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Safety & Emergencies

Whom should I contact in case of a roadway emergency, such as a slide or washout?

In emergencies where roadways unexpectedly become unsafe, immediately notify local law enforcement so that they can enact appropriate public safety measures. Law enforcement will contact the appropriate personnel at the N.C. Department of Transportation.

How do I report damaged roads or debris in roadways?

Contact local law enforcement if there is damage or an obstruction in a public roadway that might pose a hazard to motorists.

You can report many other problems, such as potholes, blockages, drainage issues and highway debris (e.g., rocks, mud, trees, animals), online or by sending a message to the N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance office in your county.

How do I report that a stop sign has been stolen or knocked down?

If the sign is on or entering a state road, submit as soon as possible using the missing or damaged signage form or contact the N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance office in your county.

If the sign is on a municipal street, call the municipality in which it is located.

Where do I report an obstructed view at an intersection?

Contact the N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance office in your county to report a problem at an intersection.

What is the speed limit on my road?

North Carolina law sets speed limits within municipal limits at 35 mph, if no signs are posted. They can be changed, however, by ordinances the N.C. Department of Transportation enacts. Changes to the speed limit inside city limits require the agreement of both the municipality and NCDOT.

If signs are not posted in areas outside municipalities, the speed limit is 55 mph. Motorists, however, should drive at reasonable and prudent speeds as dictated by driving conditions.

When NCDOT conducts a speed zone study and recommends a speed limit, it drafts the ordinance and submits it to the State Traffic Engineer's Office for approval. When it is approved, the Traffic Services Unit installs the appropriate speed limit signs.

How can I get a speed limit changed?

Contact the N.C. Department of Transportation to request a speed zone study. Changing residential and business development often affect operating speed conditions and might warrant changes in the speed limit.

NCDOT looks at several criteria when setting speed limits, including the alignment of the roadway, sight distance, the average speed of traffic, crash history and development along the road.

For any sign to be effective, it must command the respect of motorists. That means speed limits must be reasonable and enforced. NCDOT is responsible for establishing speed limits, but law enforcement officers have enforcement responsibility.

NCDOT does not normally lower speed limits on dead-end roads less than a mile long.

Who fixes broken traffic signals?

It depends. Cities and towns are responsible for fixing traffic lights within the city or town limit. The N.C. Department of Transportation fixes malfunctioning traffic signals that are not on a city’s network.

To report a traffic signal problem, submit a malfunctioning traffic light form. Be sure to explain what the signal appears to be doing wrong (e.g., flashing, power out, bulbs out, etc.) and leave a follow-up phone number so a technician can follow up with any additional questions.

Can I get a "slow down, children at play" sign?

These signs are not approved for use on state roads for several reasons:

  • The sign might convey to parents and children that children are protected if they play in the street, when there is no such protection.
  • It might make parents less vigilant if they think a sign is protecting their children.
  • Warning signs are to advise motorists of unforeseen hazards. Children in a residential area should be expected.

Can I get a "blind driveway" or "hidden driveway" sign?

No. The responsibility for providing a safe driveway falls to the driveway owner. A sign does not improve the view or make the driveway safer. Vehicles entering the road from driveways are required to yield to traffic on the road.

To report vegetation along the highway right of way that obscures sight distance, contact the N.C. Department of Transportation maintenance office in your county.

5/10/2019 11:38 AM