In a world where road safety is of the utmost importance, one would assume that causing harm to a pedestrian, especially one with a disability, would be met with severe consequences.

KLAW-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

However, if you look at the Texas Transportation Code which deals with blind people crossing the street, it seems on the surface that this is not the case. In Texas, does killing a blind pedestrian with a car classify as nothing more than a misdemeanor offense? It's not that simple.


The Law

Let's take a look at the actual Texas Transportation Code:

Sec. 552.010. BLIND PEDESTRIANS. (a) No person may carry a white cane on a public street or highway unless the person is totally or partially blind.

(b) The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection or crosswalk where a pedestrian guided by an assistance animal or carrying a white cane is crossing or attempting to cross shall take necessary precautions to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian. The driver shall bring the vehicle to a full stop if injury or danger can be avoided only by that action.

(c) If it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that as a result of the commission of the offense a collision occurred causing serious bodily injury or death to a blind person, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by:

(1) a fine of not more than $500; and

(2) 30 hours of community service to an organization or agency that primarily serves visually impaired or disabled persons, to be completed in not less than six months and not more than one year.

Tap the Brakes

Ok, so, yes, you can be fined and assigned community service, but that is ONLY for the traffic violation. You are still liable under other laws and provisions for criminal and civil charges. This is just saying the violation for this specific infraction.

The Actual Punishment

You would most likely get charged for something like involuntary manslaughter from a criminal court, plus the traffic violation would be thrown on top of that. Also, you could then be sued in a civil court.

Texas Death Row: A Look At Notable Last Meals (And One Pile Of Dirt)

As of 2011, Texas no longer honors last-meal requests because of one very expensive and elaborate meal that went untouched. We take a look at that final meal, along with other notable ones, including the guy who requested a pile of dirt.

Gallery Credit: Renee Raven

Texas' Fugitive Friday: 8 of the Most Wanted Men

Gallery Credit: Mikael Donnovan

See the 18 Texas Teens Who Vanished Without a Trace In January

Details are sketchy as to why these 18 Texas teens disappeared from their families in January. 

Gallery Credit: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

More From KLAW-FM