The Bismarck Tribune reported on Wednesday, that Republican North Dakota Rep. Keith Kempenich has introduced a remarkably evil bill (HB 1203) that would legally absolve drivers for unintentionally hitting pedestrians who are obstructing traffic on a public road or highway. Drivers would be exempt from liability for injuring or killing a pedestrian in this way.
The pedestrians Kempenich is referring to specifically are protesters, like the ones who used obstructive tactics to successfully block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through Standing Rock Indian Reservation lands in his state.
Kempenich invoked the Dakota Access protests in the course of justifying his bill’s existence, claiming that groups of protesters blocked roadways, making it difficult for drivers to pass through. Kempenich asserted that these roadways are, “not there for the protesters,” who were, “intentionally putting themselves in danger.”