After numerous failed attempts to identify a recent hit-and-run vehicle, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ)’s Hit & Run Program was responsible for leading the police directly to a driver who allegedly hit a pedestrian and left them to die without help.
“The AASP/NJ Hit & Run program was created a few years ago,” AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant says. “I had been receiving many calls from state and local police inquiring if we could ask member shops to contact them if they came across vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents. As this began to happen more frequently I came up with the idea of the Hit & Run program. Now, if the police are looking for a suspected hit-and-run vehicle, they contact the AASP/NJ office and we send out a bulletin to our shops to be on the lookout for it.”
The most recent AASP/NJ Hit & Run program development took place earlier this month. “The accident occurred and the police contacted AASP/NJ,” Bryant states. “A few days after the bulletin went out, one of our members called me and said that the vehicle had been brought into his shop for repair. We immediately contacted the police, who proceeded to arrest the individual and impound the vehicle.”
Bryant says an important part of the success of the program is confidentiality. “In my mind, the shops that find these vehicles are heroes,” he says. “Just as they do in their repair businesses, they want to keep their communities and their roads safe. It is a brave and honorable thing to do.”
“The perception of our industry is sometimes so negative,” AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell says. “But things like the Hit & Run program really show what our association is all about. Our Number One priority — not only in repair but also in the community — is ensuring the public’s safety. The Hit & Run program is just another example of that.”