With an improved economy and gas prices at a five year low, we will experience an increase in Thanksgiving travel this year. AAA Carolinas expects the increase to be of more than 4 percent compared to Thanksgiving of 2013.
Travel however will be impacted by a major winter storm which will initially spread heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms across the Florida peninsula but will move north and northeast, paralleling the east coast beginning Tuesday night.
Therefore, in order to ensure safe travel, we should be aware of the road rules. Besides the requirements to follow the speed limit, wear your seatbelt, and burn your headlights, there are some more rules which appear not to be known so well:
- The Fender Bender Law
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 20-161 motorists are required to move their vehicles to the shoulder of the road following a minor, non-injury crash. The failure to do so could result in a $110 fine and court costs.
- The Move over Law
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 20-157 motorists are required to:
- Move the vehicle into a lane that is not the lane nearest the parked or standing authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle and continue traveling in that lane until it is safe to clear the authorized emergency vehicle. This paragraph applies only if the roadway has at least two lanes for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle and if the approaching vehicle may change lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
- Slow the vehicle, maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions, and operate the vehicle at a reduced speed and be prepared to stop until completely past the authorized emergency vehicle or public service vehicle. This paragraph applies only if the roadway has only one lane for traffic proceeding in the direction of the approaching vehicle or if the approaching vehicle may not change lanes safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.
A failure to obey by this law could result in a $500 fine.
- The Keep Right Law
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. §20-146(b) vehicles traveling a multi-lane roadway at less than the legal maximum speed limit shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for thru traffic, or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the highway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn. A violation of this law is an infraction pursuant to N.C.G.S. §20-176 (a) and if convicted, North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicle would assess 2 driver’s license points pursuant to N.C.G.S. §20-16 (c), or 3 driver’s license points if the violation occurred during the operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
- Cellphone Use by Drivers Younger than 18
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. §20-11 drivers under the age of 18 may not use a cellphone when operating a motor vehicle except in case of an emergency to call 9-1-1. Violators may have to pay a $25 fine.
- Texting While Driving
Pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 20-137.4A motorists are prohibited from using their mobile telephone for text messaging or electronic mail. A violation of this law may result in a $100 fine.
We wish you all safe travel and Happy Thanksgiving!
However, should you or someone you know receive a citation for a traffic violation in Southeastern North Carolina, in or around Wilmington, NC in New Hanover County, Brunswick County, or Pender County, contact Collins Law Firm at 910-793-9000 for a confidential consultation.
By Jana Collins