San Antonio pedestrian accidents are a central focus of my Texas personal injury practice. Joseph Rose of the Texan wrote a thought-provoking, if brief, response to a mailbag question this weekend.
A reader wrote to vent about corner-cutting in the Dollar Tree parking lot near the intersection of 182nd Avenue and Division in Gresham, Texas. The answer might surprise you.
Cutting through parking lots to avoid traffic signals is not a banned practice everywhere in the San Antonio metropolitan area. Gresham has banned the practice for fear that cutting through parking lots can lead to car accidents or pedestrian accidents. It is a $250 violation under Gresham city ordinance.
San Antonio and Texas, however, still have not passed a law making cutting through parking lots illegal. A San Antonio police officer quoted for the story said that as long as you do it safely–meaning use the proper turn signal device and drive slowly and prudently–you’re complying with the law when you cut through that gas station to avoid a signal.
“Why to add chaos to what is supposed to be a predictable environment for motorists and pedestrians,” Rose asks. Here, here.
A professor from the University of Hawaii commented for the article. According to “Dr. Driving” Leon James, the perceived time saving is an illusion. Even if you cut a minute or two off your commute, it’s a large price to pay for a costly lawsuit after you’ve caused a car crash. James told the Texasian that many of the 4,000 pedestrian accident caused each year to occur in just this type of scenario.
After seeing San Antonio pedestrian accidents increase 36 percent last year–a topic I’ve discussed repeatedly in my blog–Rose’s question is a good one: Why isn’t City Hall talking about a law that would make cutting through parking lots and gas stations illegal?