Q. What is the law concerning trailers being towed in North Carolina? Do they need lights and tags? I have seen several that block the lights of the towing vehicle. Are these trailers required to get inspected to be allowed on the road? Are the cops just looking the other way and allowing unsafe passage by these trailers?
A. The answer to the first question is yes, trailers being towed behind vehicles are required to have lights, and license plates must stay visible.
Here is how the law for lights reads:
“Every motor vehicle, and every trailer or semitrailer attached to a motor vehicle and every vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a combination of vehicles, shall have all originally equipped rear lamps or the equivalent in good working order, which lamps shall exhibit a red light plainly visible under normal atmospheric conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle.”
Marge Howell, spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, said trailers are not required to be inspected, but they do need to be registered.
Failing to follow the law could result in a citation for “improper equipment” or “driving without registration.” However, those charges could be leveled in a multitude of other scenarios, making it difficult to measure how often police enforce the rules.
Date posted: March 29, 2013
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