North Carolina is fortunate to be the hot spot to many tourists because of it’s southern beaches, historical sites, and beautiful landscape. Another attraction that North Carolina is naturally endowed with are some of the greatest motorcycle rides in America that attract bikers from all over. A popular one on the Eastern side of North Carolina is the Topsail Loop ride- which travels from Jacksonville NC to Topsail NC passing over the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and traveling through Surf City, NC. With an increase of bikers on the roads, North Carolina decided to pass a new motorcycle safety law, to be effective October 1st, 2013, which will increase penalties for unsafe movements by drivers that threaten the property and safety of motorcyclists. This law, titled the Motorcycle Safety Act, which will change the reading of G.S. 20-154 to read as rewritten:
PART V. MOTORCYCLE SAFETY
SECTION 5. (a) G.S. 20-154 reads as rewritten:
“§ 20-154. Signals on starting, stopping or turning.
A person who violates subsection (a) of this section and causes a motorcycle operator to change travel lanes or leave that portion of any public street or highway designated as travel lanes shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be assessed a fine of not less than two hundred dollars ($200.00). A person who violates subsection (a) of this section that results in a crash causing property damage or personal injury to a motorcycle operator or passenger shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be assessed a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500.00) unless
subsection (a2) of this section applies.
A person who violates subsection(a) of this section and the violation results in a crash causing property damage in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000)or a serious bodily injury as defined in G.S.20-160.1(b)to a motorcycle operator or passenger shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be assessed a fine of not less than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00). A violation of this subsection shall be treated as a failure to yield right-of-way to a motorcycle for purposes of assessment of points under G.S.20-16(c).In addition, the trial judge shall have the authority to order the license of any driver violating this subsection suspended for a period not to exceed 30 days. If a judge orders suspension of a person’s drivers license pursuant to this subsection, the judge may allow the licensee a limited driving privilege for a period not to exceed the period ofsuspension. The limited driving privilege shall be issued in the same manner and under the terms and conditions prescribed in G.S.20-16.1(b)(1),(2), (3), (4), (5), and G.S.20-16.1(g).
With this new act, we encourage those who are charged with an unsafe movement citation to contact an attorney, especially is the charge is in connection with a motorcyclist. If you or someone you know receives a traffic ticket or gets charged with a crime in or around Wilmington, NC in New Hanover County, Brunswick County (Bolivia, NC), or Pender County (Burgaw, NC) call Collins Law Firm at: