Driving

Arizona's Move Over Law

Under Arizona law, drivers of motor vehicles are required to change lanes – if they can do so safely – or to at least slow down significantly – if changing lanes is not possible – as soon as they notice a stranded driver, road or highway worker, tow truck driver, other roadside assistance provider, emergency responder, or law enforcement officer on or beside the roadway ahead of them.

Drivers of motor vehicles who see any person – or any vehicle with flashing lights – on or beside the roadway ahead of them must move over at least one lane in order to create a safe margin of space when they pass.

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) Section 28-775(E) states the following:

If a person who drives a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle and the stationary vehicle is giving a signal by displaying alternately flashing lights or is displaying warning lights, the person shall do either of the following:

  1. If on a highway having at least four lanes with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction as the approaching vehicle, proceed with due caution and if possible, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle.
  2. If changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, proceed with due caution and reduce the speed of the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.

Why did Arizona enact a “move over” law?

Across the United States, hundreds of people die each year after being struck by a motor vehicle while on or beside a roadway. National averages show how frequently the lives of stranded drivers, road and highway workers, tow truck drivers, other roadside assistance providers, emergency responders, and law enforcement officers are lost when the drivers of other motor vehicles fail to move over. For example: An average of one tow truck driver is killed every six days. An average of twenty-three highway workers are killed every month. An average of one law enforcement officer is killed every month. And an average of five firefighters are killed every year.

What may happen if I fail to move over?

Here in Arizona, the driver of a motor vehicle who fails to move over as soon as they notice a stranded driver, road or highway worker, tow truck driver, other roadside assistance provider, emergency responder, or law enforcement officer on or beside the roadway ahead of them may ticketed and fined between $150 and $650. Needless to say, there is also the serious possibility that someone will be injured or killed, which could result in even stiffer financial penalties, a civil lawsuit, criminal charges, and imprisonment.

Resources

Arizona Department of Public Safety – “Move Over Law”: https://www.azdps.gov/safety/move-over

Arizona Department of Transportation – “Driving Safety Home: Arizona’s Move Over Law”: https://azdot.gov/media/blog/posts/2015/10/14/driving-safety-home-arizona's-move-over-law

Arizona Department of Transportation – “Move Over AZ: Every Vehicle, Every Time”: https://azdot.gov/media/blog/posts/2013/03/11/move-over-az-every-vehicle-every-time

Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 28-775: https://www.azleg.gov/ars/28/00775.htm

MoveOverAZ: http://moveoveraz.org

 

 

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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