After being contacted by people from all over the country, Stacey Stevens Bankston started a petition to strengthen Hit-and-Run laws in the State of Missouri on Change.org. In a few short months, the petition gained almost 140,000 signatures! Simultaneously, Ms. Bankston began working with Missouri State Representative Bill Reiboldt on a bill that would revise current Missouri Revised State Statues regarding hit-and-run. On April 13, 2016, Ms. Bankston, along with two other families, went to the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City to testify in front of Congressional Committee about why the Leaving the Scene of an Accident law needed strengthening and punishments increased. After much advocacy, Missouri State Bill No. 34 was passed on August 28, 2017. Regarding Leaving the Scene of an Accident (RsMO 577.060), the law was changed to make hit and run concerning a serious injury or death a Class D felony rather than a Class E felony. This changed the punishment from 4 years to 7 years in prison with a substantially increased fine from $5,000 to $10,000.
Although this new revision in the law does not address the current Statue of Limitations regarding Leaving the Scene of an Accident where serious injury or fatality has occurred, there is still more advocacy to be done. The hope of The Hit and Run Project is that ALL states throughout this country will strongly examine their current laws and will work for the victims of this violent crime, not for the offenders.