I found the reading of Sarah Pedersen's story {"Hit and Run: A Victim's Story," Style, Jan. 10} almost unbearable. The story is painful because it shows that my local government and police department look at this travesty and do nothing.

The D.C. Council needs to revise the traffic laws it changed in 1979. It is not acceptable that only accidents resulting in death require punishment of negligent drivers. Also, jail should not be the punishment. We have enough people in jail. Offenders should be made to pay restitution to the victim and have their licenses revoked for life. A harsh sentence? I think not; consider that Sarah Pedersen's disability is for life.

This story shows that we have an disproportionately large and expensive police force, and it doesn't seem to be able to do much right.

A friend of mine was arrested for a "collide and run" a few months ago. He parked his car, and it rolled forward about three feet into another parked car. When he returned to his car he checked for damage. There was none, so he drove away. Seconds later the police stopped him and hauled him of to jail. He was required to post $500 bail. He immediately returned to the scene and left a note on the car he had "hit." The owner never responded to the note. The police did not show up for the trial, so the charges were dropped.

Where's the justice? How can the police justify their lack of action on the Pedersen case in light of their handling my friend's case? JAKOB EFSEN Washington