Recalling Arizona’s Unique and Most Forgotten Traffic Laws
There’s an old adage about driving that many parents stress to their anticipating teen drivers to remind them that act of driving is a privilege, not a right. While many drivers have grown beyond the standard parental safety lessons, there are still many driving mistakes occurring on our Phoenix roadways today.
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We wanted to take some time to remind you of some commonly forgotten and unique Arizona traffic laws to keep in mind as you drive down city streets or any of the valley’s freeways such as the I-10, I-17, 101, 202 or US-60.
- If the roadway curves or is near the very top of a hill, Arizona drivers cannot make turns, including U-turns, if the other vehicles’ drivers cannot see your vehicle within five hundred feet from any direction of your vehicle – ARS 28-752
- Some streets, such as 7th Avenue, Central Avenue and 7th Street in Phoenix have reversible lanes. These controversial lanes act as traditional center turn lanes most of the time, but during the morning and evening rush hour, are used for through traffic. This means the center lane cannot be used as a left-hand turn lane for anyone traveling the opposite direction of the high-traffic designations. The lanes were designed to be thoroughfares into and out of Phoenix when freeways such as Arizona 51 didn’t exist. They are quite dangerous in practice, as many people are not used to the rules of these unique lanes, and the areas they are in are highly congested.
- You only have to pull over to the right for emergency vehicles if there is not a cement divider in the middle of opposing lanes of traffic. We would hate to be the driver of the emergency responder vehicle during rush-hour traffic, trying to get through a busy intersection for the on-ramps and off ramps for a freeway entrance/exit!
- While Arizona stresses the use of seat belt usage, a highway patrol officer, sheriff employee or city police officer cannot pull you over for not wearing your seat belt unless they have another citation to issue you. It should be noted that passengers who are underage must wear a seatbelt at all times, and the driver can be pulled over and cited if passengers fail to follow this rule. Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. We still urge wearing seat belts at all times because while vehicles can be repaired from auto accident damage, we cannot repair your quality of life.
- Like many other states, the right-most lane of highway driving is for those entering and existing as well as for those driving under the speed limit. The left-most lanes are typically occupied by those who are passing slow drivers or desire to safely flow at a higher speed. You can actually get pulled over for impeding traffic, or as Phoenicians like to call it, clogging passing lanes
There are many more driving laws that are often forgotten for Arizona and other states, so be sure to know and follow all of the driving laws for any state where you drive.
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