You know when you drive along North Carolina roads the law requires you to go the speed limit, wear your seat belt and turn your headlights on at night. But you may not be aware of several other important laws that you must also abide by as you travel across the state. They’re listed below.
The "Fender Bender" law requires motorists to move their vehicles to the shoulder of the road following minor, non-injury crashes. If you don’t follow the law, you could face a $110 fine and court costs.
Under the "Move Over" law, motorists are required to move over one lane, if possible, or reduce speed for stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the shoulder of the highway, including public service vehicles with amber lights. Violating the law could result in a $250 fine.
The "Quick Clearance" law centers on getting vehicles out of the roadway. It states that if law enforcement and NCDOT agree that a vehicle and its cargo pose a safety concern, they can move it by any means necessary without facing any liability.
North Carolina law states it is illegal to dispose of litter on public or private property, unless you own that property. If you violate the law, you could face fines up to $200 and community service work.
Parking on Highways
Parking on highways is prohibited.
Drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using a mobile telephone while driving except in the case of an emergency or when talking to a parent or spouse. Violators pay a $25 fine, but receive no driver license points, insurance surcharge or court costs.
Motorists are required to use their headlights from sunset to sunrise and when light conditions restrict visibility to 400 feet or less. Motorists are also required to use headlights while operating windshield wipers during inclement weather.
Helmets are required by law when riding on a motorcycle or moped. Children up to age 16 are required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.
All vehicle occupants including those in the back seat are required to wear seat belts. Front seat passengers who violate the law will receive a $25 fine. Back seat passengers will receive a $10 fine. Children up to age 8 and weighing less than 80 pounds must be secured in a safety seat while riding in a vehicle. Older children must transition to booster seats before graduating to an adult safety belt. Drivers who fail to properly secure their children face $125 in fines and court costs, as well as a two-point penalty on their driving record. For more information about seat belts and child restraints, visit www.buckleupnc.org.
Right Turn on Red
Right turns at a traffic signal with a red light are permitted after a complete stop, unless otherwise posted. Left turns on red are not permitted.
Traffic crashes involving death, personal injury or property damage of $1,000 or more must be reported to the nearest law enforcement officer or agency. Failure to make this report may result in prosecution or driver license suspension.
Motorists with a blood alcohol concentration at or greater than 0.08 percent are charged with driving while impaired. Minimum punishment is a possible fine of up to $200 and a possible term of imprisonment ranging from 24 hours to 30 days. Maximum punishment is a possible fine of up to $4,000 and a possible term of imprisonment ranging from 30 days to two years.
A person convicted of DWI will also have his or her license suspended by NCDOT’s Division of Motor Vehicles for at least one year. Persons with a prior DWI conviction may be subject to punishment as a felon and their vehicle may be seized and sold.
For information on other transportation-related laws, visit the N.C. General Assembly Web site at www.ncleg.net.