The right of the people to peacefully assemble and exercise freedom of speech does not extend to protesters doing stupid things like blocking traffic or engaging in dangerous and intimidating behavior on the roads.
Driving in traffic requires enough concentration without having to worry about some overzealous protester jumping out in front of your car or truck. And we’ve seen plenty of irresponsible behavior by protesters over the past several years.
No one is going to be given the right to deliberately run them down, but a bill just passed by the North Carolina House will exempt drivers of civil liability if they accidentally hit a protester who has stepped out into traffic or is otherwise blocking the road.
Here’s the legislation: “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.'”
“‘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.'”
And lest anyone claim this legislation gives drivers license to go after protesters, “‘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.'”