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North Carolina State ShapeNorth Carolina

Below is a list of the key highway safety laws in North Carolina. For more information, contact the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program.

Aggressive Driver Actions Defined by Statute Comments
Speeding and driving carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others while committing at least two of the following violations: running a red light or stop sign, illegal passing, failing to yield right of way, following too closely.  

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Office.

Hand-held Ban All Cell Phone Ban Text Messaging Ban Crash
Data
School Bus Drivers Novice Drivers All Drivers School Bus Drivers Novice Drivers
  Yes
(Primary)
<18
(Primary)
Yes
(Primary)
Covered under all driver ban Yes

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Child Restraint Required
unless indicated, # refers to Yrs.(Lbs.)
Adult Safety Belt Permissible
unless indicated, # refers to Yrs.(Lbs.)
Maximum Fine
1st Offense
<7 (and <80) 8 - 15 (or 40 - 80 lbs. in seats w/out shoulder belts) $25 + $188 court costs + points

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Per Se Laws for Drugs (Forbidding Prohibited Substances in Driver's Body) DEC/DRE Programs
(Providing Law Enforcement Training)
Yes Yes

Source: State Highway Safety Office.

Inc. Penalty for High BAC Admin. License Susp. on 1st Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Susp. Ignition Interlocks Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment
*Meeting Federal Requirements
.15 30 days After 10 days Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions Vehicle confiscation      

Sources: Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol Problems, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Office.

Learner Stage Intermediate Stage Full Privilege
Min. Age
(Years/ Months)
Min. Age
(Years/ Months)
Min.
Duration
(Months)
Required
Supervised
Driving Hours
(Night Hours)
Min. Age
(Years/ Months)
Nighttime Driving Restriction Passenger
Restriction
(except family, unless noted)
15 12 60 (10) during Learner stage

12 (6) during Intermediate stage
16 9 p.m. - 5 a.m. No more than 1 <21; if <21 pass. is family, no other non-family pass. <21 16 / 6

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Motorcyclists Bicyclists
Universal Helmet Law (Year Enacted) Partial Law Universal Helmet Law Repealed
1968     <16

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Length of Regular Renewal Cycle (Yrs.) Provisions for Mature Drivers
8 >66: renewal every 5 yrs.
>60: parallel parking not required on road test

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Type of Law Who is Covered (Yrs.) In What Seat Maximum Fine 1st Offense
Primary >16 All
(secondary for rear seats)
$25.50 + $135.50 in court costs ($10 + no court costs for rear seats)

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway and State Highway Safety Office.

State Law
Permitted

Sources: Segway LLC and State Highway Safety Office.

Checkpoints Conducted? Frequency Legality
Yes Weekly Authorized by statute

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Rural Interstates Urban Interstates Other Limited Access Roads
Cars
(mph)
Trucks
(mph)
Cars
(mph)
Trucks
(mph)
Cars
(mph)
Trucks
(mph)
70 70 70 70 70 70

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Violation / State Law Permitted Locations/Criteria Citation Issued To / Liability Image Taken Penalties (Traditional Penalties)
Speed: No state law or programs
Red light: Limited Specified in law Owner/
Owner
Photo, video, electronic image $50 max. civil penalty; no points; $100 if late
($100 max.; 3 points)

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Office.

Violations Affected Enhanced Penalties Workers Must Be Present Signs Must Be Present
Speeding Additional $250 plus court costs No Yes

Sources: National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse and State Highway Safety Office.