Pedestrian Deaths Prompt Passage of New Law

Drivers who injure pedestrians and cyclists in a crosswalk may now face criminal negligence charges after the recent passage of the Lisa Torry Smith Act. Signed by Gov. Abbott on June 18, the new law will go into effect this September 1. The law is named after Lisa Torry Smith, a Missouri City woman who was hit by an SUV and killed in a crosswalk as she was walking her 5-year-old son to kindergarten.

“I just hope that this saves more lives,” the victim’s mother Elaine Brooks said. “Because the grief that we feel will always be with us. And it’s good to know that there will be families that down the road will be spared deaths.”

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Texas is one of the deadliest states in America for pedestrians. From 2019 to 2020, pedestrian fatalities increased by an unprecedented 9% despite an overall decrease in driving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Harris County alone accounts for 18% of all pedestrian deaths in Texas.

In addition to criminal liability, drivers who strike pedestrians may face civil liability. Victims and their families may be able to hold negligent drivers responsible for these senseless deaths and injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an auto accident, the experienced lawyers at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner can assist with your claim. Call us today at 713-742-6007 or 888-203-7831 for your free consultation.