Spectator: Beware the Potholes

If you drive around Rockland County this time of year, you are going to see and feel more potholes than usual. This is pothole season!

You may think that every town is covered by insurance in case your car should disappear into one of the potholes that seem to be everywhere. When you attempt to bring a claim against a municipality for damage done to your car by a pothole, you had better be prepared to hear about things known as “exclusions.” These are the little footnotes that the insurance companies write into every policy. These footnotes are difficult to find because they are usually written on the back of the envelope that you throw away. Some are written in Latin!

The Spectator, as a community service, will list for you some of the exclusions that exist in most towns in Rockland.

1. You must forward a photo of the pothole at least six months before you hit it.

2. Potholes that you hit must be listed in the official almanac of potholes because not every pothole in the road is a true pothole. You may have thought so but the federal government has rules that things are not always what they seem!

3. A pothole must be visible to the naked eye for at least ¼ mile.

4. A word of caution: some potholes are endangered species and if you hit one you will be liable for penalties under the federal wildlife conservation act.

5. A pothole that is filled with water (these are the most dangerous) cannot be considered “bona fide” potholes because since they are filled with water, they are no longer “holes.” What had been a hole is now filled with water. Your car is out of luck!

6. You must measure the length and depth of the pothole. If it exceeds 24 inches and three inches deep, it is a crater and cannot be considered a pothole.

7. If your car is stuck in the pothole, you will receive a ticket for obstructing traffic.

8. A flat tire doesn’t count as damage to your car; the entire wheel must fall off!

9. If you hit a pothole once before, you are considered a “second offender” and punishable under the law.

10. You must be a resident of the town where you hit the pothole. “To hit it, you must live in it!”

11. Do not cross lanes to avoid a pothole. This is not playing fair.

So, my friends have fun. It’s pothole season so make the most of it. Just remember a pothole is a highwayman’s best friend; it keeps him busy.