Tennessee bill makes obstructing highways a felony, grants immunity to drivers who unintentionally hit someone

National

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) โ€” A bill in the Tennessee General Assembly would make obstructing a highway a felony. It would also grant immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill someone blocking a highway.

The House Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to take up HB 513 on Wednesday.

The bill would upgrade the offense of obstructing a highway or street from a Class B or C misdemeanor to a Class E felony. It would also apply to obstructing a railway, waterway, hallway, “or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles or conveyances.”

Class E felonies are punishable by up to six years in prison. The bill would also impose a mandatory $3,000 fine.

Under the legislation, if a driver “who is exercising due care” unintentionally injures or kills someone blocking a highway, the driver would be immune from prosecution for the injury or death.

The Senate version of the bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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