Oklahoma House Approves Protections for Drivers Who Hit Protestors

A heated debate and a party line vote in Oklahoma.

2 minute read

March 12, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

George Floyd

Protestors took to the streets in the spring and summer of 2020. | BLMMinneapolis / Shutterstock

"In a rare, early-morning vote, Republican lawmakers in the Oklahoma House approved legislation to grant immunity to drivers who hit protesters," reports Carmen Forman.

On a party-line vote, with Republicans in favor, the Oklahoma House passed House Bill 1674, which "grants civil and criminal immunity for drivers who unintentionally injure or kill protesters while 'fleeing from a riot,'" according to Forman. The bill would also "allow prosecutors to charge with a misdemeanor protesters who 'unlawfully obstruct' streets or highways to a point that it hinders traffic. The legislation also outlines punishments and fines for organizations involved in the planning of a riot."

The article includes a lot of detail about the debate the preceded the vote, with Democrats and Black legislators expressing dismay that HB 1674 is taking priority over reforms of the problems of systemic racism that led to the protests. Republicans insist they are trying to protect drivers from protestors.

HB 1674 still requires approval from the state Senate and a signature from the governor to become law. Previous reporting by the Associated Press provides additional background on the bill.

There's precedent for this kind of response to the Black Lives Matters protests of the Spring and Summer of 2020. In 2017, six state legislatures considered similar bills after a driver killed a protestor in Charlottesville, Virginia. Only a bill in North Carolina advanced beyond committee.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in The Oklahoman

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times

A futuristic version of New York City, with plants growing neatly on top of modern skycrapers.

Friday Eye Candy: 20 AI-Generated Cityscapes

AI-generated images are creating new landscapes and cityscapes, capable of inspiring awe or fear.

March 17, 2023 - Chris Steins via Medium

A group of wetsuit-clad swimmers gathers to talk in shallow water near the shore of the San Francisco Bay.

Proposed Pool Would Make an Olympic-Sized Play Area in the San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay is usually an undesirable place to swim, except for a hearty few. A development proposal seeking assistance at the state level would add a pool to the Bay’s waters to make the idea of going for a swim more appealing.

March 24 - The Mercury News

Chicago elevated train over busy city street surrounded by high-rise buildings

Chicagoland Transit Agencies Call for State Funding as Budget Shortfall Looms

Illinois transit agencies want to see changes to a law requiring them to collect half of their revenue from transit fares, arguing that low ridership and staffing shortages will lead to a massive budget gap without intervention.

March 24 - Crain's Chicago Business

Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

Panel: Minneapolis Zoning Updates Should Reflect Mixed-Use Future

A discussion of post-pandemic changes in work and commuting concluded that the city’s overhaul of its zoning code should be less restrictive with land uses.

March 24 - MinnPost

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.