Drivers Who Ignore Flooded Roadway Signs Can Face Criminal Charges

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Ignore warnings of high water on the road ahead and you’re risking more than your car.

In Texas it is a crime to bypass barricades during flooding.

“You could actually take someone to jail,” warned DPS Sgt. Lonny Haschel.

Under state law, a driver could be charged with a class B misdemeanor and punished with up to six months behind bars and a $2,000 fine.

Last year, two San Antonio men learned that first hand when they found themselves in handcuffs.

“Law enforcement takes it very seriously, when they say don’t mess with the barricades and that’s why the fine is so high,” said Sgt. Haschel.  “It’s a matter of life and death.”

A traffic camera in Houston caught a woman driving into a flooded tunnel in April.  Her SUV is seen slowly disappearing under the water, but she never emerges. Her body was found the next day.

“As little as six inches can cause some vehicles to float. If you think about it, you’re driving on four balloons. You get in that water. Your car becomes buoyant. It floats, and you may go off…” said Haschel.

It’s a danger drivers may understate, but one the law does not.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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