Citations for Traffic Violations in Charlotte, North Carolina, Are Declining

Traffic violations in Charlotte are on the decline, but it may not be because all us Charlotteans are such attentive drivers. The reason traffic violations appear to be fewer than in previous years is likely because police have made significantly fewer traffic stops than they did a decade ago. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) wrote almost 100,000 citations for traffic violations and other infractions in 2009. Fast forward to 2019 and that number has fallen to 55,000 citations. By 2020, the citations for traffic violations fell even further to 33,000.

Before you think it's open season for getting away with minor infractions, the CMPD continues to focus on a handfull of traffic violations. Speeding takes the top spot as usual and there are plenty of minor vilolations that can land you in court. Here are five of common traffic violation citations in Charlotte and how to avoid them. 

1. Speeding Traffic Violations

Just over 12,000 drivers in Charlotte were cited for speeding in 2020—about a third of all traffic violation citatations. Many of these speeding tickets are written for residential area and school zone speeding and the usual highway speeding. Here's a quick primer for staying under the speed limit around Charlotte:

  • 55 mph: Highways, unless other wise posted
  • 35 mph: All Charlotte streets, unless otherwise posted

  • 25 mph: Residential streets in neighborhoods

  • 25 mph on all school zones.

2. Vehicle Regulatory Traffic Violations

One in four drivers cited in 2020 for a traffic violation was given a ticket for a vehicle regulatory violation. While these violations are common, they're also some of the easiest to avoid. Here are the most common vehicle violations in Charlotte:

  • Driving with an expired license plates

  • Driving without a valid driver's license

  • Driving without car insurance

  • Driving without a current vehicle registration

3. Running a Stop Sign or Red Light

Not as common as speeding and vehicle violations, failing to stop at a stop light or stop sign in Charlotte is still a problem. As traffic enforcement has declined, the number of vehicle-related fatalities has increased. It should be easy to see why running a red light is illegal and how risky driving behavior can have serious consequences. The simple solution to keeping yourself and others safe is to obey traffic laws and posted signs. You'll help make Charlotte a safer place for pedestrians and drivers and you won't have to get a traffic violation attorney to go with you to court.

4. Vehicle Equipment Traffic Violations

While less than four percent of all drivers cited in Charlotte in 2020 were ticketed for equipment violations that are often easy to avoid. The documented decline in traffic stops in Charlotte may be responsible for this seemingly small percentage. But—many of these infractions are pretty obvious, so if you have any of the following issues or driving behaviors, you could be rolling the dice:

  • Broken or inoperable headlights taillights, or license plate lights

  • Driving while not wearing a seatbelt

  • Having a missing or broken license plate

  • Driving with a broken windshield

5. Safe Movement Traffic Violations

Yes, speeding and running stop signs are certainly unsafe, but North Carolina traffic laws have a special category for safe movement violations. Like too many traffic laws, this one is a bit vague, but basically states that if you drive in a way that isn't safe for other drivers and pedestrians, you could get a traffic ticket. Only about there percent of drivers cited in Charlotte in 2020 were ticketed for this traffic violation. If you don't want to be one of them in 2023, drive attentively and avoid these common unsafe movements:

  • Passing in a no-passing zone

  • Backing your vehicle carelessly

  • Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you

Traffic violation citations are trending down in Charlotte, but it's important to remember that some violations are still being cited regularly. Keep your vehicle in good mechanical condition, drive safely, and if you do get a traffic ticket, there's a Charlotte traffic attorney you can count on.

Years of traffic ticket experience and local relationships is how the Law Office of Jason H. Reece has helped so many drivers and we can do the same for you. If you get a traffic ticket, get help online or call 704-714-8888 and we'll get to work.