There are four new provisions under North Carolina’s motor vehicle laws that became effective at the start of the month.
The new laws, passed by the N.C. General Assembly, affect either vehicles or drivers in the state. They include:
House Bill 6 (Session Law 2015-163) defines an autocycle. An autocycle is a three-wheeled motorcycle that has a steering wheel, pedals and seat safety belts for each occupant, antilock brakes, air bag protection, completely enclosed seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride, does not require a motorcycle endorsement to operate and is otherwise manufactured to comply with federal safety requirements for motorcycles. A driver license is required to operate an autocycle. An autocycle has the same requirements for a vehicle inspection and vehicle registration as a motorcycle.
House Bill 350 (Session Law 2015-165) directs the Division of Motor Vehicles to restore the driver license of a person judged by the court to be restored to competency. This law requires the clerk of court to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles when a person is judged by the court to be restored to competency.
Senate Bill 90 (Session Law 2015-31) affects required brake light equipment. Vehicles manufactured after December 31, 1955 and on or before December 31, 1970 are required to be equipped with one stop lamp on the rear of the vehicle to operate on the state’s highways. Vehicles manufactured after December 31, 1970, are required to be equipped with stop lamps, ONE ON EACH SIDE of the rear of the vehicle to operate on the state’s highways.
Senate Bill 541 Session Law 2015-237) defines and regulates Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). A TNC is defined as any person or company that used an online-enabled application or platform to connect passengers with TNC drivers who provide pre-arranged transportation services. The legislation regulates TNCs by requiring a permit from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, maintenance of liability insurance and background checks for drivers. The legislation also requires a driver who also drives for a TNC to continue to carry liability insurance coverage while he/she is logged on to the TNC’s online-enabled application platform, but is not providing TNC service.