Running over protesters on roadways could soon be legal in North Dakota


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/16/running-over-protesters-on-roa.html


#2

So they’re just legit allowing a form of murder, then? That’s insane.


#3

I guess we can expect to see modified “protest” vehicles.

It’s insane because there are folks that will go out of their way to go legally murder people


#4

Perhaps something lower profile?


#5

What about a group of protesters using a crosswalk to cross the street? Are they game?


#6

Highways don’t have crosswalks.

There is off course a difference between “crossing the street” and “intentionally blocking the street”


#7

“I didn’t mean for my big metal vehicle to kill them when I ran them over at high speed. I didn’t invent physics.”


#8

Not sure where you’re from, but many highways have crosswalks and intersections. You’re thinking freeways, which are the parts of highways that don’t have crosswalks and intersections.


#9

Yep, I’d say that is very very very off course.


#10

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.

It’s a very easy argument to make that one of protesters, while crossing the street, became engaged with somebody in a car shouting at them and then shifted from crossing to blocking even if for a few seconds.


#11

You know what - the previous version of my comment was about how there is no requirement in the bill that the obstruction of traffic be intentional.

But, in fact, no. Just no. There is no fricking way that obstruction of traffic, even intentional, should let someone get away with murdering you. Just none. Your point is irrelevant anyway.


#12

The whole argument of the law is that if there is damage from negligence as opposed to intentional harm. How in the hell does that get proven unless the motorists accelerates at the crowd?


#13

Since anyone who was hit by a car was necessarily in the way of the car when hit, blocking its path, this legalises all vehicular homicide.


#14

Well, you have to give them points for being innovative.

“Yes sir, your right to protest is absolutely protected here in North Dakota. Your right to life … eh, not so much.”


#15

I suppose if a Muslim-American is driving to prayers at the Fargo mosque and is blocked by a group of angry White protesters… ??


The other way out of prosecution is to be 95 and plow thru a Sunday street market.


#16

Odd how it is phrased.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 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.

It doesn’t say that the obstruction has to be intentional or not. (unless motive is already baked into the word “obstructing”)


#17

Plus – unless there is somewhere else a definition of “obstruction”, also doesn’t recognize that there are many legal, desirable reasons to obstruct traffic in a roadway:

  • The good Samaritan blocking traffic because a child ran into the street
  • The rancher driving cattle or sheep across a road
  • The cop blocking a lane after an accident

IANAL, but this law appears to make it legal to kill any of these people as long as the state can’t prove intent.


#18

17 years late!


#19

#20

[quote=“ladlad, post:6, topic:93011, full:true”]
Highways don’t have crosswalks.[/quote]Please, tell us all about the highways in ND.

There are two interstate highways in ND, I-94 and I-29; there are only a few other divided highways in the state, probably 90% of the highways are state highways, which are just two lanes. Several aren’t paved. To say nothing of county roads, section lines, etc. In probably 90% of the state, if you had to walk to a crosswalk to cross the street, it would add several miles to your travels, and is probably topologically impossible in most other cases.

[quote=“ladlad, post:6, topic:93011, full:true”]There is off course a difference between “crossing the street” and “intentionally blocking the street”
[/quote]I must have missed the part of the bill where that was addressed?