What is the ‘Move Over’ law?

Do you know that Arizona has a “Move Over” law that requires you to change lanes or slow down when passing an emergency vehicle, such as a police car, that’s stopped at the side of the road? If you didn’t, you’re far from alone.

Arizona Revised Statute 28-775 put the “Move Over” law in to place in response to increased awareness about the dangers posed to both emergency vehicles and first responders who are stopped at the scene of an accident or to help a stranded motorist.

According to the law, you’re also expected to pull over to the far right and stop your vehicle when an emergency vehicle is approaching with flashing lights until after it has passed. On a four-lane highway, you’re expected to change lanes away from any stationary emergency vehicles (and first responders who may be on the scene) whenever it’s safe to do so. On a two-lane highway, you’re expected to reduce your speed and proceed with caution, yielding the right-of-way when necessary.

Naturally, you want everyone out there on the road to be safe. The only problem, of course, is that the wording of this particular statute leaves many situations up to the judgment of the driver involved. Your definition of a safe act and a cautious speed may differ from someone else’s. If that someone else just happens to be an officer of the law, you could be given a traffic ticket or even charged with reckless driving.

If you’re accused of violating the “Move Over” law, find out how an experienced attorney may be able to help you.