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Arizona Motorist Information


The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Discuss Arizona motorists issues in the NMA Forum

Points of Interest

  • Important legal point: Traffic tickets are not valid in Arizona unless they are personally served on the defendant, or the defendant waives this requirement by responding to a notice of the ticket. This means that if you receive a ticket in the mail, the best response may be to ignore it. If you are in doubt, consult an attorney. (Search Tonner v. Paradise Valley Magistrates Court, or AZ Rules of Civil Procedure 4.1)
  • Scottsdale, Arizona police will ticket you for having a plastic license plate cover intended to defeat photo RADAR.
  • In Arizona, if you hit a vehicle that was in the intersection before you, even though you had a green light, it is your fault.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 75, Trucks 75
Urban Interstates: Cars 65, Trucks 65
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 65, Trucks 65
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Absolute (Exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se--regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions): State and interstate highway limits
Presumed (Driving faster than the speed limit is only evidence of unreasonable speed--you can still argue that your speed was safe under the specific conditions): All other limits

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
Yes

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person shall give notice of the accident immediately by the quickest means of communication, whether oral or written, to either:

1. The local police department if the accident occurs within a municipality.
2. The office of the county sheriff.
3. The nearest office of the highway patrol.

(Arizona Statute 28-666, http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/28/00666.htm&Title=28&DocType=ARS)

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $15,000
All injuries: $30,000
Property Damage: $10,000

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: No
All Cell Phone Ban: School bus drivers
Texting Ban: No
Enforcement: Primary: cell phone use by school bus drivers
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Transporting open intoxicants is permitted in the vehicle. Consumption while operating a vehicle is prohibited.
  • The BAC level is .08%. Under age 21 the BAC level is .0%.
  • Arizona has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 12-month driver's license revocation.
  • Holstered handguns may be loaded and carried in plain view or vehicle glove compartment; rifles and shotguns may be loaded and in plain view or secured in a case.
  • Loaded handguns are permitted if carried in view.
  • Studded tires are permitted from October 1 to May 1.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • Arizona has a seat belt law with secondary enforcement for all front seat occupants.
  • Arizona has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 5 years of age. Children under age 5 and weighing less than 40 pounds must use approved car safety seats.
  • Arizona has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for persons under 18 years of age.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
http://www.azdps.gov/Links/#Local_Law (Department of Public Safety)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911

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These pages are created and managed by the volunteer efforts of NMA Activists, State Chapter Coordinators and members.

If your state doesn't currently have anyone serving in these roles, perhaps you'd like to consider it.


When you see a police car on the side of the road, it should make you feel more safe.
So why doesn't it?

Across the United States, even the most careful, safe drivers on the road would probably admit to being nervous when they spot a police officer enforcing traffic laws. Instead of inspiring feelings of safety, our traffic laws are used to create fear. Can this ever change?


This page was last updated: August 2010







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