The number one goal of traffic laws is to ensure that everybody remains safe on the roadway. There are various laws that drivers in Arizona must abide by, including those related to speed. Speed limits are in place for a reason. One of the most common causes of vehicle accidents in this state is driving too fast for conditions. When a person is operating a vehicle at a high rate of speed, accidents are much more likely to occur, and the injuries of those involved will be more severe. Here, we want to discuss Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-701 – what does this law mean for AZ drivers?
The Duty Not to Speed
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 294 fatalities and more than 20,000 total injuries as a result of speed-related crashes during the latest reporting year across the state. When looking at these numbers, it is no wonder that law enforcement agencies across this state take speeding very seriously. The DOT also keeps track of driver violations. During that same reporting year, they were more than 43,000 citations written for “speed too fast for conditions.”
This type of driving behavior is exactly what Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 28-701A is designed to curb. This law is one of the most frequently given citations to drivers in this state and says that no driver can operate their vehicle at a speed higher than what is reasonable or prudent under the circumstances. Notice that this law does not say that a driver should not operate higher than the posted speed limit. This law gives wiggle room to police officers to write a ticket for drivers even if they are going under the speed limit but going too fast for the conditions present.
Some of the conditions that drivers need to take into account when considering their speed include the following:
- Roadway conditions
- Any noticeable hazards
- Any potential or foreseeable risks
Additionally, this law also requires that drivers control the speed of their vehicle as necessary to avoid a collision. Of course, ARS 28-701A also says that drivers must stay within the confines of the posted speed limits.
Special Speed Restrictions Mentioned in ARS 28-701A
In general, ARS 28-701A leaves the definition of “reasonable speed” up to the driver behind the wheel of the vehicle. However, the law does give specifics about certain special circumstances and how fast a driver should go. ARS 28-701B says that a driver may be guilty of traveling at an unreasonable speed if they exceed the following in these circumstances:
- 15 MPH when approaching a school zone
- 25 MPH any business or residential district
- 65 MPH in other locations throughout the state
Additionally, ARS 28-701D says that drivers must take extra precautions in controlling their speed when they approach or go through an intersection, passing a railroad crossing, traveling around curves, traveling on narrow or winding roads, approaching hill crests, or approaching various hazards such as bad weather, potholes, or a pedestrian.
Working With an Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident caused by the actions of a driver operating too fast for conditions, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced Phoenix car accident attorney can use their resources to uncover various types of evidence in order to prove that the other driver was speeding and that their speed caused the collision. An attorney can also work with trusted medical and economic experts to help properly calculate the client’s total expected losses and help negotiate a fair settlement on their behalf.