The "stupid-motorist law" is a law in the U.S. state of Arizona that states that any motorist who becomes stranded after driving around barricades to enter a flooded stretch of roadway may be charged for the cost of their rescue. The law corresponds to section 28-910 of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona, one of the Four Corners states, is bordered by New Mexico to the east, Utah to the north, Nevada and California to the west, and Mexico to the south, as well as the southwestern corner of Colorado. Arizona's border with Mexico is 389 miles (626 km) long, on the northern border of the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California.
The Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) is the name given to the statutory laws in the state of Arizona. The ARS went into effect on January 9, 1956. It was most recently updated in the first regular session of the 53rd legislature. There are currently 49 titles, although three have been repealed.
If public emergency services (such as a fire department or paramedics) are called to rescue a flooded motorist and tow the vehicle out of danger in Arizona, the cost of those services can be billed to the motorist, plus additional liability of up to $2,000.Motorists are only liable if water already covers the road, barriers are in place but bypassed, and people are rescued from a vehicle. The 'stupid-motorist law' is not a chargeable statute; to be fined under the law, a motorist must commit at least one other violation.
A fire department or fire brigade, also known as a fire protection district, fire authority or fire and rescue service is an organization that primarily provides firefighting services for a specific geographic area. Fire departments are most commonly a public organization who operate within a municipality, county, state, nation, or special district. Private and specialist firefighting organizations also exist, such as those at airports.
A paramedic is a healthcare professional who responds to calls for medical help outside of a hospital. Paramedics mainly work as part of the emergency medical services (EMS), most often in ambulances. The scope of practice of a paramedic varies among countries, but generally includes autonomous decision making around the emergency care of patients.
Although the statute was enacted in 1995, only a handful of incidents had been prosecuted under ARS 28-910 as of 2015.
The need for the law came from the lack of storm sewers in the deserts of the Southwestern United States, combined with heavy rainfall in the desert, usually associated with the summer monsoon. These conditions can lead to flash floods in Arizona, which can unleash powerful torrents of water containing debris ranging in size from sand to boulders. The floods often resemble a concrete slurry due to their low water content; flows may contain as little as 20% water, while still moving at over 20 miles per hour (32 km/h). Only six inches (15 cm) of water is required to reach the bottom of most passenger cars, which can cause loss of control and possible stalling. Most passenger cars will float in just 12 inches (30 cm) of water, and 24 inches (61 cm) of water will sweep most vehicles (including SUVs and pick-ups) away.
A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one-third of the land surface of the world is arid or semi-arid. This includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or "cold deserts". Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location.
The Southwestern United States, also known as the American Southwest, is the informal name for a region of the western United States. Definitions of the region's boundaries vary a great deal and have never been standardized, though many boundaries have been proposed. For example, one definition includes the stretch from the Mojave Desert in California to Carlsbad, New Mexico, and from the Mexico–United States border to the southern areas of Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. The largest metropolitan areas are centered around Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tucson, Albuquerque, and El Paso. Those five metropolitan areas have an estimated total population of more than 9.6 million as of 2017, with nearly 60 percent of them living in the two Arizona cities—Phoenix and Tucson.
The North American monsoon, variously known as the Southwest monsoon, the Mexican monsoon, the New Mexican monsoon, or the Arizona monsoon, is a pattern of pronounced increase in thunderstorms and rainfall over large areas of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, typically occurring between July and mid September. During the monsoon, thunderstorms are fueled by daytime heating and build up during the late afternoon-early evening. Typically, these storms dissipate by late night, and the next day starts out fair, with the cycle repeating daily. The monsoon typically loses its energy by mid-September when drier and cooler conditions are reestablished over the region. Geographically, the North American monsoon precipitation region is centered over the Sierra Madre Occidental in the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Durango, Sonora and Chihuahua.
In late July 2013, a tour bus carrying 33 people was swept up while traveling down a flooded road. The bus was carried 300 yards (270 m) before it was tipped on to its side. Occupants of the bus were able to escape to safety before rescue teams arrived. Because the area was under a flash flood warning at the time, the driver of the bus potentially faced charges under the Stupid Motorist Law. This incident took place in NW Arizona, in the small community of Dolan Springs.[ citation needed ]
The law reads exactly:
28-910. Liability for emergency responses in flood areas; definitions
A. 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 that is required to remove from the public street or highway the driver or any passenger in the vehicle that becomes inoperable on the public street or highway or the vehicle that becomes inoperable on the public street or highway, or both.
B. A person convicted of violating section 28-693 for driving a vehicle into any area that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or overflow of water, may be liable for expenses of any emergency response that is required to remove from the area the driver or any passenger in the vehicle that becomes inoperable in the area or the vehicle that becomes inoperable in the area, or both.
C. The expenses of an emergency response are a charge against the person liable for those expenses pursuant to subsection A or B of this section. The charge constitutes a debt of that person and may be collected proportionately by the public agencies, for-profit entities or not-for-profit entities that incurred the expenses. The person's liability for the expenses of an emergency response shall not exceed two thousand dollars for a single incident. The liability imposed under this section is in addition to and not in limitation of any other liability that may be imposed.
D. An insurance policy may exclude coverage for a person's liability for expenses of an emergency response under this section.
E. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Expenses of an emergency response" means reasonable costs directly incurred by public agencies, for-profit entities or not-for-profit entities that make an appropriate emergency response to an incident.
2. "Public agency" means this state and any city, county, municipal corporation, district or other public authority that is located in whole or in part in this state and that provides police, fire fighting, medical or other emergency services.
3. "Reasonable costs" includes the costs of providing police, fire fighting, rescue and emergency medical services at the scene of an incident and the salaries of the persons who respond to the incident but does not include charges assessed by an ambulance service that is regulated pursuant to title 36, chapter 21.1, article 2.
Good Samaritan laws offer legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are, or who they believe to be, injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. The protection is intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. An example of such a law in common-law areas of Canada: a good Samaritan doctrine is a legal principle that prevents a rescuer who has voluntarily helped a victim in distress from being successfully sued for wrongdoing. Its purpose is to keep people from being reluctant to help a stranger in need for fear of legal repercussions should they make some mistake in treatment. By contrast, a duty to rescue law requires people to offer assistance and holds those who fail to do so liable.
In criminal and civil law, strict liability is a standard of liability under which a person is legally responsible for the consequences flowing from an activity even in the absence of fault or criminal intent on the part of the defendant.
Wrongful death is a claim against a person who can be held liable for a death. The claim is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives, as enumerated by statute.
Vehicular homicide is a crime that involves the death of a person other than the driver as a result of either criminally negligent or murderous operation of a motor vehicle.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) was passed by the 101st United States Congress and signed by President George H. W. Bush. It works to avoid oil spills from vessels and facilities by enforcing removal of spilled oil and assigning liability for the cost of cleanup and damage, requires specific operating procedures; defines responsible parties and financial liability; implements processes for measuring damages; specifies damages for which violators are liable; and establishes a fund for damages, cleanup, and removal costs. This statute has resulted in instrumental changes in the oil production, transportation, and distribution industries.
An emergency vehicle is any vehicle that is designated and authorized to respond to an emergency in a life-threatening situation. These vehicles are usually operated by designated agencies, often part of the government, but also run by charities, non-governmental organizations and some commercial companies. Often emergency vehicles are permitted by law to break conventional road rules in order to reach their destinations in the fastest possible time, such as driving through an intersection when the traffic light is red, or exceeding the speed limit. In some states, however, the driver of an emergency vehicle can still be sued if the driver shows "reckless disregard for the safety of others."
The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be effective.
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.
Emergency vehicle lighting is one or more visual warning lights fitted to a vehicle for use when the driver wishes to convey to other road users the urgency of their journey, to provide additional warning of a hazard when stationary, or in the case of law enforcement as a means of signalling another driver to stop for interaction with an officer. These lights may be dedicated emergency lights, such as a beacon or a light bar, or may be modified stock lighting, such as a wig-wag or hide-away light, and are additional to any standard lighting on the car such as hazard lights. Often, they are used along with a siren in order to increase their effectiveness. In many jurisdictions, the use of these lights may afford the user specific legal powers, and may place requirements on other road users to behave differently, such as compelling them to pull to the side of the road and yield right of way so the emergency vehicle may proceed through unimpeded.
School bus stop laws are laws dictating what a motorist must do in the vicinity of a bus stop being used by a school bus or other bus, coach or minibus providing school transport.
An uninsured motorist clause is a provision commonly found in United States automobile insurance policies that provides for a driver to receive damages for any injury he or she receives from an uninsured, negligent driver. The owner of the policy pays a premium to the insurance company to include this clause. Although not exclusive, this coverage is typically added to an automobile insurance policy. In the event of a qualifying accident, the insurance company pays the difference between what the uninsured driver can pay and what the injured driver would be entitled to as if the uninsured motorist had proper insurance.
Emergency Management BC (EMBC) used to be known as the Provincial Emergency Program and is a division of the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia, Canada. EMBC works with local governments and other provincial and federal agencies year round, providing coordination and support before, during and after emergencies. EMBC is administered under the Emergency Program Act.
Negligent entrustment is a cause of action in tort law that arises where one party is held liable for negligence because they negligently provided another party with a dangerous instrumentality, and the entrusted party caused injury to a third party with that instrumentality. The cause of action most frequently arises where one person allows another to drive their automobile.
The Airport Police Service (APS) is a small police force responsible for providing general security and aviation security duties at the three state airports in Ireland: Dublin Airport, Cork Airport and Shannon Airport. The Airport Police service was first founded in 1936 in Dublin Airport and first became "Authorised Officers" under section 15 of the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1950 for the Minister of Transport.
In traffic laws, a hit-and-run is the act of causing a traffic accident and not stopping afterwards. It is considered a supplemental crime in most jurisdictions.
Vehicle insurance, in the United States and elsewhere, is designed to cover risk of financial liability or the loss of a motor vehicle the owner may face if their vehicle is involved in a collision resulting in property or physical damages. Most states require a motor vehicle owner to carry some minimum level of liability insurance. States that do not require the vehicle owner to carry car insurance include Virginia, where an uninsured motor vehicle fee may be paid to the state; New Hampshire, and Mississippi which offers vehicle owners the option to post cash bonds. The privileges and immunities clause of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of citizens in each respective state when traveling to another. A motor vehicle owner typically pays insurers a monthly fee, often called an insurance premium. The insurance premium a motor vehicle owner pays is usually determined by a variety of factors including the type of covered vehicle, the age and gender of any covered drivers, their driving history, and the location where the vehicle is primarily driven and stored. Credit scores are also taken into consideration. Most insurance companies offer premium discounts based on these factors.
Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage in Pennsylvania is an optional coverage available for all licensed drivers. Although state law requires that all licensed drivers carry liability insurance in order to legally drive a car, the reality is that many drivers don’t comply with this law. A considerable number, nearly 15%, of drivers on the road do not have liability insurance. For obvious reasons, these drivers are known as uninsured motorists (UM). Other drivers comply with the law, but will only carry the minimum liability coverage that is required by the state. This minimum coverage is often not enough to cover the medical bills or property damage costs that are incurred in an accident. Insurance companies refer to these drivers as underinsured motorists (UIM).
In the Western United States and Canada, open range is rangeland where cattle roam freely regardless of land ownership. Where there are "open range" laws, those wanting to keep animals off their property must erect a fence to keep animals out; this applies to public roads as well. Land in open range that is designated as part of a "herd district" reverses liabilities, requiring an animal's owner to fence it in or otherwise keep it on the person's own property. Most eastern states and jurisdictions in Canada require owners to fence in or herd their livestock.
Increases in the use of autonomous car technologies is causing incremental shifts in the responsibility of driving, with the primary motivation of reducing the frequency of on the road accidents. Liability for incidents involving self-driving cars is a developing area of law and policy that will determine who is liable when a car causes physical damage to persons or property. As autonomous cars shift the responsibility of driving from humans to autonomous car technology, there is a need for existing liability laws to evolve in order to fairly identify the appropriate remedies for damage and injury. As higher levels of autonomy are commercially introduced, the insurance industry stands to see greater proportions of commercial and product liability lines, while personal automobile insurance shrinks.