Move Over, It’s the Law

Arizona’s “Move Over ” law requires motorists to move over one lane — or slow down if it is not safe to change lanes — when driving by any vehicle with flashing lights pulled to the side of a road or highway. 

 

Arizona’s “Move Over” law applies to all vehicles with flashing lights pulled over on any freeway, multilane highway or city road or street. It aims to protect everyone who uses our roads and highways and everyone who works on or next to them.

 

On a national average:

  • one tow truck drier is killed every six days 
  • 23 highway workers and one law enforcement officer are killed every month
  • five fire fighters are killed every year

due to Move Over law violations. Help keep Arizona first responders safe and Move Over.  

 

 

What is Arizona’s Move Over law?

Arizona’s Move Over law is a measure designed to protet the lives of everyone who uses our roadways. The law requires all drivers to move over one lane to create a safe margin of space when passing by any vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. 

 

This law took effect in 2005 to reduce injuries and fatalities to law-enforcement officers and emergency responders assisting the public. It was enhanced in July 2011 to protect everyone, including stranded motorists, tow truck drivers, roadside assistance providers and roadwork and maintenance crews, as well as emergency responders and law enforcement officers. 

 

What if I can’t move over?

The law recognizes that sometimes it is not safe or possible to move over because of traffic conditions or because a second lane does not exist. In those situations, slow down and proceed with caution. Watch for people or objects that could enter your travel lane and be prepared to stop. 

 

How does the Move Over law differ from yielding the right of way to emergency vehicles?

Yielding the right of way to an emergency responder requires you, as a driver, to pull to the right-hand side of the road and stop when a police or other law enforcement officer, fire truck, ambulance or other emergency vehicle approaches using a siren, lights or other warning devie. You must wait until the emergency responder(s) has passed by before you can resume driving. 

 

Who does the Move Over law protect?

Everyone! Although emergency responders, tow-truck drivers, roadside-assistance providers and road crews are most frequently at risk, any driver can encounter a situation where he or she must pull over to the side of the roadway. The law covers every vehicle pulled over with any type of flashing lights. Remember: Every vehicle, every time. 

 

How serious is the problem?

Across the nation, hundreds of people are killed or injured every year when they’re struck by a vehicle after pulling over to the side of the road or highway. On average, these “struck-by” crashes kill one tow truck driver every six days; 23 highway workers and one law enforcement officer every month; and five firefighters every year. Tragically, stranded motorists are also struck and killed. 

 

Can I be cited for failing to comply with the Move over law?

Yes, failure to comply with the law is a moving violation. Fines vary by jurisdiction but can range from $150 to $650.

 

What types of roadways does the law apply to?

Arizona’s Move Over law applies to all public roads and highways statewide, including local roads and surface streets, interstates, parkways and state highways. It can be enforced by any law enforcement officer, including local police, county sheriff’s deputies and Department of Public Safety troopers. 

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