Arizona Emergency Vehicle Laws

Posted On February 7, 2024 Arizona Laws by John Allen Phebus

Emergency vehicles are defined as those used by law enforcement, medical technicians, fire departments and other authorized emergency personnel. In Arizona, there are laws in place to help facilitate the movement of an emergency vehicle through traffic to better serve those in need of their services, as well as to prevent roadside accidents involving parked emergency vehicles. Breaking these laws can have serious consequences for the driver.

Emergency Vehicles Have the Right-of-Way

The right-of-way is a traffic rule that permits a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian to proceed across a roadway ahead of others. Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 29-775 gives authorized emergency vehicles the right-of-way when they are exhibiting their red or blue lights and giving an audible signal, such as a siren.

Upon the immediate approach of an emergency vehicle displaying these signs, motor vehicle drivers (as well as pedestrians) must yield the right-of-way and immediately drive to a position as close to the right-hand side of the road or curb as possible, clear from any intersections, and remain there until the emergency vehicle has passed.

Arizona’s “Move Over” Law

Every year, a number of emergency personnel lose their lives and suffer serious injuries in roadside car accidents. Collisions can occur when emergency vehicles are parked on the side of the road or highway while workers render assistance. Other drivers on the road may drive too close to the parked emergency vehicle or fail to notice it due to driver distraction. This can result in devastating accidents.

Arizona’s “Move Over” Law aims to prevent these accidents by requiring motor vehicle drivers to: 1) proceed with caution; 2) make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency vehicle if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions; and, if moving over is not possible, 3) reduce the speed of the vehicle to maintain a safe speed for road conditions.

The Move Over Law applies to all emergency vehicles that are displaying their flashing lights and are pulled over on any street, road or multi-lane highway. This includes fire department vehicles, ambulances, law enforcement vehicles and other authorized emergency vehicles. It also applies to road crew vehicles such as tow trucks and utility services in Arizona.

Following Emergency Vehicles Is Not Allowed

State law prohibits the driver of a vehicle other than one on official business from following any authorized fire department vehicle closer than 500 feet while it is traveling in response to a fire alarm. It is also against the law to park a vehicle within the block that a fire vehicle has stopped to answer an emergency call.

Penalties for Violating Arizona’s Emergency Vehicle Laws

If a driver fails to obey Arizona’s laws regarding emergency vehicles, he or she could receive a citation for a moving violation. Breaking the Move Over Law can come with a fine that ranges from $150 to $650 per offense.

The driver could also be assessed two to eight points on his or her driver’s license. If a driver accumulates eight or more points in any 12-month period, his or her driver’s license could be suspended for up to one year.

Finally, if a driver causes an automobile accident that results in injuries or deaths, the driver could face criminal penalties and legal responsibility for damage caused. If you get involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, contact the lawyers at The Law Offices of John Phebus Glendale Criminal and Personal Injury Lawyer for legal advice.