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New Arizona law prohibits blocking sidewalks with vehicle

One of 12 new laws going into effect Wednesday
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:30 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A new law in Arizona could make you pay $250 if your vehicle blocks a public or private sidewalk, driveway or crosswalk.

The new law is one of 12 that went into effect Wednesday, Sept. 29. The law, House Bill 2395, might not seem like a big deal to some, but is a huge deal to those who rely on clear walkways to get around every day.

Peter Hughes, director of the Adaptive Athletics Program at the University of Arizona, said the ticket will be enforced by local law enforcement. He said it’s not only common courtesy but it’s a safety hazard for people in wheelchairs.

“I go for a one-mile walk every day with my dog in the wheelchair and there are trouble areas that I know about so I stay on the street to go around them,” Hughes said. “In a one-mile area, there’s usually somebody blocking the sidewalk.”

The law does not apply if a vehicle is temporarily parked to load or unload or in emergency situations when complying with directions of a police officer or traffic control device.

The Tucson Police Department said it had already been against the law to block sidewalks, driveways or crosswalks, but this law is different because it follows the Americans Disability Act.

“The changes to this law prohibit people who are parking their vehicles in their driveway in a manner that’s not consistent with the ADA, the ADA contains accessibility guidelines that require paths like sidewalks to have 36 inches of clear path,” said Maura Hilser, Staff Attorney, Arizona Center for Disability Law.

Hughes said he is considering the new law a “win” across the state. He asks the community to take the law seriously because it impacts a lot of people in Tucson.

“I know there are some cases where the driveways aren’t that wide or the streets aren’t that wide so you can’t parallel park along the street. At the same time, some people are using their carports for shops and they aren’t parking their car in there,” Hughes said. “I wouldn’t want that on my conscience if I blocked a pathway and someone died right outside your yard because they had to walk out in the street.”

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