Bill That Would Protect Drivers Who Hit Protesters Fails In N. Dakota

Jason Chulack Reporting Intern
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Members of the North Dakota House of Representatives voted against a bill on Monday that protects drivers who accidentally hit pedestrians in the road, according to Grand Forks Herald.

House bill 1203 was introduced last month by Rep. Keith Kempenich in response to the protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Although the bill doesn’t contain language that specifically targets the protesters, it’s clear that it was intended to keep them off the road.

“A driver of a motor vehicle who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway is not guilty of an offense,” part of the bill reads.

Critics believed that while the bill was intended to specifically target the pipeline protesters, it could have had consequences for people blocking roadways for events such as parades or street fairs.

“That’s the problem with this, is that it’s not just one situation,” said Rep. Marvin Nelson.

The bill was defeated in a 41-50 vote.

Jason Chulack