Safety Laws in North Carolina

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  • Motorcycles: All riders are required to wear helmets while riding.
  • Bicycles: All bicycle riders younger than 15 years old are required by law to wear helmets while riding.


  • Motorcycles: All motorcycle riders are required to turn on headlights during daytime.
  • Bicycles: When riding at night, your bicycle must be equipped with a red rear reflector light which is visible from 200 feet and a front white light which is visible from 300 feet.
  • Vehicles: Headlights must be turned on whenever windshields are in use and whenever the weather can’t allow you to see past 400 feet. Additionally, headlights must also be turned on from sunset to sunrise.

Cell Phones and Texting

  • All drivers younger than 18 years old are not allowed to use cell phones while driving. They are only allowed to use cell phones during emergencies. All school bus drivers are banned from the use of cell phones.
  • All drivers in North Carolina, regardless of age and license status, are banned from cell phone use while driving.

Child Car Seat Laws

  • Children weighing less than 80 pounds and younger than 8 years old must ride in a booster seat or child car seat.
  • Depending on which comes first, children can start using seat belts once they reach 80 pounds or turn 8 years old.
  • Children younger than 5 years old or weighing less than 40 lbs must ride in car seats fastened in rear seat, provided your car is fitted with passenger-side airbags. This law can be avoided if your child's safety seat is equipped with an air bag system.

Seat Belts

  • Children younger than 16 years old, regardless of where they sit, must wear seat belts and comply with the above weight requirements.
  • Passengers older than 16 years old must wear a seat belt regardless of where they sit.

Reporting Drunk or Dangerous Drivers

If you suspect a drunk or dangerous driver, report them to the North Carolina’s Highway Patrol. You can do so by calling *47 or 911. Be sure to provide the driver’s license plate number, description, current location and travel direction.

Reporting Unattended Kids in Vehicles

If you suspect unattended kid in a vehicle in danger, dial 911 immediately. Remain near the vehicle until the authorities arrive.

Reporting Unattended Pets in Vehicles

If you suspect unattended pet in a vehicle that is in danger, contact the animal control unit or the local police department immediately.