Motorcycles and Red Lights: What You Need to Know Before Riding in North Carolina

Motorcycles and Red Lights: What You Need to Know Before Riding in North Carolina

You might assume that running a red light is always illegal in North Carolina. But under certain circumstances, motorcyclists may proceed through a red light. To contend with the issue of sensors not always recognizing motorcycles, the state of North Carolina has a safe-on-red law that allows motorcyclists to proceed cautiously through a red light after fulfilling certain requirements. Riders must stop at the red light and wait at least three minutes for the light to change. If the light doesn’t change and no other motorists are approaching the intersection, the motorcyclist can proceed carefully through the red light.

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident even though you were following the law? If so, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the person who injured you. At Hardison & Cochran, our attorneys understand that a motorcycle accident can be life-changing. We are committed to helping you through this difficult time.

For over 30 years, our attorneys have been helping people in North Carolina with personal injury claims, workers’ compensation claims, and Social Security disability benefits. We have seven offices across the state and a team of board-certified specialists. We have the resources and the skill to take on the toughest cases. Contact us today for a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in North Carolina.

When Can a Motorcycle Run a Red Light In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, it’s generally illegal for motorcyclists to run red lights. However, there are some rare situations that are an exception. The motorcycle red light law is commonly known as a safe-on-red law and was passed in 2007.

North Carolina lawmakers passed the law because traffic light sensors that trigger light changes sometimes fail to recognize motorcycles because they are smaller and lighter in weight than automobiles. This can pose a danger. It may encourage motorcycle riders to run red lights, get off their motorcycles to hit the crosswalk button or signal to cars to pass them to trigger the sensors. The actions can put the motorcyclist in danger. The safe-on-red law allows a motorcyclist to ride through a red light after stopping and waiting at least three minutes, provided that no other motorists or pedestrians arrive at the intersection.

Motorcycles offer less protection than cars and trucks. Motorcyclists are four times likelier to be injured and 28 times likelier to die in a collision than passenger vehicle occupants. In a recent year, 160 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, and 3,666 were injured in North Carolina. It’s important for motorcyclists to be aware of N.C. motorcycle laws, including the safe-on-red law, and to wear helmets and other protective gear.

Schedule A Free Case Review with Our Experienced Raleigh Motorcycle Injury Attorneys

Were you hurt in a motorcycle accident in Raleigh? Was someone else at fault? Get in touch with Hardison & Cochran for help seeking compensation to cover your medical bills and other losses from the person who hit you.

We understand that the aftermath of a serious injury can be challenging and stressful. Let us take the legal burden from your shoulders and pursue an injury claim on your behalf.

Contact us today to schedule your free case review with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Raleigh. 

About the Author

Hardison & Cochran was established based on the conviction that a modern approach was essential in today’s legal landscape. Focused on delivering exceptional results through a skilled team, the firm prioritizes personal attention, integrity, and client needs. Each attorney, paralegal, and staff member is dedicated to this vision. Over three decades, with Ben Cochran overseeing daily operations, the firm has evolved into a highly respected practice.