Move Over, AZ: What New Drivers Need to Know About Arizona’s ‘Move Over’ Law

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If you’ve signed up for beginner driving school in hopes of becoming one of the 214 million licensed drivers throughout the country, you probably have some idea of what to expect in these courses. In addition to actually learning the mechanics of driving a car, you’ll find out more about the rules of the road and local laws that impact you while behind the wheel.

AZ drivers, in particular, need to be familiar with state legislation like the “Move Over” law. This law was designed to protect those who serve the public and need roadway clearance to do so, like police officers, firefighters, and emergency workers. In 2011, the law was revised to also include tow truck drivers, work and maintenance crews, roadside assistance personnel, and stranded drivers.

What Does the “Move Over” Law Require?
Drivers must move over to create space (i.e., change lanes) — or slow down, if they are unable to move over — when they see a vehicle with flashing lights pulled over on any type of highway, freeway, street, or city road.

Are There Times When You Shouldn’t Move Over?
If at all possible, you should utilize proper lane change procedures, which you’ll learn in beginner driving school, to move over to the next lane. However, there are situations wherein this won’t be possible. As you practice driving, you’ll find yourself on one-lane roadways or will experience very congested traffic conditions. In cases like these, moving over would be either impossible or unsafe. Should this scenario come up, you should reduce your speed and proceed with caution, keeping a sharp eye out for any people or objects that could enter your lane.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Move Over?
If you have the ability to move over but fail to do so, you could face a hefty fine. Just a few months ago, 26 drivers were stopped on Interstate 19 when they violated this law during an eight-hour police exercise. Officers chose to educate these drivers, giving most written warnings in lieu of citations. Even though the law first took effect in 2005, it’s clear that many Arizona drivers either aren’t aware of the law or simply don’t care enough to follow it. However, if you’re fined, you could be forced to pay up to $650 for the offense.

What Else Should I Know About the “Move Over” Law?
When you learn to drive, you’ll come to understand that laws like these aren’t arbitrary; they were enacted to protect people in dangerous situations. While it may not seem like a big deal to you, a split second decision to not change lanes could impact your life — and the lives of others — forever. In your driving courses, you’ll learn more about what to do in tricky situations that will undoubtedly come up at some point when you’re on the road. Being totally familiar with laws like Arizona’s “Move Over” law will help keep you and others safe (and will keep you from having to pay a heavy fine!).

To find out how beginner driving school can help you learn the rules of the road and become more comfortable behind the wheel, contact Driving Arizona today.

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