Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DWI Checkpoints

While DWI and License checkpoints are legal under North Carolina Law, they must be set up properly and have a specific purpose.  See below for more.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Unsafe Movement

Unsafe movement tickets cost more if a motorcycle is involved.  See below for more.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Waiver of court costs

Pursuant to NCGS 7A-304, a judge cannot waive court costs or fees without just cause.  This is no longer I forgot to go to court or I do not have a job.
See below for more.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Improper Speedometer v. Improper Muffler

There is a big difference between a charge for Improper Speedometer and Improper Muffler.  While neither put points, on your license or insurance, Improper Speedometer shows up on your driving record while Improper Muffler does not.  Since the article below was written, most DAs will reduce tickets to Improper Speedometer rather than Improper Muffler.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Study on Texting while Driving

Interesting study on Texting while driving from

    Texting & Driving ─ A Complicated Epidemic, One Possible Solution
   November 2013
Pilot study on texting & driving receives wide-scale media attention.
   If you walk on a college campus today, especially if you haven’t been there in a while, you will be astonished to see 80-90% of all students plugged into their smartphone when walking between classes. Does this obsession carry over to texting while driving?
   A small exploratory study recently received an inordinate amount of media attention because it, quite simply, addressed college students’ motivations to text and drive.1, 2, 3 
   The authors surveyed 120 male and female college students on their texting habits, AND their views on texting and driving.  The study focused on the personality traits of ‘impulsiveness’ and a ‘need to be connected’. On average, the students sent 82 messages per day, with females sending more and males sending fewer. The study surprise, however, according to the authors: “While male respondents widely agree that texting while driving is dangerous they also believe that they are better at texting while driving than other drivers.”
AlertDriver young-adult students frequently express the ‘I’m good at texting’ attitude.
·       “I consider myself to be a really good driver.  But not just a really good driver, a really good texter and driver.”  JB, male, 20, 10/17/13
·       “I text and drive very regularly and am often distracted by other things going on rather than paying attention.”  SK, 21,  female, 11/04/13
Women & the general public are not far behind when actual texting behaviors are studied.
   Despite the males’ cavalier attitude about the dangers of texting and driving in the pilot study, both groups were equally likely to text while driving - 4 out of 5. The females who were more impulsive about texting were at the same time less likely to carry the obsession to the driver’s seat.  Females, in this limited study, recognized the dangers of texting while driving more than males. (A larger national sample study with 8085 teens found that nearly half of all U.S. high school students of driving age texted while driving [TWD] during the 30 days before the survey.) 4
   Similar research by NHTSA reports that while many drivers see distracted driving as risky, they do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates when distracted. The report states that, despite laws banning texting, 660,000 drivers in America are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving at any given daylight moment.Over half of all drivers admit to texting sometimes, so young-adult males aren’t the only ones to hold the belief that texting is dangerous for others, but not for me.
AlertDriver – No driver is immune from texting deterioration and ‘small stuff’ overconfidence leads to trouble.
   As with many problems that plague our roadways, another set of normative values overrides the immediate need to drive safely.  We catch up by reading emails at stop lights. We speed a little to save time. We hurry and roll through stop signs when there are no other cars in the intersection. We glance down at our phones to answer ‘important’ calls.
   AlertDriver implants the notion that no driver is immune from the effects of texting ─ a unique distraction because it takes the driver’s eyes and mind off the road far longer than other simple distractions. AlertDriver emphasizes that we are all vulnerable to becoming overconfident when we do “small stuff” over and over without bad outcomes.
AlertDriver uses peer-to-peer communications to introduce new norms about safe driving.
   The AlertDriver approach to introduce new norms is direct. During the course, drivers of all ages chat openly about their driving experiences AND see other driver’s comments posted daily on the same topic, such as smartphone use. In short, our students look at their own behavior. Many, but not all, change.
·       “I think the course was excellent, I enjoyed the discussion questions and the fact that we got to see feedback from others who have taken the course.” JW, 19, 11/06/13
·       “After taking this course I will not talk or text on the phone again. Knowing that I could hurt someone else is a big responsibility.” JH, 25, 11/04/13
·       “I have always lived under the rule of ‘do as I say but not as I do’ and to be honest it has worked so far. However after taking this class and growing up a little over the last year I have begun to realize that such a code is unacceptable. I have a duty to my family to improve how they drive and help them to be safe on the road. I have begun by simply mentioning the things I've learned in this course and telling them the potential risks they take by talking on the phone while driving, or even not putting a seat belt on until after the vehicle is in motion.” DW, 17, 07/30/13       
Open & honest communication about driving mistakes yields results.
   AlertDriver attempts to be non-judgmental. We reiterate the notion that no driver is perfect, and lay the groundwork for people to talk openly and honestly about their own mistakes on the road.  As even the most resistant student progresses through the course, we witness an evolution of awareness about alert and safe driving.
·       “This course was very useful and informative. Though one can have a broad/general knowledge of driving safely, not everyone understands the details that driving safely entails.  The AlertDriver course truly provides the tools to gain that understanding. The customer feedback sections were fantastic. They allowed me to better appreciate the value of safety through real life experiences.”  NL, 33, 08/01/13
·       1) I thought this course would be hokey; like reading a DMV manual, 2) I would just breeze through it and collect my certificate; 3) I thought I was "educated" and a good driver and I must admit I was WRONG! This has been very informative!! …Overall, I would say this was very useful and all sections are helpful, even if I originally did not want to admit I could use or needed the help.” SH, 49, 08/02/13
·       “I think that all drivers should be required to take this course if they drive.  I have learned things that I didn't even think of.  Thanks for teaching me how to be a focused and safe driver.” WT, 24, 10/14/13, school bus driver         
1.    Lantz, G. Loeb, S. (2013) An exploratory study of psychological tendencies related to texting while driving. International Journal of Sustainable Strategic Management, 4(1): 39
2.    Morin, Monte (October 11, 2013) Males downplay risk of texting and driving, study says. Los Angeles Times, Science.
4.    Olsen E.O., Shults, R.A., & Eaton, D.K.  (2013) Texting while driving and other risky motor vehicle behaviors among US high school students. Pediatrics, 131 (6), e1707 – e1715

AlertDriver is the only course in the U.S. with dynamic online safety discussions.

Alert driver’s motto is “Fine Tune Your Attention – Save Lives.” Alert Driver has been working in the North Carolina court system for a decade. We have proven effectiveness with drivers of all ages.

An AlertDriver goal is to change normative attitudes about attentive driving, and it seems to be working. See our white papers at

Our material is relevant and timely; we post reflective chat on 12 safety-related questions DAILY, keeping the material fresh. The chat questions are used by some families and friends as the basis for ongoing safety discussions.

Alert Driver is not typical driver education. It focuses on the causes of motor vehicle crashes and how to prevent them, not on rules and regulations.

If you would like a free demonstration of our program, please provide your name and email address to or call 919 408-0745.
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Right Turn on Red

You are allowed to turn right on a red light after coming to a complete stop if it is not prohibited by signage at that location.  In North Carolina, you can never turn left at a red light, even if you are traveling from one one way street to another one way street.
See below for more.

Friday, November 8, 2013

License Suspension for 8 rather than 12 points

If you have had your license suspended for too many points and then reinstated, the DMV may revoke your license if you receive 8 points over a 3 year period rather than the normal 12 points.  See below for more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Do you have to stop for a school bus at a 4 way stop

Do you have to stop for a stopped school but at a 4 way stop if you are traveling perpendicular to the travel of the bus.  Under North Carolina law, you do not.  However, it may be a better practice to do so to avoid a needless ticket.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

No Operators License

A conviction for No Operators License is a moving violation.  If you get a Driving While License Revoked charge reduced to No Operators License, you must a get a Prayer for Judgment to keep your license active.

See below for more.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Underage Drinking can suspended your license

You can lose your license for drinking if you are under the age of 21 even if you are not driving.

See below for more information.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pedestrians must abide by crosswalk laws.

While drivers must stop for pedestrians, pedestrians must also follow the law when they cross a street.
See below for more.