A new and highly controversial bill has passed one state’s house and is headed to their senate. The bill aims to cut out the chaos caused when protestors block city streets and highways. If the bill becomes law, drivers will have the right to drive through these protests and through the protesters without the fear of being sued.
The new legislation is from North Carolina. The state has seen numerous protests in the last few years, and those prompted lawmakers to step in. North Carolina House passed HB 330 with a 67-48 vote.
HB 330 was the idea of Republican Justin Burr. The bill “provides that a person driving an automobile while exercising due care is immune for civil liability for any injury to another if the injured person was participating in a demonstration or protest and blocking traffic.”
Proponents of the bill are celebrating the move. Those opposed point to the abstract explanation of “due care.” How “due care” will be determined is a matter for the courts.
“As we’ve seen, time and time again, as folks run out in the middle of the streets and the interstates in Charlotte and attempt to block traffic,” Burr said. Now, he adds, “drivers don’t have to fear driving through Charlotte or anywhere in North Carolina.”
“This bill does not allow for the driver of a vehicle to target protesters intentionally,” he says. “It does protect individuals who are rightfully trying to drive down the road.”
“Charlotte saw a number of roads blocked after the death of Keith Lamont Scott and the protests that followed last year,” CharlotteStories writes. “During the second night of the protests, rioting erupted in Uptown Charlotte, with one person being shot and killed.”
HB 330 is now heading to North Carolina’s Senate. It’s fat there isn’t clear, though supporters are optimistic.