Raleigh, NC asked in Car Accidents for North Carolina

Q: In north carolina can i drive my car with no bumper. All lights work and are intact

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bill Powers
Bill Powers
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Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: GREAT QUESTION

You've stumped this lawyer. North Carolina seems to focus on safety equipment such as lighting, brake lights, windshield wipers (if it's raining), etc. If a bumper wasn't properly affixed/attached and/or about to fall off, law enforcement likely could conduct a stop.

Chapter 20 does not specifically mention the requirement of a bumper, at least as far as I can tell. If someone knows of a General Statute requiring a bumper, please speak up.

See: https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-129.pdf

A Safety Inspection in NC mentions wheels, tires, sounding horn, lights, emissions, etc. Again, no mention of bumpers:

§ 20-183.3. Scope of safety inspection and emissions inspection.

(a) Safety. - A safety inspection of a motor vehicle consists of an inspection of the following equipment to determine if the vehicle has the equipment required by Part 9 of Article 3 of this Chapter and if the equipment is in a safe operating condition:

(1) Brakes, as required by G.S. 20-124.

(2) Lights, as required by G.S. 20-129 or G.S. 20-129.1.

(3) Horn, as required by G.S. 20-125(a).

(4) Steering mechanism, as required by G.S. 20-123.1.

(5) Windows and windshield wipers, as required by G.S. 20-127. To determine if a vehicle window meets the window tinting restrictions, a safety inspection mechanic must first determine, based on use of an automotive film check card or knowledge of window tinting techniques, if after-factory tint has been applied to the window. If after-factory tint has been applied, the mechanic must use a light meter approved by the Commissioner to determine if the window meets the window tinting restrictions.

(6) Directional signals, as required by G.S. 20-125.1.

(7) Tires, as required by G.S. 20-122.1.

(8) Mirrors, as required by G.S. 20-126.

(9) Exhaust system and emissions control devices, as required by G.S. 20-128. For a vehicle that is subject to an emissions inspection in addition to a safety inspection, a visual inspection of the vehicle's emissions control devices is included in the emissions inspection rather than the safety inspection.

https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-183.3.html

Again, great question!

Bill Powers

Criminal Defense Lawyer Charlotte NC

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: You may be technically correct--but having stumped the trooper, the trooper may say "well, let's check the rest of your vehicle." And if that's clean, you can bet (s)he'll have a special memory of you, your vehicle, if he lives in your area all the vehicles in your household.

You won the battle! But you forgot not everyone likes a wise guy. Ticket, ticket, ticket, ticket, dripping like rain down your neck.

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