7 Arizona Traffic Laws Drivers Commonly Ignore

Arizona drivers often ignore essential traffic laws like the minimum speed limit and the four-way stop rule.

As a driver, it’s important to be familiar with the traffic code and follow it. Even if you think you know Arizona’s traffic laws, you could be breaking some of them without realizing it.

We’ve listed seven of the most commonly ignored Arizona traffic laws in the sections below. Understanding and following these rules can help keep you safe on the road and help prevent accidents.

Resources to learn more:

1. Arizona Slower Traffic Keep Right Law: The “Move Over” Rule

When you are driving at a slower speed, the Arizona traffic code says you must drive in the right lane. If there is no right lane available, you should stay as far right as possible. You can exit the right lane to pass another car or to make a left turn.

If you are driving slowly on a two-lane road and it would be unsafe for other drivers to pass you, you must pull over if five or more vehicles have lined up behind you. Once all of those cars have passed, you can get back on the road.

On all roadways, a person driving a vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic shall drive the vehicle in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…

AZ Code § 28-721

If a person is driving a vehicle at a speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place on a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe and if five or more vehicles are formed in a line behind the vehicle, the person shall turn the vehicle off the roadway in order to allow the vehicles following to proceed.

AZ Code § 28-704

2. Arizona Flow of Traffic Law: The “Minimum Speed” Rule

Arizona law prohibits driving slowly enough to impede the normal flow of traffic. The authorities can also set a minimum speed limit if slow speeds consistently interfere with traffic flow in a certain area.

The traffic code allows you to drive slowly to safely operate your vehicle or comply with the law. So if you slow down speeding drivers by driving the speed limit, you won’t be cited for driving too slowly.

A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

AZ Code § 28-704

3. Arizona Driving in Left Lane Law: The “Passing on the Left” Rule

If you want to pass another vehicle, you must do so on the left side. You also need to keep a safe distance away from the car you are passing. Stay in the left lane until you have safely cleared the other vehicle. When passing left of the center line, you must return to the right-hand side before coming within 100 feet of oncoming traffic.

If you are being passed, yield the right of way if the other driver sounds their horn or flashes their headlights. You also cannot speed up until the vehicle has finished passing you.

The driver of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left of the vehicle at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.

Except when overtaking and passing on the right is permitted, the driver of an overtaken vehicle shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on audible signal or blinking of head lamps at nighttime and shall not increase the speed of the overtaken vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

AZ Code § 28-723

A person shall not drive a vehicle to the left side of the center of the roadway in overtaking and passing another vehicle unless the left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead. The overtaking vehicle shall return to the right-hand side of the roadway before coming within one hundred feet of any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

AZ Code § 28-725

4. Arizona Rear-End Collision Law: The “Following Too Closely” Rule

Arizona law instructs you to leave a “reasonable” distance between your vehicle and a vehicle you are following. What constitutes a reasonable distance depends on the speed and flow of traffic, as well as road and weather conditions.

The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent and shall have due regard for the speed of the vehicles on, the traffic on and the condition of the highway.

AZ Code § 28-730

5. Arizona Mobile Phone Driving Law: The “Hands-Free Driving” Rule

Arizona requires completely “hands-free” driving. The traffic code prohibits drivers from writing, reading, or sending text-based communications while the vehicle is in motion. It also forbids holding a cell phone or supporting it with any part of your body. This rule doesn’t apply if you are making a call using an earpiece or another hands-free device.

Unless a motor vehicle is parked or stopped, a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway if the person does either of the following:

Physically holds or supports with any part of the person’s body either of the following: A portable wireless communication device, except that a person may use a portable wireless communication device with an earpiece, headphone device or device worn on a wrist to conduct a voice-based communication. A stand-alone electronic device.

Writes, sends or reads any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, email or internet data, on a portable wireless communication device or stand-alone electronic device.

AZ Code § 28-914

6. Arizona Four-Way Intersection Law: The “4-Way Stop” Rule

In Arizona, the first vehicle to arrive at a 4-way stop sign has the right-of-way. But if two vehicles approach from different directions at approximately the same time, the traffic code lets the driver to the right go first. The driver on the left must yield the right-of-way.

When two vehicles enter or approach an intersection from different streets or highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.

AZ Code § 28-771

7. Arizona Left Turn Intersection Law: The “Right of Way” Rule

Arizona drivers making left turns must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. This means you should wait until the vehicles going the other direction have driven through the intersection if you cannot safely turn in front of them.

The driver of a vehicle within an intersection intending to turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle that is approaching from the opposite direction and that is within the intersection or so close to the intersection as to constitute an immediate hazard.

AZ Code § 28-772

It is easy to forget about the rules of the road when you’re focused on getting to your destination. But by keeping these seven Arizona traffic laws in mind, you can help stay safe and protect others while driving.

Amy Grover is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, then passing the bar exam in 2014, Amy began her diverse career as a practicing attorney. Amy has a range of experience in the legal field, including work with the Department... Read More >>