If you enjoy crashing through a group of protesters on the highway like a wrecking ball, North Carolina might become your new favorite vacation spot. Last week, the North Carolina House passed a bill, HB 330, allowing automobile drivers to hit protesters blocking public roads as long as they follow one rule – “exercise due care.”  As long as this rule is followed, drivers who hit protesters cannot be held civilly liable for running over protesters who block the road.

While harming someone is not something supported by this website, irresponsible behavior, like  intentionally blocking traffic on a highway, that violates basic roadway laws while simultaneously creating a dangerous situation is also not something we condone. Protesting can be an excellent method of expressing one’s frustrations and commencing positive change, but there are certain places it should not be done, with roads being near the top of that list. Not only does blocking traffic cause major safety issues for protesters, drivers, and law enforcement alike, it prevents people from getting to work and emergency vehicles from fulfilling their duties.  In a time where employers commonly administer discipline or even terminate employees for being late, blocking traffic for a protest can cause real problems for people who are simply attempting to get to work and support their families.

Despite your opinion on the bill, the ambiguous nature of the legislation will likely be a nightmare when an incident inevitably happens.  As mentioned above, the bill states that drivers must “exercise due care” when running over protester.  However, the author of the bill, Justin Burr, stated “this bill does not allow for the driver of a vehicle to target protesters intentionally.”  Since the natural reaction of a person in the path of an oncoming car is to move out of the way, does a protester have to make it to the sidewalk to constitute the collision being intentional, or do they simply need to attempt to avoid the car on the road?  On top of that, does “due care” include slowing down on the interstate or is plowing through a crowd at 70mph on the preset cruise control acceptable?

To avoid all the legal questions, just stop protesting in the middle of the road, and find a more reasonable place for the demonstration.

{Via Charlotte Stories}

Title Image “Black Lives Matter protest in south Minneapolis” by Fibonacci Blue is licensed under CC BY 2.0