North Carolina

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of North Carolina. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

North Carolina
AV legislation

Authorizes full deployment of AVs without a human operator.

North Carolina
Bike helmets required?

Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 16.

North Carolina
Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Universal helmet law enacted 1968.

North Carolina
Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

8 years

North Carolina
Provisions for Mature Drivers

66 and over: renewal every 5 years
60 and over: parallel parking not required on road test

North Carolina
DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

Zero tolerance for some drugs

North Carolina
Marijuana Possession and Use

Decriminalized

North Carolina
Marijuana Impaired Driving

None

North Carolina
Rural Interstates: Cars (MPH)

70

North Carolina
Rural Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

70

North Carolina
Urban Interstates: Cars (MPH)

70

North Carolina
Urban Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

70

North Carolina
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars (MPH)

70

North Carolina
Other Limited Access Roads: Trucks (MPH)

70

North Carolina
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

North Carolina
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30 days

North Carolina
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 10 days

North Carolina
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions

North Carolina
Open container laws

Yes

North Carolina
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

North Carolina
Child Restraint Required

7 yrs or under and under 80 lbs

North Carolina
Adult Safety Belt Permissible

8-15 yrs or 40-80 lbs in seats without shoulder belts

North Carolina
Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

9 p.m. - 5 a.m.

North Carolina
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

No more than 1 under 21; if passenger under 21 is family, no other non-family passengers under 21

North Carolina
Full Privilege Minimum Age

16 years, 6 months

North Carolina
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15

North Carolina
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

12

North Carolina
Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

60 (10) during Learner Stage
2 (6) during Intermediate Stage

North Carolina
Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

North Carolina
Type of Law

Primary; Secondary for rear seat occupants

North Carolina
Who is Covered?

16 and over

North Carolina
In What Seat?

All

North Carolina
Hand-Held Ban?

No

North Carolina
All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

North Carolina
All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Primary law.

North Carolina
Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

North Carolina
Speed Cameras: State Law

None

North Carolina
Speed Cameras: Where Permitted

n/a

North Carolina
Red Light Cameras: State Law

Permitted by state law and city ordinance

North Carolina
Red Light Cameras: Where Permitted

Specified jurisdictions

As the Pandemic Opens More Roadways to Pedestrians, States Help Launch October as Pedestrian Safety Month

As pedestrian fatalities have soared to historic levels in the past decade, GHSA joined earlier today with U.S. Department of Transportation officials and walking advocates to designate October National Pedestrian Safety Month.

As the Pandemic Opens More Roadways to Pedestrians, States Help Launch October as Pedestrian Safety Month

GHSA News Release
September 29, 2020

“Hands Across the Border” DUI Prevention Campaign Returns

With some states seeing an increase in alcohol-related crashes and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia is looking to get drunk and drugged drivers off the road during the 29th annual “Hands Across the Border” DUI enforcement and awareness campaign.

“Hands Across the Border” DUI Prevention Campaign Returns

Story by Robert Hydrick
August 18, 2020

Subscribe to North Carolina