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Tougher penalties for hit-and-run drivers take effect after push from Enfield family

ENFIELD -- After an Enfield family pushed for tougher penalties for drivers who leave the scene of a hit-and-run, a new law is in effect today.

Joanne Stewart said after her son, Jonathan Stewart, was killed from a hit and run, the person who confessed to it could not be charged because he confessed to the crime after the statute of limitations expired.

"For thirteen years you've been waiting," Stewart said, "Waiting for something. One little bit of something. And for them to say that they had a confession, that they have the person, but he was let go because they can`t press any charges."

While the accident happened in 2002, as of 2012, Stewart said the statute of limitations expired.

"No matter how long you hid. No matter how well you covered the crime. When it came out and you were convicted you would be held responsible," said Stewart.

On top of that, as of Saturday, the law has changed so that if you do knowingly hit a pedestrian instead of getting just one year in jail, you can now get a maximum of 5 years.

You can read more about the responsibilities an operator of a motor vehicle has under the new law here and the responsibilities for failure to yield to pedestrians here.