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North Carolina House Passes Bill Protecting Motorists Who Hit Protesters While Driving

A recent bill passed in North Carolina’s House of Representatives will shield motorists who unintentionally hit protesters blocking roads from civil liability, WFAE reported.

House Bill 330, introduced by Rep. Justin Burr, “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.”

It passed the House of Representatives by a 67-48 vote on Thursday, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

“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. The Republican said he wants to make sure “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 added. “It does protect individuals who are rightfully trying to drive down the road.”

After the death of Keith Lamont Scott last year, protests blocking roads and highways were common in Charlotte.

“These people are nuts to run in front of cars like they do … and say, ‘me and my buddy here are going to stop this two-and-a-half-ton vehicle,’” Rep. Michael Speciale, who supports the bill, said. “If somebody does bump somebody, why should they be held liable?”

And of course, Democrats were upset.

“We all know this is being done to try to make a point about protests,” said Democrat Greg Meyer. “It is just going to embarrass us. There is no good reason to pass this bill.”

The bill is now going to the Senate for approval. Hopefully it it is passed quickly.

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