Motorist liability introduced in response to pipeline protests
January 16, 2017
A bill introduced by an oil patch lawmaker would provide an exemption for the driver of a motor vehicle if they unintentionally injured or killed a pedestrian obstructing traffic on a public road or highway.
“It’s shifting the burden of proof from the motor vehicle driver to the pedestrian,” said Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, who admitted the bill is in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in southern Morton County.
He said a response, in the form of House Bill 1203, was needed after groups of protesters blocked or gathered close to roadways and caused problems as motorists tried to drive by.