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Texas drivers can now face a state jail felony for injuring pedestrians

Pedestrian crossing.jpg
Posted at 3:51 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 21:26:52-04

AUSTIN, Texas — Over 600 new Texas laws are going into effect Wednesday, and one of them is Senate Bill 1055, or the Lisa Torry Smith Act.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the new 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.

The law was taken after Lisa Torry Smith, a Houston area mom who was killed at a crosswalk while she was taking her son to school. The driver was able to walk away without facing any criminal charges for killing Lisa and injuring her son.

Drivers are now required to stop and yield to those who are properly in an intersection. The law extends to not only pedestrians, but cyclists and people operating motor-assisted scooters, neighborhood electric vehicles and golf carts.

TxDot reports that pedestrian deaths account for one in five of all traffic fatalities.