In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it's easy to overlook the critical importance of road safety. Like many states, Arizona has implemented laws to protect the lives of those on our roadways, especially those responding to accidents or breakdowns. Arizona's "Move Over" law (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 28-775(E)) plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of emergency responders, roadside workers, and anyone who has had to pull off onto the side of a road.
The Move Over Law:
Arizona's Move Over law is a legislative effort designed to protect law enforcement officers, emergency responders, tow truck operators, and any Arizona driver who must pull over to the side of the road. The law requires all drivers to move over one lane to create a safe margin of space when passing by any vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road.
Who is Covered?
Arizona's Move Over Law applies to any vehicle displaying flashing lights on the side of the road. This includes law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, tow trucks, and construction or maintenance vehicles displaying warning lights. But this also applies to passenger vehicles displaying their hazard lights as well. Arizona's Move Over law applies if you see any vehicle on the side of a road showing any flashing light!
The Importance of Compliance:
Across the nation, hundreds of people are killed or injured every year when they're struck by a vehicle after pulling over to the side of the road or highway. On average, these "struck-by" crashes kill 1 tow-truck driver every six days, 23 highway workers and 1 law-enforcement officer every month, and 5 firefighters every year. Tragically, stranded motorists are also struck and killed.
Penalties for Violation:
The penalties for violating Arizona's Move Over Law can be severe. Failure to comply with the law is a moving violation, which can significantly impact your auto insurance premiums. Additionally, fines for violating the Move Over law vary by jurisdiction but can range from $150 to $650. Most importantly, violators risk causing accidents that could result in injury or loss of life.
Tips for Compliance:
Stay Alert: Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of any emergency vehicles or roadside workers on the side of the road.
Change Lanes Safely: If it is safe, change lanes to provide additional space for the emergency vehicle, roadside worker, or other vehicle displaying flashing lights.
Reduce Speed: If safely changing lanes is not possible, "proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of [your] vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions." (Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 28-775(E)(2)).
Educate Others: Spread awareness about the Move Over Law among family, friends, and colleagues to ensure that everyone understands what the law requires motorists on Arizona’s roadways to do!
Arizona's Move Over Law serves as a reminder that safety on the road is a shared responsibility. By complying with this law, drivers can create a safer environment for other drivers, emergency responders, and others who risk their lives to help others in need. Let us all work together to make Arizona's roadways safer for everyone.