LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The number of hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles is four times higher than the national average, with one in five fatal crashes involving an unlicensed driver, according to a new report.
Don Rosenberg, the founder of UnlicensedToKill.org, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that an estimated 750,000 illegal immigrants live in the L.A. area and those who drive could pose "an immense threat to society".
"The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports unlicensed drivers are five times more likely to kill, they will flee the scene over 50 percent of the time, five times more likely to drive drunk," said Rosenberg.
In a whitepaper compiling statistics of hit-and-run accidents, Rosenberg found that unlicensed drivers were involved in more than 7,600 fatal crashes — about 20 percent of fatal crashes nationwide.
There were an estimated 21,000 hit-and-run collisions that were reported as "accidents" in Los Angeles in 2010 alone, according to the study.
"In Los Angeles in terms of hit-and-runs, it's way outside the norm," said Rosenberg. "On a national level, there's about 11 percent of traffic collisions end up being hit-and-runs...in Los Angeles, it's 50 percent."
Rosenberg, whose son was killed by an unlicensed driver in November 2010, said the actual number of hit-and-run accidents by unlicensed drivers may be much higher because the LAPD does not take a report if no one is injured.
"You've got a very high concentrated population of illegal aliens in Los Angeles; they drive," he said. "Matter of fact, the police chief actually encourages them to drive as long as they buy insurance."
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck told a group of Los Angeles Times reporters in February that the state of California should issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants to help reduce the number of hit-and-run accidents.
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