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It’s a busy weekend night, and you’re stuck in traffic. Ahead, you notice an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing. The surrounding cars slow to a stop, but there is no other lane to merge into. What should you do in this situation? Learn more about the Arizona Move Over Law, how it affects you, and why it went into effect nearly two decades ago to protect emergency vehicle drivers as well as everyone else on the road.

What Is the Arizona Move Over Law?

Many “move over” laws went into effect around the country after an incident in 1996, when a paramedic in South Carolina was hit by a passing car while assisting the victim of an accident. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona saw the need for the creation of its own version of this law that protects motorists, emergency vehicles, and the victims of a road accident in 2005.

The Arizona Move Over Law states that when motorists approach a stationary emergency vehicle that has its emergency lights on (or another type of “warning” signal like flashing or alternating light colors), the motorist must slow down and merge into another lane when possible.

If you’re driving on a road with more than two lanes, you should merge into a lane that’s not right next to the emergency vehicle. When this isn’t possible, or when it’s not safe to switch lanes quickly, slow down until you can either merge or someone directing traffic lets you know what to do.

Why Is the Arizona Move Over Law Important?

There are versions of this “move over” law in nearly every state in America. Many states require that you move to the right if you hear or see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind your car. If you see a stopped vehicle to the front of your car, you might need to stop, slow down, or merge with traffic to your left, depending on the state you’re driving in. This law is important for the following reasons:

  • It could save lives: The Arizona Move Over Law helps ambulances and other emergency vehicles reach the scene of an accident on time. Ambulance drivers can typically drive up to 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit to reach the victims of an accident quickly — but it’s impossible for them to drive this fast if there are any cars blocking their way.
  • It protects you and other motorists: When emergencies happen, people tend to panic. Having a dedicated law that addresses which way you should go when you see an emergency vehicle helps everyone know what to do in these specific situations. It can also help you avoid a preventable car accident.

Questions About the Arizona Move Over Law? Get Legal Help From Sargon Law Group Today

Were you in a situation in Maricopa County, Arizona, with an emergency vehicle where you did not know what to do or how to redirect your vehicle? Call us today to learn more about the Arizona Move Over Law, how it may affect you legally, and how to proceed if you have legal questions pertaining to this safety law. We look forward to meeting with you and hearing your concerns.