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AAA: Arizona drivers need to know spring break road laws

Spring Break is right around the corner, which means Valley residents will be driving out-of-state for vacation.

Triple-A of Arizona is advising road travelers to know the rules of the road, especially when driving to neighboring states where the traffic laws are different.

"Be aware and conscious that traffic laws in other states do differ from Arizona's laws and it's really important to read up on those and refresh to avoid getting a violation on your spring break vacation," said Stephanie Dembrowski, Public Affairs Specialist for Triple-A of Arizona.

Below is a table of laws in popular spring break destinations for Arizonans:


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 a hands-free device.
  • • 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 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 law
  • • Drivers are required to slow down and vacate the lane closest to a stationary emergency 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.


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 safety
  • • Children younger than 6 who weigh less than 60 lbs. must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in the rear seat.
Move over law
  • • 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 all passengers. Enforcement is secondary.

Sonora, Mexico

Speed limits
  • • Speed limits are posted in kilometers an hour rather than miles per hour.
  • • 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 Mexican 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 LINK

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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