After a car operated by an uninsured, unlicensed driver ran down three people a few years ago at the corner of Northwest Highway and Buckner, lawmakers made it tougher for irresponsible drivers to walk away scott free.
The driver who ran down and seriously injured White Rock area resident Eric Nelson and two other people following a Dallas Running Club event was uninsured and driving with a suspended license. Despite her negligence, the driver faced no criminal charges.
The traumatic incident led to the creation in 2009 of Eric’s Law: Unlicensed and uninsured drivers who cause serious harm in an accident now face up to one year in jail, plus fines of up to $4,000.
This brought to mind a story we’ve been covering lately, the death of teenager Riley Rawlins in Lake Highlands.
The police in this case, after much public uproar, decided to charge the unlicensed and uninsured driver with criminally negligent homicide, but had the victim not been killed, would she have been arrested?
Up until the passing of Eric’s Law, a driver who causes life threatening injuries to an innocent person, no matter how negligently, would face only a couple of misdemeanor tickets.
I asked Senator Carona, who sponsored Eric’s Law if he had any idea how often the law had been implemented. He said he had no stats on how often the provision has been invoked but he does hope that the law will “bring some measure of justice to victims.”