Families of pedestrians killed by cars find that justice and closure are hard to come by in Nashville. says The Tennessean. Since 2006, only about one in four pedestrian deaths resulted in charges. Families and advocates say prosecutors need to be more aggressive or laws need to be harsher to ensure that drivers are held accountable for inattention, negligence, or bad decisions that lead to someone’s death.
“Texting is against the law, but running people over on the sidewalk isn’t, apparently,” said Brenda Smallwood, daughter of one pedestrian who was killed. “I think there are laws that could have been used.” Prosecutors counter that pedestrians are usually drunk or not crossing at crosswalks when they’re hit and killed. In other cases, such as Smallwood’s father, they say they can’t prove a driver was reckless or drunk. And sometimes, an accident is just that, an accident. “There’s a fine line between an accident and crime that you have to be careful when you cross,” said Kyle Anderson, head of the Nashville District Attorney’s Office’s Vehicular Crime Team.