PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Speeding through flooded roadways in Pasco County is now a costly violation.
County leaders recently issued an order that doing so is against the law. Deputies can write a $500 citation for violation of a county order, or if a driver is uncooperative, he or she can be arrested on an obstruction charge.
Amanda Hunter, a spokesperson with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office says it’s an effort to protect people and property.
“You drive down somewhere that’s already got a lot of water, that water has to displace somewhere,” she said. “It displaces into people’s yards, potentially into their homes. Water can do a lot of damage and we’re trying to prevent that. Just by, not only warning people, but potentially citing or arresting them.”
Michael Morra lives in Holiday and has seen it all too often when heavy rains flood his neighborhood. Drivers trying to get where they need to go simply don’t seem to care.
“They come down here and force water into that house over there will flood,” Morra said. “The other house with the white fence … that one floods.”
Jennifer Ferris lives in the Bass Lake neighborhood of New Port Richey, another area that has been prone to flooding. She’s only lived in the area for about six months and has already had water almost into her home.
“A couple weeks ago, it was literally a couple of feet from my door,” Ferris said, standing next to her daughter Kendyll. “It was concerning. I was very concerned. It was like an ocean. It was right there. “
Ferris isn’t convinced citations or even the threat of an arrest will slow people down.
“I think it’s always a deterrant,” said Ferris. “But I also feel like, if people want to do something, to a certain extent, they are going to do it anyway regardless.”
Hunter says deputies aren’t on patrol looking for violators, but is relying on the public to call in when they see an issue, and deputies will check it out.
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