Cop car with flashing lights

What Are the Penalties for Failing to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle in NC?

Many people find that a traffic citation is not a big deal, but there are some traffic offenses that can lead to much more serious consequences. In North Carolina, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle is one of them. Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle is generally charged as a misdemeanor, which will result in a permanent criminal record as well as points on your license and increased premiums from your insurance provider. However, more serious cases can be charged as a felony. 

Under North Carolina’s “Move Over” law, drivers must move to the side of the road and stop when an emergency vehicle is approaching. Such emergency vehicles include:

  • Private or public ambulances
  • Fire department vehicles
  • Law enforcement vehicles
  • Public service vehicles
  • Rescue squad emergency vehicles

Ways to Violate NC’s Move Over Law

If you fail to comply and a police officer sees you, you will receive a citation. However, there are other ways that you can violate the law. 

  1. Not coming to a complete stop after moving out of the way of the emergency vehicle
  2. Moving in front of and blocking the path of an emergency vehicle
  3. Not allowing the emergency vehicle to pass safely

Approaching an Emergency Vehicle

When you are approaching an emergency vehicle, you must move over a lane (if you can do so safely) and reduce your speed. This is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250. You will receive three points on your license, which can significantly increase your auto insurance premiums. 

Emergency Vehicle Approaching You

If an emergency vehicle is approaching with its lights or siren on, you must pull over parallel to the right side of the road or curb and come to a complete stop. You may begin driving again once the vehicle has passed you, or if law enforcement gives you instructions to. However, if you are driving the opposite direction on a four-lane highway and there is a physical barrier or median separating the road, you need not stop. If you fail to comply, this will also result in a Class 2 misdemeanor. 

Following a Fire Truck

It is an infraction resulting in a $250 fine if you follow a fire truck that is headed to a fire within one block. Additionally, you may not park within one block of the fire truck if it has stopped due to a fire alarm. 

Parking Near an Emergency Vehicle

You may not park within 100 feet of an emergency vehicle that is either rendering aid or is engaged in the investigation of an accident. This is also an infraction that carries a $250 fine. 

A violation of any of these actions that causes more than $500 in property damage will be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor.

If you wish to fight the allegation, the officer that issued the ticket must also appear in court in order to prove his or her case. You will also be provided the opportunity to argue in your own defense. 

To prepare to argue your case, you should compile as much evidence as possible. This may include pictures from the scene in which you were cited as well as your version of events written down. You will want to do this as soon as possible, as memory fades with time. 

Hancock Law Firm Helps Those in NC Who Have Been Cited for Failing to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle

If you have been charged with the failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, it is in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we will work hard to get your ticket minimized or even dismissed. To learn more about hate crimes or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Hancock Law Firm gives an overview of what is considered reckless driving in North Carolina.

What to Know About Reckless Driving in North Carolina

Most traffic and speeding offenses are not considered to be serious crimes, but rather infractions, in the state of North Carolina. However, there are still some that carry more serious consequences that may stay on your record forever. One such offense: Reckless Driving. 

Reckless Driving is a moving violation, considered to be a class 2 misdemeanor, which will leave you with four points on your license. The good news is that your license is not likely to be revoked for such a conviction short of other present factors. 

Types of Reckless Driving

There are several types of reckless driving for which you may be charged. They include the following:

  1. A driver of a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area who carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregards the safety or rights of others. 
  2. A driver of a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area lacks due caution and circumspection by driving at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or likely endanger any persons or property. This is the most commonly charged type of reckless driving.
  3. A driver going more than 15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit of more than 55 mph.
  4. A driver speeding over 80 mph.
  5. A person driving a commercial motor vehicle carrying an oversize or overweight load who does so carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or likely endanger any persons or property. 

Contact Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Today to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless driving in North Carolina, a conviction can leave you with long-lasting consequences. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced North Carolina Criminal Defense attorneyAt Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we understand how a reckless driving conviction can negatively impact many aspects of your life and will fight to minimize the consequences and impact of your charges. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!