Arizona has a variety of unique policies, ranging from the decision to ignore daylight saving time to the less commonly discussed Move Over law, which protects drivers and government personnel pulled over on the side of the road. Despite its relative obscurity, the Move Over law is an essential part of roadway safety, and following it is a responsibility shared by all drivers. As its name implies, the law stipulates that you must move over one lane to give stopped vehicles with blinking lights room.
You might not always be able to make room for cars on the side of the road. One lane roads, heavy traffic conditions, or other circumstances can make it impossible to safely move to the next lane. In these situations, the law makes allowances, instead, requiring that you slow down considerably and remain attentive. You should be prepared to stop immediately if needed, and you should always keep an eye out for people or objects that might suddenly enter your path of travel.
When it was first introduced in 2005, the Move Over law was designed to protect emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, and highway workers, especially on busy highways. Since then, its definitions have expanded to include any vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. Stranded motorists face just as serious a threat from speeding cars, and are afforded the same protections under the current law. Whether you see flashing sirens or blinking emergency lights, it’s your responsibility to drive with caution and move over.
It’s important to remember that highways aren’t the only place the law applies. Even on quiet residential streets or local roads, your responsibilities and rights to safety never change.
Beyond the safety hazards caused by people who have forgotten the law or willful ignorance of the Move Over law, violating it has legal repercussions. Even if you don’t cause an accident, the traffic citation you receive will cost you anywhere from $150 to $650.
Despite attempts to spread knowledge about Arizona’s Move Over law, some drivers remain unaware of the policy and may continue to practice unsafe and illegal driving habits. These violators account for a significant percentage of roadside collisions and can cause serious damage, bodily harm, and death. Collisions involving stationary, pulled over vehicles kill as many as twenty-three highway workers a month nationwide, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
Drivers on the road have a responsibility to ensure your safety while your emergency lights are on. If you’ve been a victim of an auto accident after pulling over, you’re likely entitled to compensation. Escamilla Law Group can provide you with the dedicated, highly trained Phoenix attorneys you need, and ensure you receive a fair settlement. Schedule a free consultation today by contacting us at (623) 321-0566.
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