5 Myths About NC Traffic Law
Traffic tickets are annoying. Nobody likes them. And as soon as you see that blue light in your rearview mirror, you may start thinking about how to avoid the hassle.
Depending on the nature of the violation, a traffic ticket can result in hefty fines, drive up your insurance premiums, and even hurt your future job prospects if you’ve committed a whole string of traffic violations!
Before you call an NC traffic defense attorney or go to your court date without representation, let’s go over 5 common myths about NC traffic law.
1. Mistakes on Citations Get You Out of Trouble
“An error on the ticket will lead to an automatic dismissal of the ticket.” True or false? Definitely false! A wrong car make or model, the vehicle’s color, a misspelled name, or an incorrect license plate number are invalid arguments for dismissal.
2. It’s Illegal to Drive Barefoot
In the eyes of the law, you can relax and push the pedal barefoot. Yes! You have heard correctly. And what’s more, it’s not illegal to ride barefoot in any U.S. state. If anything, wearing the wrong shoes like flip-flops, slippers, heavy boots, high heels, or loose-fitting sandals can be more dangerous than wearing no shoes at all.
No laws in any state prohibit driving without shoes, but if wearing the wrong shoes results in an accident, you can face hefty fines.
3. You Were Speeding, but So Was Everyone Around You – That’s Allowed, Right?
False. “I was driving with the flow” will not convince the highway patrolman. If all the cars around you are speeding, they are all breaking the law. If you get caught speeding, your traffic violation applies regardless of whether others around you got away with it or not.
4. It’s Illegal to Talk on Your Phone While Driving Without a Hands-Free Device
In May 2021, North Carolina legislators submitted a hands-free ban bill to the Senate, but it did not become law. Nearly 25 states have such a law, but only drivers under 18 are prohibited from using a handheld cell phone in North Carolina.
Still, talking on the phone with or without a hands-free device is a cognitive distraction. And when you are distracted, it does not matter how old or experienced you are. So it’s best to pull over or wait until you reach your destination and then make a phone call.
One more thing: talking on the phone while driving is legal in North Carolina, but texting and driving is an illegal combination. If law enforcement observes you texting, you can receive a citation and a $100 fine plus court costs.
5. Your Ticket Is Invalid if You Don’t Sign It
“Do not sign the traffic ticket!” is simply bad advice. Contrary to common belief, signing only acknowledges that you will appear in court on the scheduled day. It is not an admission of guilt and has nothing to do with the validity of the traffic ticket.
If you fail to appear in court, you have 20 days to make up for the missed court hearing. After the 20 days, the judge would issue a Failure to Appear Penalty Order, resulting in an additional FTA fee.
If ever you find yourself on the receiving end of one of the violations mentioned above, remember not to cling to any of these debunked myths. Contact Attorney Addison for help with your ticket today.