Missouri bills push to protect drivers if they hit protestors

News

ST. LOUIS- Two Missouri lawmakers are sponsoring legislation for the 2021 session that involves shielding drivers from criminal penalties if they hit a protestor during a demonstration.

State Rep. Adam Schnelting (R- St. Charles) filed HB56. It is called the Fleeing Motorist Protection Act.

Rep. Schnelting tweeted that his proposed bill would ensure motorists who are trapped in their vehicle during a riot are civilly and criminally protected under state law.

His tweet also gave the example that if your grandparents are caught in a mob and are being threatened, they shouldn’t be held liable for inadvertently hitting a rioter if they flee the scene in order to save those in the car from physical danger.

“When I consider the prospect of my sweet wife and three-year-old daughter being caught in a riot, and when I consider all of the young mothers and elderly constituents I have being harmed by rioters, they should have every right to protect themselves by flight without having their lives destroyed by litigious rioters afterwards,” said Rep. Schnelting in a statement to FOX2 about why he decided to sponsor the legislation.

Rep. Schnelting also explained two conditions must be met for these motorists’ protections. The motorist must be caught in the mob and, the motorist must reasonably believe they are in danger – a similar standard to what already exists in our laws through the Castle Doctrine.

Related Story: Man identified after fatal accident with a truck during a St. Louis demonstration Saturday

Here is the text from HB56:

If a person attempts to flee in a motor vehicle from an unlawful or riotous assemblage, such person shall not be criminally or civilly liable for any deaths or injuries to any individual participating in the unlawful or riotous assemblage that may result if the person reasonably believes he or she or any occupant of the motor vehicle is in danger.

Fleeing Motorist Protection Act

On the other side of the state, State Senator-elect Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) has filed a similar bill. It would remove liability from a driver if they hit someone taking part in a protest. It also does not excuse gross negligence.

Here is text from SB66:

Any person operating a motor vehicle who injures another person with the motor vehicle shall not be liable for any damages if, at the time of the injury:

(1) The person operating the motor vehicle was exercising due care; and

(2) The person injured was blocking traffic in a public right-of-way while participating in a protest or demonstration.

2. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any act or omission of the person operating the motor vehicle that constitutes gross negligence.

State Sen. Rick Brattin’s proposed legislation

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News