SAN ANGELO, Texas- The Lisa Torry Smith Act was just passed on September 1st ahead of Labor Day, a heavy traffic holiday.
Governor Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1055 honoring a Houston mother who was struck and killed while walking her son to school. The driver walked away with no criminal charges.
“She was struck and killed by a driver who was inattentive and rushing and not considering pedestrian safety. It destroys you to be honest with you, its debilitating and even thinking of it to this day I still remember it like it was yesterday,” says Smith’s husband Elliott Smith.
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.
Justin Baker with the Texas Department of Public Safety says they are campaigning to “End the Streak” of fatalities on Texas roads.
“End the Streak goes back to November 2000, that’s the last time we had no fatality crashes in the state of Texas and that’s a long time when you’re looking at 21 years later. We are averaging 11.1 fatalities a day right now so again it falls back to those three most common factors of speed, impairment, and distractions. If we can eliminate those, that streak would end just like that,” Sgt. Baker said.
In 2020, Texas had more than 4,800 traffic accidents resulting in 731 fatalities and over 1,200 serious injuries.