Arizona "Move Over Law" Protects Residents from Being Injured in Car Accidents
Many car accidents in the state ironically enough happen when people have their vehicles stopped on the side of the roadway. Governor Jan Brewer just recently enacted a new law to protect people who have had to bring their vehicle to a stop on a roadway. Often times, people find themselves stuck on the side of a roadway which is a very dangerous place to be due to other cars and drivers not expecting a vehicle to be on the side of the roadway, even if that vehicle is stopped.
The old "move over law" passed legislation in 2005. That law said that when a vehicle was stopped on the side of the roadway, drivers passing the stopped vehicle were required to slow down or move over a lane when approaching the vehicle that was stopped on the side of the road.
The new bill, Bill 1133, gives added protection not to just vehicles that are stopped on the roadway, but also to vehicles that have their lights flashing. In other words, it is not just for vehicles that are broken down and stranded but also for vehicles that are being worked on where their flashes are being displayed. This way when people are traveling down busy roadways, it will give people added protection to work on getting their vehicle drivable without being in as much as a dangerous place.
Many times when people are working on their vehicles, they need more room to maneuver the equipment and maybe even additional cars that need to get the stopped vehicle on its way to being drivable again. This new bill gives the driver of the stopped vehicle more safety as drivers passing the vehicles will be required to slow down.
Many police officers and others have lost their lives helping individuals with broken down vehicles. When the law went into place back in 2005, many people thought slowing down for broken down vehicles was common sense. You would think it is common sense but unfortunately many people don't think of the dangerous conditions that are imposed on individuals who are stuck on the side of the roadway. Now, with the new law, drivers will be taught of the necessity to slow down when vehicles are parked on the side of the roadway and this will be part of driving school manuals and tests. Bringing safety concerns to drivers when they are in driving school is another step to making sure people are not hurt when their vehicles are stopped on the side of the roadway.
Arizona drivers will need to recognize as well that if they do not move over a lane and slow down when passing such vehicles, that they will be subject to citations. Of course, legislation did not pass this new law to give out more tickets, it is all about the safety of residents and to avoid further injury in car accidents. This new law will protect roadside workers, police officers, and other individuals, not just owners of broken down vehicles.
The most recent car accident in Arizona that would have potentially been avoided because of this new law involved a AAA tow truck driver and a motorist who were working to fix the motorist's vehicle. While the two were trying to get the motorist's vehicle attended to, a heavy equipment truck swerved into them, killing both individuals. Two years prior to this incident, there were two other AAA tow truck drivers who were killed while helping people on the roadside.
The new law to help people on the roadside be more safe will go into effect on July 20, 2011. For those who fail to slow down and move over a lane, they will be subject to a citation for as much as $250.00 in addition to court fines and other potential fines.
At The Husband & Wife Law Team, we have handled many cases that involved individuals being hurt on the roadside. One such case we brought to trial was where our client was seriously injured. Another driver veered into our client and rear ended them causing serious harm to both people. The insurance company lawyer for the driver that swerved into our client argued that our client should not have been on the roadway because his vehicle had broken down before. Clearly, our clients did not do anything wrong as they were stopped on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance. The jury did not find any fault against our clients; however, this new law, still would have been useful to argue to the jury as the driver not only rear ended our client's vehicle that was stopped on the side of the road but also would have been in violation of this new law as well. Moreover, had this law been in force and been taught to drivers all along, it is probable, that the driver at fault might have been more aware of her surroundings and not have swerved into a vehicle stopped on the roadside and two innocent people would not have been injured at all.
As Arizona accident lawyers, The Husband & Wife Law Team is very excited to see that a new law has been exacted to save the lives of innocent individuals, Hopefully, in the future, more lives will be saved because of Bill 1133.
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