Avoid Tickets & Violations in Arizona
Regardless of how far or short of a distance you’re traveling, you should always make sure you’re a safe and responsible driver every time you get behind the wheel. Like every other state throughout the nation, Arizona driving rules and regulations are meant to ensure your safety and that of your fellow motorists. As a responsible driver, it’s your job to know the Arizona driving rules so that you will always be on the right side of the law.
Right of Way
While the law doesn’t actually “give” the right of way to any particular motorist, it does state who must yield in a given scenario. For instance, at a “T” intersection, the driver on the street that is about to end must yield to oncoming traffic in both directions of the cross street. You must obey all traffic signs and signals, and always yield to pedestrians; however, pedestrians must also follow the posted crosswalk and cement markings, and only walk where they are given permission to. Treat yield signs as a 4-way stop, with the car that arrived at the stop first being the one to proceed first. When turning left, yield the right-of-way to ANY oncoming traffic or pedestrian.
It is against the law to follow any emergency vehicle closer than 500 feet. When an emergency vehicle approaches and is clearly responding to a call (AKA the lights are flashing and siren is activated), move as quickly and safely as possible to the right, slowing your vehicle to a stop until the emergency vehicle passes.
While you should always obey the posted speed limits, there are certain times at which you should adjust your speed for the present weather conditions. When driving on wet or flooded roads, reduce your speed accordingly, and especially do so, on roads covered with snow or ice. If weather is bad, you should also double your following distance from the cars in front of you so as to give yourself room to stop if need.
Speed limits will be lower in a construction zone, and since roadways may often be diverted to allow work, you will typically see many orange signs posted with directions to follow. Failure to obey these signs could result in injury or even death to you or one of the construction workers, who are out in the open and vulnerable to traffic. Watch out for pavement markers indicating a change in lane direction, as well as flaggers providing direction on whether to stop your vehicle to allow other lanes to continue, or construction vehicles to pass through.
Tickets and Violations in Arizona
Different tickets and penalties are assessed for various violations. While some may only require a traffic ticket with a small fine, others may result in license suspension or even jail time. Aside from typical speeding and parking citations, more severe tickets and violations in Arizona include:
- Running a Red Light
If you are caught and convicted of running a red light, you will be required to attend an Arizona traffic school. Many of these can now be done online and around your schedule, to make it easier on yourself. However, if you run a red light and cause an accident resulting in life-threatening injuries to another driver or a passenger, the penalties are much harsher. You will be fined up to $500 and you may have your driver’s license suspended for a period of up to 3 months. If the accident results in death, the penalties grow further. In all scenarios, you will receive points on your license and the violation will appear on your driving record.
- Drinking and Driving
Arizona does not take drinking and driving lightly. For a first-time DUI conviction, you will pay a minimum fine of $250 and be required to attend an alcohol education class. Penalties will increase with each conviction and/or the severity of the intoxication. A second conviction could suspend your license for an entire year, and if you cause any injuries, you’re looking at significant jail time. You may also be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID) on your car, which will test your blood alcohol content each time you drive, both to start the car and periodically during your commute. If the IID finds any trace of alcohol in your system, the car will not start.