House Bill Protecting Motorists Fleeing from Riots Clears Committee

Mike Seals - February 19, 2021 2:40 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that would expand the definition of incitement to riot and provides protections for motorists fleeing a riot passed the Judiciary-Criminal Committee on Wednesday.

House Bill 2215, authored by Rep. Kevin McDugle, R-Broken Arrow, makes it unlawful and an incitement to riot for a person to obstruct an exit or entrance into a private business or to obstruct any street, road, highway or thoroughfare that is used by the public. Additionally the bill provides that a motor vehicle operator who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual is not criminally or civilly liable if the injury or death occurred while the motor vehicle operator was fleeing from a riot.

“I believe strongly in the constitutional right to peaceful protest and I support fully those individuals who want to exercise that right,” McDugle said. “However, when a demonstration rises to the level of a riot, inhibiting the movement of the public and putting them in a dangerous situation, we need to have laws in place that hold rioters accountable and protect the rights of our citizens to flee from the danger.”

HB 2215 passed the Judiciary-Criminal Committee by a vote of 6-1 and is now eligible to be considered by the House.

 

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