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#1 2021-05-05 09:52:37

Darron
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Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Lisa Torry Smith Act

https://citizensroadsafety.org/

If you had not seen this in the news yet there are bills in the current TX legislature that would allow for criminal penalties for drivers who injure or kill people in a crosswalk.  Contact your state rep and senator if you support this.

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#2 2021-05-05 22:18:02

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Thanks for posting this!  The bill would make it a felony to injure someone in the crosswalk.  Hard to believe that's not already specifically verboten.  Unfortunately I'm also skeptical that it'll pass, because of course the sponsors are Democrats, who are Socialists hell-bent on taking away Texans' freedom to kill pedestrians in the crosswalk.  In this age of hyperpartisanship, I doubt it has a chance.  Even before things got so polarized, I remember the governor vetoing the proposed 3-foot passing rule for cyclists, and the legislature quashing red light cameras.  My rule of thumb is, if it's a good idea, the Texas government will be against it.

Here's the text of the bill.  (source)

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1.
SECTION 1. This Act shall be known as the Lisa Torry Smith Act.

SECTION 2.
SECTION 2. Subchapter I, Chapter 545, Transportation Code, is amended by adding Section 545.428 to read as follows:

Sec. 545.428. MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT INVOLVING PEDESTRIAN OR OTHER VULNERABLE ROAD USER WITHIN AREA OF CROSSWALK; OFFENSE. (a) In this section:

(1) "Electric personal assistive mobility device" has the meaning assigned by Section 551.201.

(2) "Golf cart" has the meaning assigned by Section 551.401.

(3) "Motor-assisted scooter" has the meaning assigned by Section 551.351.

(4) "Neighborhood electric vehicle" has the meaning assigned by Section 551.301.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence:

(1) operates a motor vehicle within the area of a crosswalk; and

(2) causes bodily injury to a pedestrian or a person operating a bicycle, motor-assisted scooter, electronic personal assistive mobility device, neighborhood electric vehicle, or golf cart.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is a state jail felony if the person described by Subsection (b)(2) suffered serious bodily injury.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that, at the time of the offense, the person described by Subsection (b)(2) was violating a provision of this subtitle relating to walking, movement, or operation in a crosswalk or on a roadway.

(e) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.

SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.

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#3 2021-05-05 23:31:07

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 324

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Always good reason to be skeptical, but the bill did get out of committee w/o amendment.  The senate companion bill also passed out of committee without amendment.  You can take that as a good sign.  More than three weeks to get one of them through the process.

Last edited by Jack (2021-05-14 18:22:54)

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#4 2021-05-06 01:46:46

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
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Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Thanks, Jack, those are indeed good signs.  Yet, I can't visualize Republicans voting on a Democrat's bill once it hits the floor.  We'll see.

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#5 2021-05-06 13:29:33

Darron
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

I called my local State Senator (Charles Schwertner - R) and confirmed they are supporting this bill so I'd give it a more than 50% chance.

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#6 2021-05-06 17:04:01

Darron
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Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

MichaelBluejay wrote:

The bill would make it a felony to injure someone in the crosswalk.  Hard to believe that's not already specifically verboten.

That is exactly what my wife said when I mentioned this bill to her.  You can accidentally shoot someone and in Texas and be criminally charged but if you accidentally run a person over in a crosswalk you are free to walk.

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#7 2021-05-08 10:39:40

RedFalcon
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Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 226

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

I volunteered with Bike Texas on their Cyclists in Suits day a month or so ago.  This is one of the bills we were promoting.  It was interesting, because this year we did it virtually.  It was actually better because Bike Texas had made appointments to talk to reps and senators, and so we actually got to talk to a few in person.  In years past, we almost always just talked to a bored aid.

The plan was to only talk to republicans because they are the ones that need to be convinced.  We actually had some success, and a couple seemed enthusiastic even. One, I can't remember which, was really against, and tried to argue with me about it. I just dropped it to avoid drawing any more attention to it. I figured the best we could get out of him is him forgetting about it and not showing up to vote against it.

It was a fun day, but after talking to that many fascists I had to take a shower.

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#8 2021-05-08 11:22:35

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
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Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Red, do you remember the Republican legislator's argument(s) as to why being able to charge a driver who kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk would be a bad idea?

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#9 2021-05-08 12:41:27

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 226

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Yeah, it had to do with the 'cause bodily injury' part. He felt that it was too broad, and that a driver would be punished too severely for even a very minor brush.  He also said we already have too many laws.  He didn't say 'nanny state' like I thought he would, which was too bad because that was on my bingo card.

Like I said, I didn't argue it out, but I did ask him what we could change in the bill that would get his support. He kind of waffled around on that, but I was just trying to get some kind of positive spin going.

One of my team mates on that call was a woman who lives in his district. She talked to him about a specific intersection where a cyclist was killed recently.  To be slightly fair to the fascist pig, he did show some concern about that and said he was open to putting some pressure on TXDoT to get that place fixed.  Of course, that's like me promising my granddaughter that Santa will bring her a unicorn for Christmas.

There was another rep we talked to, I can't remember his name, but he was actually very supportive.  Part of what helped is that we told the story of why the Act is named Lisa Torry Smith. It was named for a young woman who was killed in a cross walk taking her kid to first day of kindergarten.  It's just too heartbreaking to think about, really.

Wow, I just realized something!  Maybe the name 'Torry' has a subliminal message to these people.

OK, here's the plan. Next session, we get a 3' passing law by calling it the 'Ronald Reagan 3' of American Freedom Act'.

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#10 2021-05-08 12:46:10

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 226

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Darron wrote:

You can accidentally shoot someone and in Texas and be criminally charged but if you accidentally run a person over in a crosswalk you are free to walk.

In fact, if you accidentally shoot your own kid in Texas you cannot be arrested for up to one week. That's so you have time to make funeral arrangements.  This lovely tidbit was in the License to Carry course.

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#11 2021-05-13 21:16:10

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 324

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

The Senate version of the bill was on the House floor tonight--passed to third reading (one more stage to go) with a small amendment.
[SB No. 1055, that is]

Last edited by Jack (2021-05-14 11:39:00)

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#12 2021-05-14 00:27:46

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Fingers crossed.

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#13 2021-05-14 13:54:40

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 324

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

SB 1055 passed today
https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Ac … ill=SB1055
it was amended on second reading in the house of reps. yesterday
https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/87R/a … 055H21.PDF

Last edited by Jack (2021-05-14 18:26:57)

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#14 2021-05-14 15:15:37

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Jack, both links you posted to "tlis" (5/5 and today) are dead.  "tlis" is not a domain name.

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#15 2021-05-17 16:09:29

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 226

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

What are the odds it makes it past the governor?  It will be interesting to see.

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#16 2021-05-27 16:04:27

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 324

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

RedFalcon wrote:

What are the odds it makes it past the governor?  It will be interesting to see.

  We just might see.  Today the senate agreed to the house version of the bill.

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#17 2021-05-29 15:32:54

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 324

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

And today the bill was sent to the governor

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#18 2021-06-19 09:48:05

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 324

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Yesterday, the bill was signed by the governor and will take effect 9/1

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#19 2021-06-19 10:03:45

Darron
Member
Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 104

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Great news!

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#20 2021-06-19 12:27:06

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
Website

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

The cynic in me didn't think it would fly, especially based on past experiences (Gov. Perry vetoing the 3-foot passing rule, and looking at pretty much everything Gov. Abbott supports/opposes), but I was wrong, it happened.  It's fantastic.

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#21 2021-06-21 13:42:10

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 582

Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Alas, this isn't as tough on bad drivers as it first looks.  The law has this bit --

(b) A person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence:

... well, that rules out most traffic collisions, as most traffic collisions are considered to be "ordinary" negligence (or just an "accident") rather than the required "criminal negligence".

To pick a specific case -- the case that this act was named after -- Lisa Torry Smith's killer wasn't indicted for criminally negligent homicide, so I imagine she wouldn't have been indicted for this law either had it been in effect.

That said, this law still looks good -- it probably won't be used in most crosswalk crashes involving a pedestrian, but if they can show that the driver was extra negligent (drunk, on the phone, etc.), then maybe.

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#22 2021-06-21 14:16:31

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,316
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Re: Lisa Torry Smith Act

Good eagle eyes, Doug.

It seemed too good to be true.

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