Samuel Saks Article


Common Driving Violations

If you’ve seen a crash report, section 9 lists citation charges (aka, driving infractions or tickets). Here are some of the most common violations:

A.R.S. § 28-701: Speed greater than reasonable and prudent speed. This statute requires: “A person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing. A person shall control the speed of a vehicle as necessary to avoid colliding with any object, person, vehicle or other conveyance on, entering or adjacent to the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to exercise reasonable care for the protection of others.”

The same statute also prohibits you from driving too slow or impeding traffic: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle at a speed that is less than the speed that is reasonable and prudent under existing conditions unless the speed that is reasonable and prudent exceeds the maximum safe operating speed . . . .”

A.R.S. § 28-644: Failure to obey traffic control device (e.g., stop sign, stop light, yield sign, etc.).

A.R.S. § 28-751: Improper turn. Among other things, this statute provides that “[t]he driver of a vehicle intending to turn left shall approach the turn in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of the vehicle. If practicable the driver shall make the left turn from the left of the center of the intersection and shall make the turn to the left lane immediately available for the driver's direction of traffic.”

A.R.S. § 28-771: Rules at intersection. Under this statute: “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. This subsection does not apply to vehicles approaching or entering an uncontrolled "T" intersection if the vehicle on the left is on a continuing street or highway and the vehicle on the right is on the terminating street or highway. The vehicle on the terminating street or highway shall yield to the vehicle on the continuing street or highway.”

A.R.S. § 28-1381 et seq.: Driving or actual physical control while under the influence (“DUI”). This is the first in a series of statutes that relates to DUI, driving under the influence of intoxicants.

A.R.S. § 28-873: Improper stopping, standing or parking. This statute governs when and where you can and cannot stop your vehicle.

Tickets don’t matter as much as you think. The fact that a police officer decides to give a ticket to a driver or decides not to give anyone a ticket does not end the case. The police officer has the right to determine which, if any, driver may have violated the traffic laws (found in Title 28 of the Arizona Revised Statutes). But for the purposes of an insurance claim or accident case, this determination is not binding. In other words, a judge or jury may decide that a ticketed driver did not cause the accident and is not responsible for any damages.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney/client relationship.

Contributing Attorney: Sam Saks. Sam is the founder of Legal Aid of Arizona and a partner at the law firm of Cantelme & Brown, P.C.


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