Rep. Matthew Hill’s bill to shield drivers who hit protesters fails

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee committee has voted down a bill to protect drivers from lawsuits if they hit protesters who are blocking traffic.

On Wednesday, the House Civil Justice Subcommittee voted against the legislation by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill of Jonesborough.

The bill would grant immunity from civil liability to drivers who are exercising due care and accidentally injure a protester who is blocking traffic.

Rep. G.A. Hardaway, a Memphis Democrat, said the bill would be constitutionally suspect and embolden people to think they can hit protesters. He read tweets about President Donald Trump’s visit to Nashville last week, including one that incorrectly says it’s legal to run over protesters because of the bill.

Hill said he doesn’t endorse those comments, and his bill doesn’t intend to sanction driving into protesters.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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