When we sign up to become licensed drivers, we assume a legal duty to obey the rules of the road, including the duty to obey stoplights and other traffic control devices.
Unfortunately, this duty is often breached, even by so-called “professional” drivers – those who earn their living behind the wheel of a semi-truck, 18-wheeler, garbage truck, dump truck, or other commercial vehicle.
Driver Charged with Traffic Violation After Wreck
According to a news report, the operator of a dump truck has been charged with a stoplight violation after a recent accident. The report indicated that the North Carolina Highway Patrol’s investigation of a collision between the dump truck and a smaller vehicle showed that the accident occurred because the dump truck driver disregarded a stoplight. It is unclear as to whether the driver will admit guilt or try to fight the charge.
When a driver is charged criminally or given a citation as a result of a motor vehicle accident, the matter is resolved through the criminal justice system. When one party sues another to recover monetary damages (such as medical expenses or property damage) resulting from a crash, that claim proceeds through the civil court system.
Although the two issues are separate, sometimes a criminal conviction can be used to prove negligence in a civil case. Negligence lawsuits require the plaintiff to prove the elements of duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The fact that a driver is convicted of a traffic violation as a result of the accident can help prove the elements of duty and breach of duty.
“SafeLight” Raleigh – What it Means to You
In related news, the City of Raleigh (like other cities around the country) has begun to use special red light cameras to take photographs of vehicles that pass through intersections after the light has changed to red. SafeLight citations can then be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Procedures are in place for appealing such citations, such as on the grounds that the registered owner was not driving the automobile at the time in question.
The purpose of the SafeLight program is to reduce the danger to motorists and pedestrians resulting from careless motorists’ tendency to push through traffic lights. There simply aren’t enough police officers to be at every red light each time a traffic violation occurs.
SafeLight program citations are considered non-criminal and do not increase license points or insurance premiums at this time. They do, however, result in a fine of $50 and could, at least potentially, be used as evidence in an automobile accident case against a driver who runs a red light.
A North Carolina Truck Accident Law Firm Here to Help
Big trucks like 18-wheelers and dump trucks have the potential to cause severe injuries and even death when they collide with a passenger vehicle. Negligent truckers and trucking companies should be held liable for the harm they cause when they disregard the law. To talk to a knowledgeable North Carolina truck accident attorney about your case, call Nagle & Associates today at (888) 841-7177 for a free consultation. We represent injured people in truck accident lawsuits throughout the state of North Carolina.
Related Blog Posts