A North Dakota republican has introduced a bill to protect motorists who run over protesters who are blocking the roadway.
Jennifer Brooks with Star Tribune reported on the bill proposed by Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman. The bill would protect drivers from any legal consequences as the result of inadvertently hitting somebody who’s standing in the roadway.
“If you stay off the roadway, this would never be an issue,” Keith Kempenich said. “Those motorists are going about the lawful, legal exercise of their right to drive down the road. … Those people didn’t ask to be in this.”
The law would only apply when the person hit was intentionally standing in the roadway. It would not apply to children and jaywalkers.
The law was inspired by all of the Standing Rock protesters who blocked roadways. The protesters are opposing the bill, fearing that it will result in people showing up with their snow plows and combines and mowing people down, or something like that. However, the bill would not protect people who deliberately run down protesters.
“This bill puts the onus on somebody who’s made a conscious decision to put themselves in harm’s way,” Keith Kempenich said. “You can protest all you want, but you can’t protest up on a roadway. It’s dangerous for everybody.”
This isn’t an imagined issue. There have been multiple protesters run over by motorists who weren’t expecting people to be standing in the dark roadway.
This bill should help protect people from frivolous lawsuits brought on by people who don’t have a drop of sense in their heads.
Stay out of the road people.