Valerie Vinyard

Two recent deaths on Arizona’s highways are a grim reminder to motorists to stay focused – and move over.

On June 13, a car hit and killed a man working on an Arizona Department of Transportation project as he removed barricades from Loop 101 Pima Freeway in Scottsdale. 

Earlier in June, a truck hit and killed a tow truck driver responding to a stalled vehicle on Interstate 10 near Benson.

Both of these deaths could have been prevented if the drivers who hit them had adhered to the state’s Move Over law. 

The law originally was drafted in 2005 in the state to combat the increasing number of injuries and fatalities to police officers and emergency workers along our highways and freeways.

AAA lobbied to revise the Arizona law in 2011 to include any vehicle with its flashers or hazards on, including tow trucks and passenger vehicles. 

Having that safety margin protects people and reduces the risk of causing a deadly collision. 

There is a variation of the Move Over law in all 50 states, yet many motorists aren’t aware of it. Arizona’s Move Over law requires motorists to move over one lane – or slow down if it is not safe or possible to change lanes – when driving by any vehicle with flashing lights pulled to the side of the roadway. 

If it’s not possible to move over, either because there isn’t a second lane or because of heavy traffic, drivers must reduce their speed and proceed with extreme caution.

Arizona’s Move Over law applies to stationary vehicles either on the right side or left side of the road. 

On two-lane roads and highways, drivers are not required to move from their lane.  In these situations, drivers must only slow down and proceed cautiously until they are past the stopped vehicle. 

In work zones, drivers should slow down to no more than the posted speed limit, keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead and pay attention. 

Violators of the Move Over law could face a stiff fine that ranges from $150 to $650 and have points added to their license. 

AAA is a leader in traffic safety, responding to more than 1,200 calls for roadside assistance daily in Arizona. Go to aaa.com/trafficsafety.

 

Valerie Vinyard is a public affairs specialist with AAA Arizona. Contact her at vvinyard@arizona.aaa.com or at 520-258-0518.

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