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Oklahoma bill would shield drivers from liability if they hit protesters during a riot

Drivers would have to hold "reasonable belief" of suffering injury or death.

Updated: March 13, 2021 - 1:16pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Republicans in Oklahoma this week passed a law that would offer immunity to drivers who strike protesters and other pedestrians during the course of a riot. 

Activists aligned with antifa and Black Lives Matter numerous times in 2020 were seen to shut down roadways and highways as part of often-violent demonstrations and protests. In many cases drivers attempted to maneuver around the blockades, at times striking and injuring protesters. 

Oklahoma House Bill 1674 would offer such drivers immunity in cases and others where a riot was underway.

Drivers who cause the injury or death of an individual will not be held criminal liability, the law states, if “the injury or death of the individual occurred while the motor vehicle operator was fleeing from a riot … under a reasonable belief that fleeing was necessary to protect the motor vehicle operator from serious injury or death.”

The bill stipulates that drivers must have “exercised due care at the time of the death or injury” in order to avoid liability.
 

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