TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The Florida House has unanimously passed the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act.

The bill, named after cyclist Aaron Cohen, would toughen penalties for hit-and-run drivers in serious accidents.   The bill creates a four-year minimum mandatory sentence for drivers who leave the scenes of accidents involving deaths. Current law does not include a minimum-mandatory requirement, which some lawmakers said sometimes gave drivers an incentive to leave accident scenes.

The bill also makes it a second-degree felony, rather than a third-degree felony, and carry the potential revocation of a driver’s license for a motorist who fails to remain at the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injuries.

The measure was unanimously approved in the state’s Senate last month.

Cohen was cycling on the Rickenbacker Causeway on February 15th, 2012 when a drunk driver struck him and drove off. Cohen, a tri-athlete and avid cyclist, sustained multiple injuries and was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He died a day later.

The driver convicted in the accident that killed Cohen served less than a year in jail.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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