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If you drive a motorcycle in Arizona, you may be asking yourself: Can motorcycles drive on the shoulder? This question may be especially relevant if you’re driving in a high-traffic area or during an emergency. Here’s an overview of what you need to know regarding whether or not it is legal for motorcycles to drive on the shoulder in Arizona.

Arizona Motorcycle Laws and Regulations

Can motorcycles drive on the shoulder?

Just like any other state, Arizona has laws regulating where and how motorcycles can operate. Motorcycles in Arizona must follow the same traffic rules as other vehicles, with a few exceptions. One common question is whether or not motorcycles can legally drive on the shoulder.

Is It Legal for Motorcycles to Drive on the Shoulder in Arizona?

Arizona does not permit motorcycles to drive on the shoulder of the road. The shoulder is typically reserved for emergency vehicles, disabled cars, and pedestrians. Using the shoulder as a travel lane can lead to fines, points on your driving record and an increased risk of accidents.

Reasons Why Driving on the Shoulder is Prohibited

  1. Safety Concerns: The shoulder is not designed for regular traffic. Driving on it can be dangerous for both the motorcyclist and other road users.
  2. Obstruction: Emergency vehicles and disabled cars need the shoulder to be clear to safely perform their duties.
  3. Increased Risk of Accidents: Driving on the shoulder can lead to collisions with vehicles merging or pulling over.
  4. Road Conditions: Shoulders may have road conditions that aren’t suitable for driving.

Alternatives to Driving on the Shoulder

Can motorcycles drive on the shoulder during high traffic?

If you’re stuck in traffic while driving your motorcycle in Arizona, here are some alternatives to driving on the shoulder:

Lane Filtering

Two-wheeled motorcycles in Arizona are permitted to pass other stopped vehicles going in the same direction when the following conditions are met:

  • The speed limit doesn’t exceed 45 miles per hour.
  • The motorcycle is traveling no more than 15 miles per hour while filtering.
  • The motorcycle cannot pass vehicles that are moving.
  • The street must have at least two adjacent lanes going in the same direction.

Emergency Pull-Overs

Use designated pull-over areas or exit the freeway to find a safe route.

Patience in Traffic

Though it may be challenging for some drivers, the safest option in many cases is to wait patiently for traffic to clear.

What to Do If You Receive a Citation

If you receive a citation for driving on the shoulder, speak with an attorney who’s experienced in traffic law. Your attorney can advise you regarding your rights and the best course of action. In some cases, the quickest resolution may be to pay the fine. If the fine was unwarranted, the best option may be to contest it in court. 

Contact Us

Understanding whether motorcycles can drive on the shoulder in Arizona is crucial for staying compliant with state laws and ensuring your safety. If you have any legal questions or need assistance with a traffic citation, contact Sargon Law Group. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona are here to help you navigate Arizona traffic laws and protect your rights.