Lawmakers file bill making some drivers immune to civil liability if protesters injured

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) -A Tennessee Senator has filed legislation which would make the driver of a vehicle immune to civil liability if they hit a protester.

SB944 was filed by Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) on Thursday in the Senate. In the House, Rep. Matthew Hill filed the same legislation as sponsor.

The bill states: "A person driving an automobile who is exercising due care and injures another person who is participating in a protest or demonstration and is blocking traffic in a public right-of-way is immune from civil liability for such injury."

The bill then adds: "a person shall not be immune from civil liability if the actions leading to the injury were willful or wanton."

Ketron and Hill provided the following statement regarding the bill:

"I think it's a little bit ridiculous, is my initial reaction," said local resident Joanne Wesner.

If passed, the bill would take effect July,1 2017.

In January, Metro Nashville Police launched an investigation about claims of a man driving into protesters in Nashville.

Witnesses said the car drove through a line of safety workers in orange vests near West End and Murphy Road. MNPD said the driver of the car is a 68-year-old man.

The driver told police the protesters blocked him and hit his car. He said while he was driving through them, the protesters jumped on the hood of his car. Protesters said the driver hit the subjects.

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