Last month a new law went into effect that will better protect pedestrians who are legally crossing at a crosswalk. The Lisa Torry Smith Act was named in memory of a woman who was struck by a car and killed while walking her 6-year-old son to school. The law allows inattentive drivers to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if they cause bodily harm to a pedestrian. And if the pedestrian is seriously injured, drivers may be found guilty of a state jail felony.
Brad Parker says, “As a general rule, anytime you hurt someone there should be ramifications. There needs to be more serious consequences than just financial liability.”
In Lisa’s case, the driver responsible for the crash was ticketed but not criminally charged or indicted by a grand jury because the law didn’t allow it at the time. Understandably outraged that the woman who killed a family member with her SUV only received a slap on the wrist, Lisa’s husband and sister fought for stricter penalties for drivers who aren’t paying attention and cause bodily harm.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020 there were more than 6,000 pedestrian fatalities. Since October is National Pedestrian Safety Month, the NHTSA has released its “Know the Basics – Pedestrian Safety.”
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road and obey signs and signals.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
- Keep alert at all times; don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Whenever possible, cross streets at crosswalks or intersections, where drivers expect pedestrians. Look for cars in all directions, including those turning left or right.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Wait for a gap in traffic that allows enough time to cross safely; continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers as they approach to make sure you are seen.
- Be visible at all times. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flashlight at night.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways, or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
Have You Been Injured In A Texas Accident?
If you’ve been injured you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Bedford, Texas office directly at 817.440.3888 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. We help personal injury clients throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington as well as all areas of Texas.
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At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.
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