Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Did you know there's a "Stupid Driver Law" in AZ???

Yes, I found out last week and at first I thought they were kidding, but not....apparently, there is a "Stupid Driver Law" and no other state more deserving than Arizona!!!

And what the heck do they mean by "Stupid Driver", you ask? Well......it's designed for those idiots who ignore police warnings and barricades and put themselves in situations where they need rescue, which is costly to the state. What kind of situations? Well, floods for instance - and now it's time to meet Mr. "Hummers are made to float" guy, one of my favorite examples:

SCOTTSDALE - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will invoke the state's "stupid motorist law" for the first time, after a Cave Creek man drove around traffic barricades and tried to cross a flooded street last week in his Hummer. The driver, Paul Zalewski, 47, reportedly ignored warnings not to enter Creek Canyon Road in Cave Creek on Friday. But "Hummers are made to float," sheriff's spokesman Lt. Paul Chagolla said. "Other people told him not to go in there, and he did it anyway," endangering himself and six passengers, including three children.

Zalewski was cited for reckless driving. If he is found guilty of the charge in Cave Creek Municipal Court, he will be prosecuted under the state's stupid motorist law, which was passed in 1995 and requires drivers to reimburse the state for the cost of rescues. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Travis Anglin said the cost of the 55-minute rescue could exceed $800, based on hourly rates for fuel and maintenance of the rescue helicopter, two employees inside the aircraft, insurance and any damage sustained during rescue.

On the other side of the coin, there are people out there who will not call for help with fear that they will be arrested, because only too late do they realize they may be "Stupid Driver Law" candidates - with that, meet Stupid Driver #2:

A woman whose SUV stalled in a flooded wash Thursday resisted initial rescue efforts because she worried about being arrested, officials said.
It was very "out of the ordinary," said Rick Flores, battalion chief for Rural/Metro Fire Department, of the effort to pull the woman and her two children from the vehicle stuck in the CaƱada del Oro Wash at North Overton Road.
The agency's swift-water team made its way to the GMC Yukon then stood in the water and negotiated with Kristina Sullivan Repasch for 15 minutes before she agreed to leave the vehicle.
She kept saying she didn't want to be arrested and she didn't want her kids to be taken from her, Flores said.
She repeatedly asked rescuers to leave, rolled up the windows and locked the doors to keep them away.
Meanwhile, a rescue crew in a helicopter was watching for any debris upstream that could wash down and cause more problems, Flores said.
Once Repasch agreed to be removed from the vehicle, rescuers carried the children - ages 14 and 11 - to safety. They used a raft to rescue Repasch because she is paraplegic, Flores said.
Repasch, 37, was taken to a hospital then booked into the Pima County jail later Thursday. She was charged with two counts of child abuse, reckless driving and failure to obey a traffic device.
Under Arizona's "Stupid Motorist Law," a driver who removes or ignores barricades at a flooded wash could face a minimum $2,000 fine. Agencies can also seek fines for each firefighter and piece of rescue equipment used at the scene.

Notice that all these "road warriors" are usually driving SUVs. I believe these guys should get a "Stella" award, and sue the people in charge of those ad campaigns that make you think that you're driving an indestructible, all powerful super vehicle. It could happen......this is America after all.

No comments: