LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Bill Powers | Nov 28, 2011

North Carolina SPEED RESTRICTIONS - General Information - Part B - for LEGAL PROFESSIONALS

(g) Whenever the Department of Transportation or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway considerably impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the Department of Transportation or such local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed below which no person shall operate a motor vehicle except when necessary for safe operation in compliance with law. Such minimum speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected on said part of the highway. Provided, such minimum speed limit shall be effective as to those highways and streets within the corporate limits of a municipality which are on the State highway system only when ordinances adopting the minimum speed limit are passed and concurred in by both the Department of Transportation and the local authorities. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to farm tractors and other motor vehicles operating at reasonable speeds for the type and nature of such vehicles.

(h) No person shall operate a motor vehicle on the highway at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law; provided, this provision shall not apply to farm tractors and other motor vehicles operating at reasonable speeds for the type and nature of such vehicles.

(i) The Department of Transportation shall have authority to designate and appropriately mark certain highways of the State as truck routes.

(j) Repealed by Session Laws 1997, c. 443, s. 19.26(b).

(j1) A person who drives a vehicle on a highway at a speed that is either more than 15 miles per hour more than the speed limit established by law for the highway where the offense occurred or over 80 miles per hour is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(j2) A person who drives a motor vehicle in a highway work zone at a speed greater than the speed limit set and posted under this section shall be required to pay a penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00). This penalty shall be imposed in addition to those penalties established in this Chapter. A "highway work zone" is the area between the first sign that informs motorists of the existence of a work zone on a highway and the last sign that informs motorists of the end of the work zone. The additional penalty imposed by this subsection applies only if sign [signs] are posted at the beginning and end of any segment of the highway work zone stating the penalty for speeding in that segment of the work zone. The Secretary shall ensure that work zones shall only be posted with penalty signs if the Secretary determines, after engineering review, that the posting is necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public due to a hazardous condition.

A law enforcement officer issuing a citation for a violation of this section while in a highway work zone shall indicate the vehicle speed and speed limit posted in the segment of the work zone, and determine whether the individual committed a violation of G.S. 20-141(j1). Upon an individual's conviction of a violation of this section while in a highway work zone, the clerk of court shall report that the vehicle was in a work zone at the time of the violation, the vehicle speed, and the speed limit of the work zone to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

(j3) A person is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if the person drives a commercial motor vehicle carrying a load that is subject to the permit requirements of G.S. 20-119 upon a highway or any public vehicular area at a speed of 15 miles per hour or more above either:

(1) The posted speed; or

(2) The restricted speed, if any, of the permit, or if no permit was obtained, the speed that would be applicable to the load if a permit had been obtained.

(k) Repealed by Session Laws 1995 (Regular Session, 1996), c. 652, s. 1.

(l) Notwithstanding any other provision contained in G.S. 20-141 or any other statute or law of this State, including municipal charters, any speed limit on any portion of the public highways within the jurisdiction of this State shall be uniformly applicable to all types of motor vehicles using such portion of the highway, if on November 1, 1973, such portion of the highway had a speed limit which was uniformly applicable to all types of motor vehicles using it. Provided, however, that a lower speed limit may be established for any vehicle operating under a special permit because of any weight or dimension of such vehicle, including any load thereon. The requirement for a uniform speed limit hereunder shall not apply to any portion of the highway during such time as the condition of the highway, weather, an accident, or other condition creates a temporary hazard to the safety of traffic on such portion of the highway.

(m) The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the foregoing limits shall not relieve the operator of a vehicle from the duty to decrease speed as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering the highway, and to avoid injury to any person or property.

(n) Notwithstanding any other provision contained in G.S. 20-141 or any other statute or law of this State, the failure of a motorist to stop his vehicle within the radius of its headlights or the range of his vision shall not be held negligence per se or contributory negligence per se.

(o) A violation of G.S. 20-123.2 shall be a lesser included offense in any violation of this section, and shall be subject to the following limitations and conditions:

(1) A violation of G.S. 20-123.2 shall be recorded in the driver's official record as "Improper equipment – Speedometer."

(2) The lesser included offense under this subsection shall not apply to charges of speeding in excess of 25 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit.

No drivers license points or insurance surcharge shall be assessed on account of a violation of this subsection.

(p) A driver charged with speeding in excess of 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit shall be ineligible for a disposition of prayer for judgment continued.

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