When many Texas roads are 80 miles an hour, 30 miles per hour may not seem that high of a speed limit. But Texas lawmakers and the loved ones of auto-pedestrian accident victims disagree.
Currently, 30 miles per hour is the posted speed limit on most urban streets in Texas. It’s also the default speed limit if there is no sign.
Rep. Celia Israel, an Austin Democrat, believes 30 miles per hour in neighborhoods is too fast. She has filed a bill to lower the speed limit to 25 miles per hour. And she’s not alone. Dozens of families whose loved ones have been injured or killed in pedestrian accidents joined Israel at the State Capitol to show their support.
Supporters claim House Bill 1368 could reduce car and pedestrian accidents, and save lives. An AAA Texas study found that decreasing the speed from 30 to 25 miles per hour could increase a pedestrian’s chance of surviving a car accident by 43 percent.
Officials agree a lower speed limit would also allow for more braking distance, estimating an extra 20 feet of braking in an emergency stop.
The cities of Austin and Houston have already stated their support for the bill.
Pedestrian Accidents On The Rise In Texas
Texas has long had the reputation for having the most fatal roads in the United States. An estimated 3,500 people die on Texas roads each year. Speeding and driving under the influence are the two primary contributing factors.
Auto-pedestrian accidents in Texas increased by a staggering 12.7% from 2014 to 2015 with 550 deaths in 2015. But that number doesn’t include victims that survived, like 9-year-old Ben Sears.
Last year, Sears spent months in a coma after a driver struck him in the Mueller neighborhood of Austin. Sears was exiting the car across the street from his home when the speeding motorist hit him. The accident has left Sears unable to speak or eat, requiring around-the-clock care at a medical facility in Dallas.
Sears’ family is just one of the many that joined Israel and city officials at the State Capitol this month. While Sears is fighting to heal, his family is fighting to reduce the speed limit in neighborhoods and to prevent more tragic accidents like this from occurring.
To follow the progress of HB 1368, click here.
Have You Or A Loved One Been In A Pedestrian Accident?
Auto-pedestrian accidents are some of the most serious personal injury cases. When a several-thousand-pound vehicle strikes a person, the results can be especially tragic and gruesome. Speeding, distracted driving and driving under the influence are some of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents — and of all of them are preventable.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a pedestrian accident in the Dallas area, contact The VanDeLoo Firm. Amy VanDeLoo is an experienced, honest and dedicated personal injury attorney. She can help you get the compensation and justice you deserve. Call The VanDeLoo Firm today at (972) 200-5080 for a free initial case evaluation.