North Dakota isn’t playing around.
Lawmakers in the state are set to vote — and likely pass — legislation that would permit accidentally running over protesters who block the entirety of a highway or road.
This bill appears after months of protests by the left against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced the bill, which states that if a driver “unintentionally” causes injury or death to someone blocking traffic on a roadway, then the driver will not be liable for damages.
Kempenich said he was spurred to act after Dakota Access Pipeline protesters last year moved to block public roadways, scaring some of his constituents.
“It turned from a protest to basically terrorism on the roadways, and the bill got introduced for people to be able to drive down the roads without fear of running into somebody and having to be liable for them,” he told CNN.
“If people stay off the roadway, it has nothing to do with you,” he said. “[But] if you’re on the roadway trying to intimidate some people, then you’ve got an issue.”
However, North Dakota isn’t the only one that’s cracking down on road protesters. Many other towns that have had to endure petulant street protests are attempting to discourage demonstrators by working to enact similar legislation.
In recent weeks legislatures in Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa have moved to add laws specifically targeting roadway blocking.
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