Spring Breakers: Know your traffic laws - The Explorer: News

Spring Breakers: Know your traffic laws

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Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 8:48 am | Updated: 9:09 am, Tue Mar 5, 2013.

This month, many Arizonans will set out for spring break road trips and head to neighboring states. Though this is a welcomed recess from school, AAA urges drivers of all ages to hit the books before hitting the road to ensure they’re aware of how traffic laws in other states differ from our own.

“Depending on your driving record and the severity of the violation, a citation could increase your insurance premium anywhere from 10 to 20 percent,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona. “To ensure a safe and violation-free vacation, AAA Insurance has created a study guide for motorists to help prepare for different rules of the road.”

As a leader in driver safety, AAA has compiled the following study guide from its Digest of Motor Laws. The list provides traffic law information for popular drive destinations compared to Arizona laws:

California

Cell Phones

It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless in hands-free mode.

Drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone, even with hands-free devices.

Enforcement is primary, meaning drivers can be stopped for this without any other traffic offense taking place.

Text Messaging

All drivers are prohibited from writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication while driving. Enforcement is primary.

Child Passenger Safety

Children younger than 8 or shorter than 57 inches must be restrained in a child passenger restraint system in the rear seat.

Move Over

Drivers are required to slow down and vacate the lane closest to a stationary emergency response vehicle flashing emergency lights, if safe to do so, including tow trucks and Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) vehicles.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for drivers and all passengers (ages 16 and older). Enforcement is primary.

Colorado

Cell Phones

Drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using a wireless telephone while driving, even with hands-free devices.

Text Messaging

Text messaging is prohibited for all drivers. Enforcement is primary.

Child Passenger Restraints

All children younger than 8 are required to be properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat.

Move Over

Drivers must reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to stationary emergency vehicles and tow vehicles.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and front-seat passengers 16 and older. Children ages 8 to 16 must wear seat belts, no matter their position in the vehicle. Enforcement is secondary.

Nevada

Cell Phones

Cell phone use while driving is prohibited unless it is being used in hands-free mode. Enforcement is primary.

Text Messaging

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Enforcement is primary.

Child Passenger Restraints

Children younger than 6 and who weigh less than 60 lbs. must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in the rear seat.

Move Over

Drivers must reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to stationary emergency vehicle and tow vehicles.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for the driver and all passengers. Enforcement is secondary.

New Mexico

Cell Phones

Drivers are prohibited from using hand-held cellular phones in Santa Fe and Las Cruces.

Teen drivers in instructional and provisional phases are prohibited from using any wireless devices while driving.

Text Messaging

Teen drivers in instruction and provisional phases are prohibited from using any wireless devices while driving.

Child Passenger Restraints

Children ages 5 and 6 or less than 60 lbs. must be restrained in a booster seat or appropriate safety seat. Children ages 1 through 4 or weighing less than 40 lbs. must be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device. Children younger than 1must be placed in a rear-facing child safety seat in the rear seat, if available.

All children younger than 18 must be properly restrained in a child restraint device or a seat belt.

Move Over

Drivers are required to reduce speed and vacate the lane closest to emergency vehicles, if safe to do so. Does not include tow trucks.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for drivers and all passengers. Enforcement is primary.

Sonora, Mexico (Rocky Point)

Speed Limits

Speed limits are posted in kilometers rather than miles per hour.

Proceedings

In Mexico, you are assumed guilty until proven innocent. This means that if you are arrested for any reason, you may be jailed until you can prove your innocence.

Auto Insurance

U.S. auto insurance is not valid in Mexico. A Mexico auto policy is the only form of insurance the authorities will accept as evidence of financial responsibility. Drivers who cannot provide this proof may be subject to arrest. Mexican auto insurance can be purchased online at http://www.az.aaa.com/insurance/mexico.

Arizona

Cell Phones

Arizona does not have a law that prohibits cell phone use for drivers.

Text Messaging Ban

Drivers in Phoenix and Tucson are prohibited from texting while driving.

Child Passenger Restraints

Children younger than 16 are required to be properly restrained in all seats and child restraints are required for children younger than 5.

Children who are ages 5 to 8 and 57 inches or shorter must use a booster seat. Enforcement is primary.

Move Over

Drivers are required to reduce speed and, if safe, vacate the lane closest to any stationary vehicles with flashing or warning lights, including stranded drivers, emergency vehicles and tow trucks.

Seat Belts

Seat belts are required for driver and front seat passengers. Children younger than 16 are required to be in seat belts in all seats. Enforcement is secondary.

As an advocate for the motoring public, AAA provides a complete digest of traffic laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For information and to view the full guide, visit the AAA Digest of Motor Laws online at http://drivinglaws.aaa.com/.

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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