Over the past decade, almost every state in the Union has enacted a “Move Over” law. These laws seek to reduce injuries to police officers and emergency personnel who are issuing citations or providing medical care on the side of the road. If you do not appreciate the frequent danger these men and women encounter during a simple traffic stop, then type “move over law” into the YouTube search bar. You will be amazed at the things you see.
“Move Over” laws require drivers to change lanes away from a parked emergency/police vehicle that has its lights flashing. If traffic flow prevents a safe lane change, then the driver must slow down sufficiently to permit safe travel alongside the vehicle. Arizona’s “Move Over” law, Arizona Revised Statutes §28-775(E) went into effect in 2005.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a “Move Over” law, I highly recommend you visit www.moveoveramerica.com. This website not only explains the law but also contains an interactive map of the entire United States detailing when each state’s law went into effect and the potential consequences for violating that law. While most states (like Arizona) consider the “Move Over” statute to be civil traffic in nature, meaning only a fine or traffic school, there are a few states that impose jail time and mandatory license suspension for violating this law – a handy bit of information to possess before embarking on summer vacation.
In addition to requiring drivers to move over for all parked emergency vehicles, many states require that for a tow truck that has its yellow lights flashing. In an extension of this concept, Senate Bill 1138 currently before the Arizona legislature would require drivers to move over for any vehicle – not just emergency vehicles – that is parked at the side of the road and displaying flashing lights, such as a driver who pulled over to change a flat tire.
If you need advice or assistance with traffic violations please call me at (480) 833-2341.
Attorney Profile: Brian D. Strong, Criminal Defense Attorney