Is it against the law to do donuts in an NC parking lot, or cut across lanes? Here’s the law

It’s safer to follow the designated lanes painted in a parking lot, but that doesn’t stop drivers from cutting through empty spaces to get across the lot faster.

Parking lots are also popular spots for drivers who like doing donuts, a dangerous move that involves turning a car in a tight circle while accelerating, leaving behind dark skid marks, according to Jerry Insurance.

Both of these moves could be considered risky, since they can increase the likelihood of damage to other cars, property and injuries to pedestrians.

But can you be charged with reckless driving in a parking lot? Here’s what North Carolina law says.

Can you be charged with reckless driving in a parking lot in NC?

According to North Carolina law, “any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway or any public vehicular area carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others shall be guilty of reckless driving.”

Those who drive at a speed that could be considered dangerous to others can be found guilty of the same offense, the law says.

What is a public vehicular area? The state defines “public vehicular areas” as any area used for vehicular traffic, including roads, streets and parking lots, meaning you can be charged for reckless driving in a parking lot.

What is the penalty for reckless driving in NC?

Unlike most traffic tickets, where drivers can pay a fine to have the charge dismissed, reckless driving charges come with mandatory court appearances, according to Stowe Law Firm, a firm based in Salisbury.

“If you have been charged, you must attend the scheduled court hearing, even if you intend to plead guilty,” the firm says. “Failure to appear can result in additional fines and penalties, and the judge could even issue a warrant for your arrest.”

However, you may able to avoid appearing in court if you hire an attorney, according to the firm.

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