HOUSTON (KIAH) – One year ago the Lisa Torry Smith Act took affect with the goal of keeping pedestrians and bicyclist safe on the roads. Now TxDOT is reminding drivers to “Be safe. Driver smart,” in their fall campaign.

Lisa Torry Smith, was a Houston area mother who was killed in a pedestrian crash in a Missouri City crosswalk in October 2017 while she was walking her 6 year-old son to school. At the time of her death, hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist or other vulnerable road user in a crosswalk held virtually no consequences for Texas drivers.

Lisa Torry Smith was killed by a driver while walking her son to school (Courtesy: TxDOT)

Lisa’s family worked to pass the Lisa Torry Smith act (officially Senate Bill 1055 in Texas’ 87th Legislature) which officially went into action on September 1, 2021. The law requires drivers to drivers stop and yield the right of way to people in crosswalks. Texas motorists who fail to stop and yield and cause serious injury or death to someone in a crosswalk can face criminal penalties ranging from a fine, a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the injury.

In 2021 in Texas, 841 people died in pedestrian-related traffic crashes, an increase of 15% from 2020. Crashes involving bicyclists claimed the lives of 92 people. These 933 deaths account for 20% of the 4,490 fatalities on Texas roadways last year.

Texas law states if you’re driving:

•          Stop and yield for pedestrians, bicyclists and other vulnerable road users in crosswalks.

•          When turning, yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists.

•          Pass bikes at a safe distance and give bicyclists room to ride.

Remember to tune into No Wait Weather + Traffic each weekday from 5:30-9:30 a.m. on CW39 Houston