Arizona hikers may want to think twice before braving the extreme desert climate. A new proposed law called the “Stupid Hiker Law” would have it so any hikers who need help from first responders would have to foot the bill.
The law is modeled after Arizona’s “Stupid Motorist Law” which requires drivers who endanger themselves by making poor decisions, like driving into a flooded area, would have to pay for their rescue.
Charly McMurdie with Rural/Metro says those who hike in this extreme heat and need help should pay. “I think that if you feel like you need to go hike in 100 degree weather and you get injured or accrue a bill for any reason you should be held responsible for that.” McMurdie says if the law passes, hikers who need help might have to pay a pretty hefty bill, “That bill could turn out to be thousands of dollars right from a helicopter ride from the scene to the hospital, to an ambulance ride at maybe just under a thousand dollars.”
Even if you are not the one who made the call to 911 for help, you would still have to pay the bill, “Somebody can call 911 on your behalf while you are out there because they feel you really do need emergency services so you can still be taxed with a bill even if you are not the one that calls,” says McMurdie.
The law was proposed after the state rejected another proposed law that would ban hiking in more than 110 degree heat. The “Stupid Hiker Law” has been received support from first responders in Phoenix and hope it will discourage people from endangering themselves in the extreme heat.