Dakota Pipeline Madness Means Driving Into Protesters Could Be Legal

A North Dakota house bill aims to protect drivers who negligently run into pedestrians.

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President Donald Trump is reheating interest in running the Dakota Pipeline through tribal lands in North Dakota. That means the state house bill proposed by Republican lawmakers, aimed at legally protecting drivers from injuring or killing errant pedestrians (read: protesters) on roadways, is suddenly relevant again. Brought to the house floor earlier this month, the bill was aimed squarely at the protesters at Standing Rock. 

Read the language for yourself:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages.”

In other words, if a motorist negligently happens to veer into pedestrian on a public street, road, or highway, said motorist would be free of any charges she would face if she injures or kills the pedestrian.

There are, of course, two sides of the coin. On one hand, it seems like a subterfuge for anti-protesters to essentially get away with murder—even if it is by negligence they hit a pedestrian—and on the other, pedestrians shouldn’t be on “roadways,” in the first place, so they should liable for what happens to them when they get in the way. 

What does it mean to you? Let’s hear your opinion.