News Release: Governor’s Press Office
July 16, 2014
MIAMI, Fla. — Governor Rick Scott ceremonially signed Senate Bill 102 alongside bill sponsors Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Representative Bryan Nelson. This bill creates the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act relating to leaving the scene of an accident. This bill includes increasing the punishment for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious injury to a person, imposing a mandatory minimum term for imprisonment of four years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person, increasing the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment from two to four years for a driver convicted of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death of a person while driving under the influence, and imposing a minimum driver license revocation period of at least three years.
Governor Scott said, “No one should have to suffer the loss of a loved one due to reckless driving, and it’s in Aaron’s name that we hope to further protect Florida families with Senate Bill 102. Aaron was taken from this world too soon, and it’s our hope that this bill will ensure that doesn’t happen to any other loved ones again. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends that gathered today in Miami to help us sign this important legislation in his name.”
Patty Cohen, widow of Aaron Cohen, said, “The entire Cohen family and I are extremely thankful that Governor Scott will be signing the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act into law. We are hopeful that out of our family’s tragedy, we have made a big step towards safer roads and a safer community for our children. While nothing will bring Aaron back, it gives us comfort to know that the change we have made may prevent other families from suffering as ours did. We are incredibly honored to have this very important law in his name.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “I thank Governor Rick Scott for signing the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, which will crack down on hit-and-runs, and I am grateful to Patty Cohen for her bravery in transforming her tragedy into action to protect others. Floridians deserve to be safe while enjoying their communities.”
Mickey Witte, founder of the Aaron Cohen Law Initiative, said, “As a triathlete, I run and ride my bicycle often, so it’s obvious that I would have a vested interest in road safety. By signing the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act into law, the governor shows his support for something that signifies that as a society, we are sending the message that doing the right thing – staying on the scene when you’ve hit someone while driving – is something that we as Floridians do and encourage others to do in order to protect our community.”