Just in 2020 alone, police officers issued over 20,000 traffic tickets to drivers in Charlotte, North Carolina. And judging by this year's numbers so far, traffic violations are not decreasing. If you don't want to become one of those unlucky drivers, it helps to know what cops are on the lookout for. These are the five most common traffic tickets in Charlotte.
12,450 drivers got a citation for speeding in Charlotte in 2020. Because this is by far the most common fine, it's always worth going over the city's speed limits:
35 mph on all Charlotte streets, unless there is a sign with a different speed limit.
25 mph on local neighborhood streets.
25 mph on all school zones.
Even drivers who know speed limits by heart can be caught speeding. For example, if their mind is wandering while driving, they're more likely to speed, according to a North Carolina State University study. Make sure to keep your eyes on the road and your mind sharp when you're behind the wheel.
2. Vehicle Regulatory Violations
25% of drivers who were fined in 2020 committed vehicle regulatory violations. That's a mouthful and a very broad category. These are all violations under this umbrella:
Driving with expired licensed plates.
Not having a valid driver's license.
Driving without an insurance policy.
Not having a valid, updated vehicle registration.
Out of all the infractions on this list, these seem the easiest to avoid. Keep all your documents in a safe place and always carry them with you when you're on the road.
3. Ignoring Stop Lights and Signs
Although not as common, stop light and sign violations are also a problem in Charlotte. Running a red light and not stopping at a stop sign are both illegal in North Carolina. And yes, simply slowing down when you see a stop sign is also a violation.
You should always follow this traffic rule, even if you're in a hurry. Stop signs and red lights are there for a reason—to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe.
4. Vehicle Equipment Violations
Vehicle equipment violations also came up fairly often in 2020. About 3.5% of all drivers who got citations ran into this problem. Once again, this is a very broad category. Generally speaking, it involves problems with the car and its passengers or driver. For example:
Driving with a broken headlight or taillight.
Not wearing a seatbelt while driving.
Driving with a broken or missing license plate.
Having a broken windshield.
Not having the license plate light on.
Not following child safety seat laws.
Driving a vehicle with tinted windows that block visibility.
The best way to avoid getting this type of fine is to regularly check your vehicle. Walk around it to see if all the lights are working. Inspect the windshield to see if it's cracked (especially if you drive on country roads often). Get acknowledged with the dashboard lights and learn what they mean. If any parts are giving you problems, fix them as soon as possible.
5. Safe Movement Violations
Lastly, if you drive in a way that isn't safe for other drivers and pedestrians, you could get a safe movement violation. Just over 3% of drivers in Charlotte got this fine in 2020. Here are some of the things you need to avoid:
Passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone.
Improperly backing up your vehicle.
Not leaving enough distance from the car in front of you.
If you're an attentive driver, you shouldn't have a problem avoiding this. But if you tend to get road rage, it's time to start curbing those risky driving behaviors.
Avoid and Resolve Tickets with Defensive Driving
Avoiding tickets is always the best move, but you might get a ticket at some point. When you do, taking a defensive driving course can let you move on and leave that mistake in the past. This 100% online option helps you avoid points on your driving record and keep your insurance costs low. Not to mention, it will give you a refresher on safe driving tips so you can avoid fines in the future.