Amid reports of a tour bus with 33 people aboard essentially being washed off a Kingman road and being flipped on its side, there are mentions of Arizona's "stupid motorist law."
In many, many cases, drivers like that who decide to roll on into the flooded area don't get charged, because the state's "stupid motorist law" is kind of stupid.
To offset the costs of rescuing idiots who think they can drive into deep floodwater, state law requires that the people being rescued be liable for those rescue costs.
However, news outlets run the every-so-often story about how hardly anyone ever gets subjected to the law, due to the fine print:
A driver of a vehicle who drives the vehicle on a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, and that is barricaded because of flooding is liable for the expenses of any emergency response . . .
So, yes, if there is a barricade telling you not to go in floodwater, and you still go in it, you're a moron. However, you'd think anyone who willingly drives into the newly formed Rio Grande in the middle of the street is stupid, too.
According to the Associated Press account on the Kingman incident, "It's questionable whether the 'Stupid Motorist Law' would apply because the area wasn't barricaded, and another section requires that a person be convicted of reckless driving before having to pay up to $2,000 for emergency response or rescue operations."
If you drive into floodwater, and have to be rescued, it would seem that it's your fault -- period. What do you think? Should the "stupid motorist law" apply to more stupids?
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