Stupid Motorist Law? Watch out for reckless driving charges
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Sometimes drivers that are none too swift end up needing a swift water rescue.
That may not be true of all nine drivers fished out of high water in Tucson and Pima County yesterday but some of them ignored common sense and drove into danger.
Some of them could pay for the splash they made.
Bad weather and bad judgment kept rescue crews busy.
Near 1st and Limberlost, Diana O'Brien saw lots of drivers struggling with the weather.
"It was crazy. The water was up to like the middle of the doors on all the cars; and they were like pulling off and stopping and not wanting to go anywhere. Everyone had their emergency lights on yesterday."
The stupid motorist law says if you ignore barricades and get stuck, the department that rescues you can recover costs---up to two thousand dollars.
Departments that run on your taxes rarely collect. One reason is if crews are already on the clock it's hard to figure extra costs.
Rural Metro is a private company. People buy subscriptions for its service. Rural Metro bills stupid motorists but rarely.
Capt. Grant Cesarek of Rural Metro says, "A lot of times it ends up being folks that are already subscribers to Rural Metro so under their current subscription contract any sort of rescue they would need from us is covered."
A bill may be the least of your troubles. You could get up to four months in jail on a reckless driving charge.
On Tanque Verde, Saturday a Sheriff's Deputy popped a driver for reckless driving. She drove in as the deputy was helping another stalled driver.
But there's good news for bad drivers. Even your stupidity flooded your car. You're covered.
Robert Tait of Budget Insurance says, "The same as if you rear-ended somebody. Obviously you weren't paying attention. You didn't stop your car in time. You shouldn't have done what you did but your insurance is gonna cover the damage to your car, assuming you have physical damage coverage."
Of course that means, if you have liability only, you're on your own to fix your flood damage.