CONSUMER PROTECTION: DO YOU QUALIFY UNDER THE “ARIZONA STUPID MOTORIST LAW”?
Driving during rain in Valley can be a harrowing experience. As my Eastern friends constantly remind me, we aren’t very good at it. But also, when it does rain, it comes so hard and fast, and the desert floor is so unwilling to absorb it, that we end up with lakes and rivers all over the place.
For many, it is common knowledge that driving your car across a road with running or standing water is a big no-no. The car stalls, you get stuck, and the next thing you know you are on the nightly news with the whole metro laughing. And that’s if you don’t drown. For the rest of you who would risk driving over the water, I am here to impart some knowledge.
First, no matter how tempting or fun it looks, or even how late you are, don’t drive through the water. Very few make it, and not making it will definitely ruin your day (along with your car and your ego).
Second, if you do decide to risk it (because your brand new Ford Fiesta can handle anything you throw at it) and then get stuck, you are going to get a bill for the cost of any rescuers that are required to come save the day, up to $2,000 each.
You will foot the bill because Section 28-910 of Arizona law (which is fondly referred to as Arizona’s Stupid Motorist Law) says so. It places the liability on the “stupid motorist” who decides to drive through the water, gets stuck, and requires assistance. And neither firemen nor sheriffs nor paramedics nor ambulances nor tow trucks come cheap.
Oh, and by the way, insurance plans are allowed to (and most do) exclude coverage. The bill is yours and yours alone.
It’s called the Arizona Stupid Motorist Law for a reason.