Florida county mulls 'Stupid Motorist Law' for those who drive into flooded roads

If the ordinance is enacted, it will fine drivers up to $2,000 if they ignore flood warning signs or barricades in the road and get stuck.

DELAND, Fla. – Driving around barricades and into floodwaters could land you a hefty fine if leaders in Florida's Volusia County have their way.

The county discussed the proposed ordinance, dubbed the "Stupid Motorist Law," during a council meeting Tuesday morning. If eventually enacted, it would fine drivers if they ignore flood warning signs or barricades in the road during weather emergencies and get stuck.


Volusia County Councilman Danny Robins is a former first responder himself with the Daytona Beach Police Department, and is among those supporting the idea.

"Listening to the outcries to our first responders and being a first responder for so long, there’s nothing worse than taking your staff or your personnel off their tasks to address something that could have easily been avoided with some signage or some knowledge," Robins told FOX Weather. "And also the threat of a penalty and being responsible for your actions, just like a speeding sign."

A similar law in Arizona fines drivers up to $2,000, where the fine covers the cost of emergency response to rescue the stranded driver and vehicle. Florida state laws limit what cities and counties can do in these situations, but Robins said they could enact a similar law during declared state of emergencies.

"Under the state of emergency we can have the potential to make it a second-degree misdemeanor and make it punishable by a $500 fine," Robins said.

Their county council and lawyers are still studying the type of language their bill could use and still comply with state laws, but they are also lobbying state legislatures to consider making a "Stupid Motorist" law to cover the entire state.

"I’m excited, I think it would be a great deterrent because we dealt with it every day," Robins said. "We have our great first responders that are out there trying to service that folks that need the emergency response… There’s nothing worse than getting hit with a wave or getting further property damage from this type of reckless behavior during these times of emergency."