So you’re driving to work one morning, and suddenly traffic stops dead. Was there an accident up ahead? Nope – there’s a crowd of anti-Donald Trump protesters (or perhaps they’re Black Lives Matter activists) blocking traffic for no reason whatsoever. Do they expect that after forcing people to sit in traffic for hours on end, they’ll go out and join their cause? Even they can’t be dumb enough to think that.
There have been enough people gutsy enough to drive right through such protesters (to the point where there’s no shortage of YouTube videos showing it happening) and some states are taking action – to protect those drivers.
As News Channel 9 reported: A new Tennessee bill addresses protesters who block traffic. Under the proposal, if a person is blocking traffic during a protest or demonstration – and a driver hits them, the protester would not be able to sue the driver in civil court for any injuries. The bill says a driver would not be immune from civil liability – if the actions leading up to injuries were willful.
Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) introduced the bill and said in a statement, “We believe that citizens have the right to protest. There is a procedure for peaceful protests and the purpose of that process is to protect the safety of our citizens. Protestors have no right to be in the middle of the road or our highways for their own safety and the safety of the traveling public.”
And that’s not the only state. According to The Tennessean, In North Dakota, motorists who run down demonstrators on public streets could be exempt from prosecution, even if someone is injured or killed, as long as the motorist did not purposely hit the victim.In Minnesota, demonstrators who break the law could be billed for the cost of law enforcement. And in Iowa, blocking traffic on a highway could be a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Are such laws putting lives at risk? Perhaps – but literally all you have to do to eliminate the risk is stop blocking highways. Seems easy enough. Even a caveman could do it, right?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]