Receiving a traffic ticket for the illegal passing of another vehicle can be hugely inconvenient. Many North Carolina drivers ignore traffic tickets or pay the fine so they can move on. However, this could lead to significant financial and legal consequences, such as increased insurance premiums and points on their license. 

Don’t risk it; hire a traffic ticket attorney from Greene Wilson Crow & Smith to protect your rights. Our attorneys will handle your traffic ticket for you. In many cases, we represent our clients in court for them. Working with an attorney could help you avoid points on your driver’s license, increased insurance premiums, and, in some cases, a suspension of your driver’s license. Don’t hesitate to contact Greene Wilson Crow & Smith to schedule a complimentary case evaluation to learn how we can fight your illegal passing ticket for you.

§ 20‑149 and § 20‑150 Limitations on Overtaking a Vehicle

Overtaking a vehicle happens when one driver passes another driver on the roadway. While it’s a common practice, it is possible for drivers to receive a traffic ticket while overtaking another vehicle. Laws governing illegal passing are outlined in § 20‑149 and § 20‑149. Drivers passing other vehicles driving in the same direction must pass at least two feet to the left. They can’t move back onto the right side of the highway until they’ve safely cleared the overtaken vehicle. 

Drivers being overtaken must yield the right of way and should not increase their speed until the other vehicle has safely passed. Drivers can only drive to the left side of the center of a highway to overtake and pass another vehicle driving in the same direction when the following conditions are met:

  • The left side is clearly visible
  • The left side is free from oncoming traffic for enough distance to overtake and pass another vehicle safely

Drivers cannot overtake and pass another vehicle in the same direction by driving on a curve in the highway or on an elevated section when the driver’s view along the highway is obstructed within 500 feet. Additionally, drivers can’t overtake and pass vehicles at a railway crossing. They cannot pass a vehicle at an intersection unless they are explicitly permitted to by a traffic or police officer. Drivers cannot drive to the left of the center on an elevated crest or curve in the highway when a centerline has been visibly placed on the highway by the Department of Transportation. 

Drivers Cannot Pass Other Drivers in Violation of Traffic Signs

When the highway is marked with signs, markers, or markings clearly stating that passing shouldn’t be attempted, drivers cannot pass other vehicles at all, even if the driver can safely do so. However, there are some exceptions to the general rule, including when:

  • A driver passes a slower-moving vehicle, such as a bicycle or moped
  • The slower-moving vehicle is driving in the same direction as the faster vehicle 
  • The driver of the faster-moving vehicle provides at least four feet of space or completely enters the left lane of the highway
  • The driver of the slower-moving vehicle isn’t signaling to make a left-hand turn or actively making a left-hand turn
  • The driver of the faster-moving vehicle complies with all other traffic requirements

Finally, drivers cannot pass self-propelled farm equipment driving in the same direction when the farm equipment is making a left-hand turn or signaling they intend to make a left-hand turn.

The Penalties of Illegal Passing in North Carolina

Those convicted who plead guilty to illegal passing in North Carolina will receive four points on their driver’s licenses and two insurance points. When a driver’s illegal passing is the proximate cause of a collision resulting in serious bodily injury, the driver will face a Class 1 misdemeanor. When the illegal passing is the proximate cause of a collision causing property damage or bodily injury, the driver will face a Class 2 misdemeanor charge. 

In all other cases, drivers will receive an infraction for illegal passing. Drivers can also be charged with speeding for negligently overtaking other vehicles. If the driver was speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, they could receive a fine and points on their driver’s record. Speeding more than 55 miles per hour over the speed limit while overtaking a vehicle can result in a significant fine and a suspension of your driver’s license. 

How to Fight a Traffic Ticket for Illegal Passing

Hiring an experienced traffic ticket attorney will increase the likelihood of the ticket being dismissed or reduced. The attorneys at Greene Wilson Crow & Smith regularly work in traffic courts in New Bern and throughout North Carolina. Our attorneys have developed a successful working relationship with judges, prosecutors, and fellow attorneys. 

We give every case the attention it deserves and negotiate aggressively with prosecutors, judges, and fellow attorneys. After analyzing the facts of your case, we’ll examine your driving record and the facts surrounding the ticket and develop a unique defense strategy. We may be able to appear in court, so you don’t have to endure the drawn-out process of attending traffic court. We’ll communicate with you and notify you of the results of your case after it’s been handled, saving you time and money. 

Contact an Experienced Traffic Ticket Attorney in New Bern

Before paying your traffic ticket for illegal passing, you’ll benefit from contacting an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and your legal defense options. We provide North Carolina residents with affordable, effective legal representation. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your traffic ticket on the phone or in person, giving you advice tailored to your unique situation. Don’t hesitate to contact illegal passing of another vehicle to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.