Report: North Carolina Ranks In The Middle For Auto Safety Laws

Jan 23, 2018

North Carolina ranked in the middle nationally when it comes to auto safety laws according to a report released this week by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.  The group is an "alliance of consumer, medical, public health, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer."

The 2018 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws lauded North Carolina for having strong laws that target distracted driving.  Texting while driving is banned in North Carolina, where it is a primary offense.  That means police can pull a driver over specifically for it.  Drivers under the age of 18 in the state are also banned from all use of cell phones while driving, including hands-free use.

The report knocked North Carolina for its laws regarding toddler safety in vehicles - specifically that there is no mandate that children under the age of 2 must ride rear-facing.  The group also pushes an 'optimal booster seat law' that would require children who have outgrown the height and weight limit of a forward-facing safety seat be placed in a booster seat that should be used until the child can properly use the vehicle’s seat belt - which is defined when a child reaches 57 inches in height and age eight.  Only 15 states have approved that law, while only nine have okayed the rear-facing for under 2 law.  North Carolina hasn't passed either.

The other law the report says North Carolina should okay is mandatory ignition interlocks for those convicted of DUI.  The interlocks prevent a car from starting if a driver blows into and a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit is detected.   This law has been popular in statehouses across the country in recent years, as 30 states as well as the District of Columbia have now approved it.