Are North Carolina Motorcycle Riders Allowed to Run Red Lights?

It probably seems reasonable for you to assume that running a red light is against the law in North Carolina. What many people don’t know, however, is that, under specific circumstances, motorcycle riders are actually allowed to go through a red light. In order to work around the problem of red light sensors not always acknowledging motorcyclists, North Carolina enacted a Safe-on-Red law in 2007 that makes it legal for motorcyclists to move with caution through a red light after certain requirements have been met. 

If you were injured during a motorcycle accident while you were obeying the law, you could be entitled to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault driver. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our lawyers have seen first-hand the life-changing impacts of serious motorcycle accidents and are dedicated to helping injured clients through this challenging time.

Our lawyers have been helping people handle their North Carolina personal injury claims for more than four decades. We have the skills and the resources required to take on the most difficult cases. Call us today to schedule your free and confidential case review with an experienced North Carolina motorcycle accident attorney

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycles provide their riders with far less protection than is afforded to the occupants of other types of vehicles. A motorcycle rider is four times more likely to sustain serious injuries and 28 times more likely to die in an accident than someone in a passenger vehicle. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, in one recent year, 160 motorcycle riders were killed in motorcycle accidents throughout the state, and an additional 3,700 were injured. It is essential for motorcyclists to have a thorough understanding of North Carolina motorcycle laws, such as the safe-on-red law, and to wear DOT-approved helmets as well as additional safety gear.

When is a Motorcyclist Able to Run a Red Light In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, as in most other places, it is against the law for a motorcycle rider to run a red light. There are, however, a few unusual scenarios to which exceptions apply.  

Legislators in North Carolina passed the Safe on Red law due to the fact that the traffic signal sensors that cause the light to change can fail to acknowledge motorcycles since they are so much lighter and smaller than other motor vehicles. This failure to acknowledge can pose a serious risk. It can motivate motorcyclists to run red lights, dismount their bikes in the roadway to go hit the crosswalk control or even signal for other vehicles to bypass them in hopes of triggering a sensor. Any of these actions could put a motorcycle rider in a great deal of danger. 

Bikers are required to stop at a red light and wait no less than three minutes for the light to turn green. If the light fails to change and no other vehicles are nearing the intersection, the biker may then proceed with due care through the red light.

Do You Need a North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Each motorcycle accident case is unique, and the regulations and laws that apply will depend on the circumstances surrounding your accident. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina, it is important that you protect your right to recovery by speaking with an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer

Schedule a free review of your case by calling the law firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp at (833) 997-1774. We can offer you the advice and staunch legal advocacy that you need to see a successful outcome in your North Carolina personal injury case. 

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