The separate appeals of defendants Atlantic Greyhound Corporation and Yates Clyde Farris and of defendant George W. Sharpe are considered together, in view of the fact that they are in the same cause and from the same judgment on verdict finding joint and concurrent actionable negligence of all defendants.
In this connection decision here turns upon these assignments of error r (1) The refusal of the court to grant the motions of the respective defendants for judgment as in case of nonsuit at the close of all the evidence; and (2) a certain portion of the charge.
In the light of the allegations of joint and concurrent negligence as set forth in the complaint, the evidence shown in the record, tested by principles of law applicable thereto, appears to be sufficient to take the case to the jury as to all defendants.
The statute, G. S., 20-141, pertaining to restrictions upon speed of motor vehicles in this State provides in pertinent part that “no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway at a speed that is greater than 'is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.” It also provides that the fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prima facie limits therein set forth shall not relieve the driver from the duty to decrease speed when special hazard exists with respect to other traffic or by reason of weather and highway conditions, and the speed shall be decreased as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any vehicle on the highway in compliance with legal requirements, and the duty of all persons to use due care. In Kolman v. Silbert, 219 N. C., 134, 12 S. E. (2d), 915, referring to this section of the statute and to that section now G. S., 20-140, Barnhill, J., characterized them as constituting “the hub of the motor traffic law around which all other provisions regulating the operation of automobiles revolve.” And, continuing, it is there said: “The motorist must at all times drive with due caution and circumspection, and at a speed and in a manner so as not to endanger, or be likely *698to endanger, any person or property. At no time may he lawfully drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.” In that case as in the present case, the weather was inclement, — raining.
However, the above statute, G. S., 20-141, further provides that the above provision shall not be construed to relieve the plaintiff in any civil action from the burden of proving negligence op. the part of defendant as the proximate cause of an accident.
Also, the statute, G. S., 20-146, provides in pertinent part that upon all highways of sufficient width, except upon one-way streets, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the same upon the right half of the highway, unless it is impracticable to travel upon such side of the highway. Moreover, the statute, G. S., 20-148, provides that “drivers of vehicles proceeding in opposite directions shall pass each other to the right, each giving to the other at least one-half of the main-tr.aveled portion of the roadway as nearly as possible.” The violation of either G. S., 20-146, or G. S., 20-148, would be negligence per se, but in order to be actionable such negligence must have been the proximate cause, or one of the proximate causes, of the collision. See Morgan v. Coach Co., 225 N. C., 668, 36 S. E. (2d), 263; Tysinger v. Dairy Products, 225 N. C., 717, 36 S. E. (2d), 246, and cases cited.
Furthermore, the motor vehicle statute provides that no person, except those expressly exempted from license, “shall operate a motor vehicle upon any highway in this State unless such person upon application has been licensed as an operator or chauffeur by the department under the provisions of this article.” G. S., 20-7. It is also provided “an operator’s license shall not be issued to any person under the age of sixteen (16) years . . .” G. S., 20-9, — the age being reduced to fifteen years for biennium ending 19 March, 1947. Session Laws 1945, chapter 834.
And it is further provided that “no person shall authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicle owned by him or under his control to be driven by any person who has no legal right to do so or in violation of any of the provisions of this article.” G. S., 20-34. Such violations are declared to be misdemeanors. G. S., 20-35.
The violation of these provisions of the statute would constitute negligence per se, but in order to be actionable such negligence must be the proximate cause, or a proximate cause, of the injury. Morgan v. Coach Co., supra; Tysinger v. Dairy Products, supra.
“What is the proximate cause of an injury is ordinarily a question for the jury ... It is to be determined as a fact, in view of the circumstances of fact attending it.” R. R. v. Kellogg, 94 U. S., 464, 24 L. Ed., 256. See Conley v. Pearce-Young-Angel Co., et al., 224 N. C., 211, 29 S. E. (2d), 740, and cases cited.
*699Tbe next assignment of error considered is that brought up on the appeal of defendant Sharpe. It arose under these circumstances: The jury, after retiring for its deliberations, returned and asked the court this question: “The court says, your Honor, that Mr. Sharpe was negligent in letting his daughter drive, to begin with. Well, if she was driving in a normal manner at the scene of the accident, would Mr. Sharpe be held liable for the accident?” The court replied as follows: “That’s not what I charged you. I charged you that it would, be negligence per se if he permitted his 13-year-old daughter to drive the car at all, under any circumstances; that alone would be negligence on his part. And if you find, by the greater weight of the evidence, that negligence on her part was the cause of the injury and death, — the sole cause of the injury and death, or one of the contributing efficient causes of the injury and death of the dead boy — then Sharpe would be liable. The only remaining thing for you to find theré, is whether the negligence of the 13-year-old driver was one of the proximate causes of the injury and death of the dead boy.”
The charge as here given is not responsive to the question of the jury, and tends to confusion. Hence, the exception is well taken.
While it would be negligence per se for defendant Sharpe to permit his daughter, who was under fifteen years of age, to drive his automobile in this State, such negligence is not actionable unless the fact that she was of such age be the proximate cause, or one of the proximate causes of the injury. Therefore, if she were operating the automobile in accordance with the duty imposed by law upon operators of automobiles, the negligence of her father in permitting her to operate it in violation of law would not be actionable. Taylor v. Stewart, 172 N. C., 203, 90 S. E., 134; Eller v. Dent, 203 N. C., 439, 166 S. E., 330. However, her age may be taken into consideration by the jury in determining whether her conduct in the operation of the automobile under the circumstances surrounding the situation with which she was confronted, was that of an ordinarily prudent person, who in the operation of an automobile must exercise ordinary care, that is, that degree of care which an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances.
Since the error thus pointed out affects the first issue, that is, the issue as to the joint and concurrent negligence of all defendants, on which judgment below is based, and there must be a new trial, it is unnecessary to consider any other of the numerous assignments on either appeal. The matters to which they relate may not recur on another trial.