How often have you seen this?
You're driving locally amidst heavy rain and over a prolonged period the potential for local flooding in low-lying areas near rivers and such creates potentially dangerous flood conditions.
Local traffic enforcement, police and possibly folks from the department of public works or other emergency responders move quickly to divert traffic away from problem areas and set up necessary detours for motorists safety. In some places they may be positioning police to direct traffic or setting up signs directing traffic away from problem areas.
And yet, invariably, there's always some motorists who think the directives from local traffic enforcement do not apply to them; they choose to drive through the very area they're being directed to drive away from... And when they do they endanger themselves and others.
Where's the logic? Pennsylvania is asking the same question and the state has just implemented a law specifically for motorists who ignore traffic control signs.
Act 114, signed by Governor Tom Corbett, reinforces the critical need for all drivers to obey traffic control signs. The law aims to increase safety for motorists and emergency responders in areas where flooding or other hazardous conditions exist.
"Too often, motorists decide their immediate needs outweigh the safety warning signs and they ignore them, which increases hazards for them and emergency responders," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. "This law underscores that we take safety seriously. When motorists are confronted with emergency road closures, we urge them to use common sense and obey the signs that are placed to keep them safe."
Under the law, motorists who drive around or through signs or traffic control devices closing a road or highway due to hazardous conditions will have two points added to their driving records and be fined up to $250.
If the violation results in a need for emergency responders to be called, the fine is increased to between $250 and $500. In addition, violators will be held liable for repaying the costs of staging the emergency response.
We enthusiastically endorse this law and encourage other states to consider similar legislation to punish those motorists whose lack of concern for public safety endangers too many too often.