Thinking of Protesting in Texas – Beware of the Proposed New House Bill

As many peaceful public protests are being held around the United States, we have recently witnessed tragedy can strike.  The 1st Amendment protects citizens’ rights to peacefully protest, with the limitations that the government can regulate the time, place, and manner in which the protest is conducted. See United States Supreme Court case Ward v. Rock Against Racism

How else might the government weaken the constitutional rights of peaceful protesters? On July 20th, prior to the horrific events at Charlottesville, Texas Representative Pat Fallon filed proposed legislation to protect motorists who hit demonstrators “blocking traffic in a public right-of-way” if the driver exercises “due care.”

As currently drafted, House Bill 250 would would not lessen criminal penalties for deadly hit-and-runs; however, an injured protester, who was found by a court to have been blocking traffic, would be unable to recover damages in a civil suit against a driver who was found by a court of law to have “exercised due care.”

Sec. 72A.001. INJURY TO PROTESTOR [sic]. (a) A person operating a motor vehicle who injures another person with the motor vehicle is not liable for the injury 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.
(b) This section does not affect a person’s liability for an injury caused by grossly negligent conduct.

This proposed bill will indirectly dilute the 1st Amendment protections of citizens by curtailing their ability to recover damages in the event of a civil lawsuit for medical treatment for fractures, amputations, traumatic brain injuries injury, spinal cord injury, and compensation  for rehabilitation, lost income, scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering.  Currently in Texas, we have a type of comparative negligence law for cases involving pedestrians injured by drivers. Texas law allows pedestrian victims to recover for the proportion of fault not assigned to the plaintiff. Texas Rep. Fallon’s proposed bill would take the current law regarding injuries to pedestrians and apply a zero-liability result for drivers when their victims are participants of a demonstration.


Houston Events in April 2017

There are so many events in Autism Awareness Month!

Here’s info about some Houston fun events I found online:

April 1 – Sickness Inc Custom Ride for Autism

April 1 and 2 10:30 am to 6:30 PM McDonald’s Houston Children’s Fest

April 3 10 AM to 3 PM Sensory Friendly Say at Children’s Museum of Houston

April 4 PM to 8 PM – 4th Annual Profit Share for Autism – LIUB with Stella & Dot! Free

April 4 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM – The Benjamin J. Geigerman Lecture FREE – Pipelines to Employment for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder”

April 7 6 – 7 PM – Autism Parent Workshop

April 8 8 AM – 5th Annual Bridging the Gap Between Home and School Conference & Resource Fair – FREE

April 8 – Market Days Autism Awareness

April 22 12 PM  – Harris Center’s 15th Annual Picnic in the Park (Autism and IDD Awareness Fair) – George Bush Park

April 22 4:30 PM – Strokes for HOPE! Jennifer Ekeoba’s Autism Awareness Birthday Paint Party $40

April 22 10 AM to 4 PM – Autism Awareness Fest – Embrace the Spectrum – FREE and updated info at

April 29 9 AM – 1 PM From Stress to Strength $10

April 29 1 PM – WHO Wants to Race 5K & 10K for Autism Awareness – Houston

April 30 – Autism Awareness Brunch

Feel free to add any events I missed!