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‘Stupid motorist’ law may deter some, but not others

PHOENIX — It’s the monsoon season and for anyone who cannot resist the urge to plow his or her car into flooded streets and washes, the state has a law just for them.

Under the “stupid motorist law,” drivers who ignore barricades and signs warning of floods ahead may be responsible pick up the tab for the cost of rescue, which in many cases involves police and fire helicopters.

“If a person picks up the cost of a rescue it can be very expensive,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said.

He said the costs can run into thousands of dollars. Just a few inches of floodwater will carry a car downstream. It takes much less to sweep a person away.

“Ideally we hope no driver enters a flooded wash no matter how shallow it appears to be.”