20-183. Duties and powers of law-enforcement officers; warning by local officers before stopping another vehicle on highway; warning tickets.

(a) It shall be the duty of the law-enforcement officers of the State and of each county, city, or other municipality to see that the provisions of this Article are enforced within their respective jurisdictions, and any such officer shall have the power to arrest on sight or upon warrant any person found violating the provisions of this Article. Such officers within their respective jurisdictions shall have the power to stop any motor vehicle upon the highways of the State for the purpose of determining whether the same is being operated in violation of any of the provisions of this Article. Provided, that when any county, city, or other municipal law-enforcement officer operating a motor vehicle overtakes another vehicle on the highways of the State, outside of the corporate limits of cities and towns, for the purpose of stopping the same or apprehending the driver thereof, for a violation of any of the provisions of this Article, he shall, before stopping such other vehicle, sound a siren or activate a special light, bell, horn, or exhaust whistle approved for law-enforcement vehicles under the provisions of G.S. 20-125(b).

(b) In addition to other duties and powers heretofore existing, all law-enforcement officers charged with the duty of enforcing the motor vehicle laws are authorized to issue warning tickets to motorists for conduct constituting a potential hazard to the motoring public which does not amount to a definite, clear-cut, substantial violation of the motor vehicle laws. Each warning ticket issued shall contain information necessary to identify the offender, and shall be signed by the issuing officer. A copy of each warning ticket issued shall be delivered to the offender. Information from issued warning tickets shall be made available to the Drivers License Section of the Division of Motor Vehicles in a manner approved by the Commissioner but shall not be filed with or in any manner become a part of the offender's driving record. Warning tickets issued as well as the fact of issuance shall be privileged information and available only to authorized personnel of the Division for statistical and analytical purposes. (1937, c. 407, s. 143; 1961, c. 793; 1965, cc. 537, 999; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1998-149, s. 9.2.)