Right-of-way laws are in place to protect you from damaging your vehicle or someone else’s, and to protect you and other motorists and pedestrians from injury. It makes sense to obey them. To have the right of way means that you are entitled to proceed into an intersection, across a road, or into a roundabout ahead of other vehicles or foot traffic.
Summary of right-of-way laws in Arizona
In Arizona, the law requires you to yield the right of way to other vehicles, pursuant to certain conditions. The right-of-way laws in Arizona are as follows:
Whether a crosswalk is marked or unmarked, you must yield to pedestrians.
Even if the light turns green, you still have to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
You must yield to any pedestrian crossing the street, under any circumstances.
You must yield to anyone who is visually impaired, as evidenced by carrying a metallic or white cane, walking with a service dog, or assisted by someone who is sighted.
Driveways and alleys
- If you are approaching a street from a driveway or alley, you must stop before you get to the sidewalk, and yield to any oncoming vehicles and to pedestrians.
- On any left turn, you must yield to approaching vehicles, and pedestrians.
Emergency vehicles must always be given the right of way when you hear sirens and see flashing lights.
An emergency vehicle includes police cars, ambulances, fire engines, and any other vehicle that may be used by emergency responders.
- Vehicles in the roundabout must be given the right of way.
- You must yield right of way to bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the roundabout.
- Once you are in the roundabout, you must not stop to allow others to enter.
Common misconceptions about Arizona’s right-of-way laws
If you think that being in the “legal” position to take the right of way allows you to proceed without caution, you are very much mistaken. The law does not “give” right of way to anyone – it simply identifies the person who is supposed to yield. You may not “take” the right of way if doing so means that an accident is likely to occur.
Penalties for failing to yield
In Arizona, if you fail to yield the right of way at a stop sign or red light, six points will automatically be added to your license. If your failure to yield causes serious injury, you will be assessed four points. As to fines, they will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and even from court to court – there is no standard amount. Usually, though, if it your first offense, the amount will not be terribly onerous. If you are a habitual offender, though, you can end up paying some serious fines and could even have your license suspended.
For more information, refer to the Arizona Driver License Manual and Customer Service Guide, Section 3, pages 30-31
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Guide to Right-of-Way Laws in Arizona and was authored by Valerie Johnston.