Speeding Tickets in North Carolina
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in North Carolina
North Carolina Points Ė Fines Ė Reciprocity and Other Issues
North Carolina Speeding Ticket Procedures
The three primary types of speed limits are absolute speed limits, presumed speed limits, and basic speed limits. In the case of absolutes speed limits, a speeding violation may be issued if the driver was driving at a rate of speed greater speed than the one posted. The state must prove that the driverís speed was greater than the posted limit. In a state that utilizes presumed speed limits, a driver is presumed to be breaking the law by going above the posted speed limit, but the driver may attempt prove that he or she was going at a safe speed for road and traffic conditions. The state must prove that the driverís speed was unreasonable under the circumstances.
North Carolina speed law is an absolute speed law. Absolute speed law in North Carolina makes it unlawful for a driver to exceed the maximum speed posted on the roadway. The highest maximum speed in North Carolina is 70 miles per hour for controlled access or interstate highways. North Carolina statutory speed limits are 35 miles per hour inside municipal corporate limits for all vehicles and 55 miles per hour outside municipal corporate limits for all vehicles except for school buses and school activity buses. In addition to maximum speed limits, North Carolina also has minimum speed limits that are indicated by a minimum speed signs. These limits are 40 miles per hour in a speed zone of 55 miles per hour and 45 miles per hour in a speed zone of 60 miles per hour or greater.
Driving 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 excessive speeding, and is considered a Class 2 Misdemeanor in North Carolina. A conviction of excessive speeding will lead to a 30-day license suspension. A judge may allow limited privileges during this suspension.
Elements of a Speeding Charge in North Carolina
Because North Carolina follows absolute speed law, the key element in a speeding citation is to prove the driverís speed exceeded or was below the limit posted. Note, however, that radar alone is insufficient evidence for a conviction at trial. The State must offer some opinion testimony, almost always by a police officer, that the vehicle was travelling in excess of the posted speed. In addition, it must be shown that accused was the driver operating the vehicle and that the stopped vehicle was the actual vehicle traveling at the excessive speed.
Commercial Vehicles and Speeding
Commercial vehicles citations in North Carolina differ from passenger vehicles because commercial vehicles have a separate point schedule and fines for violations can be doubled. In addition, a driver of a commercial vehicle is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if the person drives a commercial motor vehicle at a speed of 15 miles per hour or more above either the posted speed or 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.
Speed Trap Laws in North Carolina
There is no law against speed traps in North Carolina so it is important to abide by the speed limit and pay close attention to certain areas such as construction or school zones.