"Move Over" law now covers all vehicles on the side of the road

"Move Over" law now covers all vehicles on the side of the road

July 19, 2011

The "Move Over" law now pertains to all stationary vehicles on the side of the road.

Ever been stuck on the side of the road?

Perhaps a flat tire was to blame, or maybe an overheated engine forced you to pull over. Whatever the reason, most will agree the side of a busy freeway is not the ideal parking spot.

Since 2005, a law has been in place that aims to protect authorized emergency vehicles on the side of the road by making it a requirement that other drivers move over into a farther lane if possible to give a little space for safety.

But, starting July 20, the law will be amended to include the same precautions for any stationary vehicle – that includes tow-truck drivers, emergency personnel, stranded motorists, ADOT employees and anyone else in a vehicle on the side of the road.

Commonly known as the “Move Over” law, the amended ARS 28-775 states that if a person driving a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle giving a signal or displaying warning (hazard) lights, the person shall do one of the following:

  • If there are enough lanes on the highway and if the person is able to do so safely, the driver must proceed with caution and if possible, with regard to safety and traffic conditions, move over and yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the stationary vehicle.
  • If changing lanes would be impossible or unsafe, the driver must proceed with due caution and reduce speed, maintaining a safe speed for road conditions.
  • The law is a popular one because 49 states have a “move over” law pertaining to emergency vehicles. According to AAA Arizona, of those states, 40 (including Arizona) have a more comprehensive rule that includes all vehicles.

“Public policy already recognizes that this is a safety issue for law enforcement,” said Kevin Biesty, ADOT Government Relations Director. “It’s common sense that the same policy should apply to anyone on the side of the road, whether it be one of our ADOT crews, a tow-truck driver, or a parent changing a tire with their kids in the van.”

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