New Texas law could send drivers who injure and kill pedestrians to jail

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – The Lisa Torry Smith Law went into effect Sept. 1 to protect pedestrians who legally cross at a crosswalk.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the law, named in memory of a woman who was killed walking her child to school, allows distracted 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 can be convicted of a felony in state prison.

TxDOT said this bill aligns with its goal of having zero pedestrian-related deaths by 2050. The law also protects pedestrians who legally cross on bicycles, wheelchairs, scooters and other motorized devices. .

Lisa Torry Smith’s widower, Elliot Smith, said the passage of the law brought relief to the family.

“It took almost four years from the accident to go through this complicated legal journey. And gratitude because we had a lot of help along the way,” Smith said.

Sister Gina Torry said Lisa Torry Smith was hit and killed by a car as she walked across a crosswalk taking her six-year-old son to school in the Houston area in 2017.

“She was robbed of that joy of being alive,” Torry said. “And so we want to make sure that this joy of living, this right to life, is never taken away from us again. And we know this bill won’t totally prevent that from happening, but hopefully it will ensure that there are consequences for anyone who kills in a crosswalk or injures a life in a crosswalk .

“His legacy through myself, the kids, this law and the rest of the family, that’s what we have,” Smith said. “And we plan to honor that.”

You can read the text of the Lisa Torry Smith law here.

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