By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor
Starting Wednesday, July 20, a new law in Arizona provides the same protection for all travelers that are provided for emergency personnel parked along roadsides in the state.
The Grand Canyon State already requires drivers to “move over” to the next lane or slow down when approaching emergency vehicles on the shoulder. Violators face up to $250 fines depending on the jurisdiction.
According to AAA, 49 states have implemented similar safety zone rules. Hawaii remains the lone holdout.
Approved by Arizona lawmakers this spring, the new law expands the vehicles covered to include any vehicle parked on the side of the road, including large trucks.
The rule specifies that if a person driving a vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle displaying warning lights, the passing vehicle is required to increase the distance between the stopped vehicle or at least slow down if they cannot move to a non-adjacent lane.
“Public policy already recognizes that this is a safety issue for law enforcement,” ADOT Government Relations Director Kevin Biesty said in a statement. “It’s common sense that the same policy should apply to anyone on the side of the road.”
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