Traffic Law and Rules
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Traffic Law and Rules
- When two vehicles approach or enter an intersection from different highways at approximately the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right‑of‑way to the vehicle on the right.
- The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right‑of‑way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
- The driver of any vehicle approaching but not having entered a traffic circle shall yield the right‑of‑way to a vehicle already within such traffic circle.
In North Carolina a person who commits the offense of failure to yield while approaching or entering an intersection, turning at a stop or yield sign, entering a roadway, upon the approach of an emergency vehicle, or at highway construction or maintenance and if there is serious bodily injury but no death resulting from the violation, the violator will be fined five hundred dollars ($500.00) and the violator's drivers license or commercial drivers license will be suspended for 90 days.
In North Carolina it is illegal for any parent or legal guardian of a child less than eight years of age to permit that person to operate an all‑terrain vehicle.
Location of television, computer, or video players, monitors, and screens.
In North Carolina nobody shall drive any motor vehicle upon a public street or highway or public vehicular area while viewing any television, computer, or video player which is located in the motor vehicle at any point forward of the back of the driver's seat, and which is visible to the driver while operating the motor vehicle.
This section does not apply to the use of global positioning systems (GPS); turn‑by‑turn navigation displays or similar navigation devices; factory‑installed or aftermarket GPS or wireless communications devices used to transmit or receive data as part of a digital dispatch system; equipment that displays audio system information, functions, or controls, or weather, traffic, and safety information; vehicle safety or equipment information; or image displays that enhance the driver's view in any direction, inside or outside of the vehicle. The provisions of this section shall not apply to law enforcement or emergency personnel while in the performance of their official duties, or to the operator of a vehicle that is lawfully parked or stopped.
Speed limits in school zones.
The Board of Transportation or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions may, by ordinance, set speed limits lower than those designated in G.S. 20‑141 for areas adjacent to or near a public, private or parochial school. Limits set pursuant to this section shall become effective when signs are erected giving notice of the school zone, the authorized speed limit, and the days and hours when the lower limit is effective, or by erecting signs giving notice of the school zone, the authorized speed limit and which indicate the days and hours the lower limit is effective by an electronic flasher operated with a time clock. Limits set pursuant to this section may be enforced only on days when school is in session, and no speed limit below 20 miles per hour may be set under the authority of this section. A person who drives a motor vehicle in a school zone at a speed greater than the speed limit set and posted under this section is responsible for an infraction and is required to pay a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00).
Parking in front of private driveway, fire hydrant, fire station, intersection of curb lines or fire lane.
- No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon a highway in front of a private driveway or within 15 feet in either direction of a fire hydrant or the entrance to a fire station, nor within 25 feet from the intersection of curb lines or if none, then within 15 feet of the intersection of property lines at an intersection of highways; provided, that local authorities may by ordinance decrease the distance within which a vehicle may park in either direction of a fire hydrant.
- No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon any public vehicular area, street, highway or roadway in any area designated as a fire lane. This prohibition includes designated fire lanes in shopping center or mall parking lots and all other public vehicular areas. Provided, however, persons loading or unloading supplies or merchandise may park temporarily in a fire lane located in a shopping center or mall parking lot as long as the vehicle is not left unattended.
In North Carolina bicycle racing on the highways is prohibited except as authorized in this section.
- Bicycle racing on a highway shall not be illegal when a racing event has been approved by State or local authorities on any highway under their respective jurisdictions. Approval of bicycle highway racing events shall be granted only under conditions which assure reasonable safety for all race participants, spectators and other highway users, and which prevent unreasonable interference with traffic flow which would seriously inconvenience other highway users.
- By agreement with the approving authority, participants in an approved bicycle highway racing event may be exempted from compliance with any traffic laws otherwise applicable thereto, provided that traffic control is adequate to assure the safety of all highway users.
Duty of passenger to remain at the scene of an accident
- The passenger of any vehicle who knows or reasonably should know that the vehicle in which he or she is a passenger is involved in an accident or collision shall not willfully leave the scene of the accident by acting as the driver of a vehicle involved in the accident until a law enforcement officer completes the investigation of the accident or collision or authorizes the passenger to leave, unless remaining at the scene places the passenger or others at significant risk of injury. Prior to the completion of the investigation of the accident by a law enforcement officer, or the consent of the officer to leave, the passenger may not facilitate, allow, or agree to the removal of the vehicle from the scene, for any purpose other than to call for a law enforcement officer, to call for medical assistance or medical treatment as set forth in subsection of this section, or to remove oneself or others from a significant risk of injury. If the passenger does leave the scene of an accident by driving a vehicle involved in the accident for a reason permitted by this subsection, the passenger must return with the vehicle to the accident scene within a reasonable period of time, unless otherwise instructed by a law enforcement officer. A willful violation of this subsection is a Class H felony if the accident or collision is described in G.S. 20‑166(a). A willful violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor if the accident or collision is a reportable accident described in G.S. 20‑166(c).
- In addition to complying with the requirement of subsection (above) of this section, the passenger shall give the passenger's name, address, drivers license number, and the license plate number of the vehicle in which the passenger was riding, if possible, to the person struck or the driver or occupants of any vehicle collided with, provided that the person or persons are physically and mentally capable of receiving the information, and shall render to any person injured in the accident or collision reasonable assistance, including the calling for medical assistance if it is apparent that such assistance is necessary or is requested by the injured person. A violation of this subsection is a Class 1 misdemeanor. (2005‑460, s. 2.)
Operation of motorcycles
- All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane
- Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
Obedience to railroad signal
Whenever any person driving a vehicle approaches a railroad grade crossing under any of the circumstances stated in this section, the driver of the vehicle shall stop within 50 feet, but not less than 15 feet from the nearest rail of the railroad and shall not proceed until he can do so safely. These requirements apply when:
(1) A clearly visible electrical or mechanical signal device gives warning of the immediate approach of a railroad train;
(2) A crossing gate is lowered or when a human flagman gives or continues to give a signal of the approach or passage of a railroad train;
(3) A railroad train approaching within approximately 1500 feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from that distance, and the railroad train is an immediate hazard because of its speed or nearness to the crossing; or
(4) An approaching railroad train is plainly visible and is in hazardous proximity to the crossing.
(b) No person shall drive any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed, nor shall any pedestrian pass through, around, over, or under any crossing gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.
(c) When stopping as required at a railroad crossing, the driver shall keep as far to the right of the highway as possible and shall not form two lanes of traffic unless the roadway is marked for four or more lanes of traffic.
(d) Any person who violates any provisions of this section shall be guilty of an infraction and punished in accordance with G.S. 20‑176. Violation of this section shall not constitute negligence per se.
(e) An employer who knowingly allows, requires, permits, or otherwise authorizes a driver of a commercial motor vehicle to violate this section shall be guilty of an infraction. Such employer will also be subject to a civil penalty.
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Index of Relevant Terms:
- Absolute Divorce
- Contributory Negligence
- Imputed Negligence
- Defenses to a Negligence Lawsuit
- Driving and Texting in North Carolina
- Emotional Distress
- Punitive Damages
- Res Ipsa Loquitur
- Short Sale
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Truck Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Wrongful Discharge from Employment