North Carolina has been in turmoil for a long time. Just last year, the Keith Lamont Scott Protests broke out into riots so severe that many local shop owners had their buildings looted and a long list of people from both sides were injured.
Now, North Carolina officials are fighting back against the nonsense by giving drivers protection against being sued of demonstrators attempt to block the road.
- Previously, if a driver hit a protestor (even accidentally) they could be sued for millions depending on the level of injury. This was true even if the protester jumped in front of the vehicle at the last second or otherwise attempted to force the car to strike them to make a point.
- Bill HB 330 “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.” Note that this isn’t the same as giving permission to mow people down; it just protects drivers from being sued if protestors make driving conditions dangerous.
- HB 330, which passed on a 67 to 48 vote just recently, still requires that drivers “exercise due care.” For example, you won’t be able to mow people down out of anger or swerve to hit people and still claim amnesty.
- Republican leader, Justin Burr, who played a significant role in penning and pushing through the new protective bill, also explained why HB 330 is so critical.“As we’ve seen time and time again,” he said, “folks run out in the middle of the streets and the interstates in Charlotte and attempt to block traffic.” These are the exact conditions witnessed after last year’s riots.
- The bill’s goal is to ensure that drivers aren’t held responsible for actions out of their control. And a protestor running into the road to get hit on purpose just to prove some kind of agenda? That qualifies.
- But Burr was also quick to recommend caution on the part of drivers, too. “This bill does not allow for the driver of a vehicle to target protesters intentionally,” he cautioned. Drivers are still encouraged to drive safely and avoid congested areas whenever possible. Unfortunately, with the anatomy of a riot, a quiet street can go from empty to congested in mere seconds – and that’s where this law comes in.