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THE leader of Oxfordshire County Council has branded motorists who drive along roads closed due to flooding as “ignorant” and “foolhardy”.

County councillor Ian Hudspeth was speaking after the local authority received a large number of reports of drivers ignoring road closure signs and continuing their journey regardless.

Mr Hudspeth has now urged other motorists to take to Twitter to shame them.

He said: “Just about everybody at the county council is fed up of having to repeat over and over again that it is foolhardy to drive a vehicle on to sections of road that have flooded.

“Our highways teams do not put up road closed signs because the notion takes their fancy.

“They do so because roads are covered in water, will damage vehicles, could harm motorists and will cause bow waves that flood nearby properties.”

The council has said that with water companies around the UK warning that flood water may contain sewage, there is also the chance that driving through it will spread this sewage on to your car and further into flooded streets.

Mr Hudspeth said people who spot drivers ignoring a road closure sign should tweet using the hashtag #bowwavebandit.

Thames Valley Police has said that if a driver ignores a direct order from a police officer then they can be fined.

But spokesman Lucy Billen said: “Some people have to drive past a road closure sign to get home but if others cause an obstruction or put people in peril then we could obviously look into it.

“We would treat each report on an individual basis and give them a proportionate response.”