The Department considers stranded motorists a matter of priority due to associated dangers. Stranded motorists can cause dangerous traffic related incidents. If you become stranded or observe someone who is stopped on a highway, please call 911 to report it to AZDPS.
In 2018, we assisted 75,235 stranded motorists throughout the state by getting them back on the road or by helping them make safe alternative arrangements.
Although our troopers help a large number of those motorists in need, it is the Department’s civilian Roadside Motorist Assistants (RMA) that are specialized in caring for stranded motorists.
Motorist Assistants are non-law enforcement agents that are deployed state wide in large utility work trucks with the tools and equipment needed to make minor repairs, tire/wheel changes, provide some fuel, provide short rides off the roadway or call a tow service for those in need.
Motorist Assistants patrol Arizona’s highways in specially equipped vehicles that allow them to:
Carry emergency communication equipment
Locate and assist stranded motorists
Diagnose minor vehicle problems
Help with basic auto repairs
Carry basic tools
Carry drinking water
Carry water for radiators
Carry compressed air for tires
Carry fire extinguishers
Carry first-aid supplies
Call for a tow truck
Provide information and directions
Remove vehicles abandoned on highways
Remove vehicle from unsafe locations
Eliminate road hazards such as debris
Carry traffic control devices to assist first responders
Assist law enforcement at collision scenes and road/ramp closures
Special assignments i.e., traffic control for presidential motorcade and other event.
It was through cooperation and sponsorship from the American Automobile Association (AAA) of Arizona and the Maricopa County Association of Governments (MAG), that the RMA program was started.
If you break down on a highway you should:
Call 911 and let us/AZDPS know where you are stranded on the highway
Call 911 if someone is stopped/stranded on the highway and tell us/AZDPS where they are
Drive completely off of the highway when possible
Drive to an emergency lane or dirt shoulder when possible
Not leave your vehicle on the highway – Call 911 to report
Not walk along the highway – Call 911 to report
Not stop in the middle of a gore point or gore area
Not stop within a traffic lane
You can help reduce the chances of becoming stranded on a highway by:
Keeping more than a quarter of a tank of fuel in your vehicle’s tank at all times
Keeping in mind you may be stopped for long periods of time due to traffic, weather or other incidents outside of your control
Checking your vehicle’s tires for proper air pressure
Replacing worn tires immediately
Regularly perform preventative maintenance on your vehicle
Carrying basic tools to conduct minor repairs on your vehicle
Carrying water and fluid for your vehicle’s radiator
Paying attention to roadway and avoiding debris that can cripple your vehicle