Saturday, March 13, 2021

Bill to make blocking a highway a felony and provide immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill someone blocking a highway advances.

by Rod Williams, 3-13-2021 - During the summer BLM-Antifa insurrection we saw the insurrectionist repeatedly use the tactic of blocking highways to call attention to their cause.  

Blocking a highway can cause severe disruption to people's lives such as missed weddings, missed doctor's appointments, missed airline flights, missed picking up children from school and missed important work.  It can also cause death if someone is about to have a baby or rushing a sick relatives with chest pain to the doctor, or if police, fire and ambulances responding to emergencies are stuck in traffic. 

Liberals generally approved of the tactic of blocking roadways and liberal city governments, including our own Nashville government even helped the protestors in blocking traffic. This outraged me and many Americans. There were a few instances where people protesting in the roadway were hit by motorist.  Sometimes it was an accident and charges were not filed, sometimes the motorist was charged with a crime.  While purposely running down someone who is blocking traffic is not justified, my outrage is primarily reserved for those who block traffic.  One should not play in the street and blocking traffic should not be a form of protest that is abetted. 

A bill that would address this, HBO513, is working its way through the Tennessee General Assembly. It would make obstructing a highway a felony and it would also grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill someone blocking a highway. The bill has advanced through the House Criminal Justice Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. In the Senate, the bill has passed Second Reading and been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Currently obstructing a highway or street is a Class B or C misdemeanor, This would make it a Class E felony punishable by up to six years in prison and would also impose a mandatory $3,000 fine. I support this bill. It needs to pass. 

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