enforcement of pertinent laws and consider ways to re-engineer roads, if necessary, to combat that traffic problem.
"What we're trying to do is make our community safer," he said by phone.
There was a 25 percent increase in reported hit-and-run accidents in Napa during the spring of 2018, compared to the past five years, according to an emailed statement from O'Mary.
Officers are seeking to target drivers with expired registration, without proof of insurance and without a license. The department will impound cars that have been without registration for six months, according to the statement.
Those are the kind of things that might cause a driver to leave the scene after a collision, O'Mary said on the phone.
State law requires drivers to immediately stop at the closest location that will not obstruct traffic or threaten anyone's safety if they are involved in a collision, according to the statement. Drivers must provide the other person involved with their license, vehicle registration and insurance information. If they aren't around, the driver should leave a note and explain the circumstances of the collision, and notify the police department, according to the statement.
Anyone who fails to do these things can be jailed up to six months and fined $1,000. If someone is hurt or killed as a result, the driver can be imprisoned for up to four years and fined up to $10,000, according to the statement.