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New York Traffic Violations Legal Blog

Drivers may have more points taken away the faster they speed

When playing a video game, a person may wish to drive as fast as possible to get the most points they can. However, drivers in New York are probably aware that fast driving and points are not good for their driving records. In fact, when a driver accumulates too many points on their license, they may lose their driving privileges.

Under the New York State Driver Point System, points are assigned to drivers' licenses for illegal actions. Speeding is one action that is penalized with points and the amount over the speed limit that a driver is alleged to have driven will dictate how many points are assigned. For example, while allegedly driving one to ten miles per hour over the speed limit will result in three points assigned to a driver's license, allegedly driving 21 to 30 miles per hour over the limit will result in six points being assigned.

Is reckless driving treated the same as a speeding ticket?

Different offenses can result in different types of criminal charges. This can be particularly confusing for a New York resident who has not had the need to understand the rules of driving beyond testing to get their driver's license. For example, different speeding offenses may be charged differently, depending upon the alleged actions of the driver.

If a driver is pulled over for allegedly breaking the law by speeding eight miles over the speed limit, they likely would not be arrested on a misdemeanor or felony offense. Instead, they would be issued a speeding ticket for a traffic infraction and would later have the opportunity to either pay their fine or appear and contest their alleged infraction.

Many consider texting and driving a big problem

Most New Yorkers are likely aware that they can be ticketed if they are caught using a hand-held device while operating their car. Texting and driving is considered a dangerous practice by lawmakers because they believe that drivers who text do not give their full attention to the roads. In fact, texting and driving crackdowns are not uncommon, with one New York city recently ticketing more than two dozen people for texting and driving infractions.

However, a recent poll demonstrates that lawmakers are not the only ones who think that texting and driving is a bad idea. According to the poll, Americans in some of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country claimed that they believe texting and driving is a big problem in their cities. In New York, 71 percent of respondents believed that texting and driving is a problem, while only 17 percent said it isn't a problem. The remainder of respondents wasn't sure.

Why was I accused of a stop sign violation?

Most children learn what an octagon is because it is so often associated with a common traffic symbol: a stop sign. In New York, drivers can find stop signs at intersections, in parking areas, and throughout neighborhoods. A stop sign may be placed in front of a crosswalk, may be part of a four-way junction, or may be the only symbol that a driver must heed before continuing on their journey.

Under New York law, a driver must stop at a stop sign unless they are directed to travel through it by a police officer. If there is a stop line on the road, then the driver must stop before crossing it. If there is a crosswalk in front of the sign, then the driver may not stop in it. If a stop sign has neither a stop line nor a crosswalk, then the driver must stop where they have a view of the intersection without actually traveling into the intersection.

Multiple offenders face obstacles to reclaiming their licenses

One of the consequences that a New Yorker may face if they are convicted of drunk driving is the loss of their license. A license may be suspended, which is a temporary loss of one's driving privileges, or it may be revoked, which effectively terminates a person's driving privileges. When a person is convicted of an alcohol-based driving crime, it is not unusual for them to lose their driving privileges for at least some length of time. If a person is charged with drunk driving more than once, the length of time that they may lose their license may increase.

For example, a person who has at least five alcohol related driving incidents or convictions in their driving history may have their driving privileges permanently revoked. They may be given the designation of "persistently dangerous driver" and may not, unless exceptional circumstances are present, ever be allowed to drive legally in New York again.

Get help after texting and driving allegations

Not long ago this New York traffic violation defense legal blog offered readers a detailed and informative post on what texting and driving actually means under New York law. Texting and driving does not only apply to the act of sending a text message while behind the wheel of a car. Its broad definition includes practically any use of an electronic device by a driver and can apply to many different scenarios.

Making a phone call while driving may constitute texting and driving, and so too may using a computer to look for directions or watch a movie be prohibited conduct. A person who uses a GPS function on their phone may be considered texting and driving if they enter an address into their system, or they may be in violation of the law if they check a page on their pager.

How the Driver Violation Point System affects driving privileges

In sports, it can be advantageous for someone to accumulate as many points as possible. This is because under most sets of rules, the person with the most points at the end of the game wins. However, the opposite is true for New York drivers. The more points a person acquires on their driving record, the more consequences they may have to face.

A driver can have points assigned to their record for many different types of traffic violations. Speeding will cause a driver to accumulate anywhere between three and 11 points, depending upon how fast they were going. Tailgating, failing to yield, and illegal passing are only a few of the moving violations that can cause a person to have points assessed against their driving record.

Why is it sometimes illegal to make a U-turn in New York?

A U-turn is a specific type of driving maneuver. It happens when a driver changes the direction of their vehicle while staying on the same road. For example, a driver may be traveling west on a street and may be unable to make a left-hand turn into a parking lot; to access the lot, the driver may elect to make a U-turn to get their vehicle pointing east and capable of making a right-hand turn into the desired lot.

U-turns are not always permissible on New York roads. A U-turn may be permissible at an intersection when such a message is posted through a sign and the driver gets a green left turn arrow. U-turns may also be permissible in places where no express consent is given, but there are specific places where U-turns are prohibited.

Understanding right of way on New York roads

Readers of this blog may have encountered this common situation. They are driving along and come to a stop sign, where they come to a full stop. However, they reach the intersection at the same time as another driver. Who should go first, and more importantly, who has the right of way?

"Right of way" is an important concept that can have a lot of bearing on whether a person acted legally or not with regard to possible traffic offenses. It can differ depending upon whether two drivers are on the same road, whether one is on a separate road and turning onto the road of the other, or whether one has to cross the path of the other to make a turn.

What does texting and driving actually mean in New York?

Smart phones have become a staple in New York residents' backpacks, purses, and pockets. It is rare to find a person who has never used one of these powerful handheld devices and many people own them for use in their personal and professional lives. For all the convenience that phones have added to individuals' lives, they have also been targeted by lawmakers as potential distractions to individuals who get behind the wheels of vehicles.

In New York, a person can receive significant fines if they are caught texting and driving. However, in some cases, a person may be accused of this infraction when they are not sending text messages. This post will outline what conduct is prohibited in New York when it comes to using a cell phone in a car, but readers should seek their own advice concerning their particular legal challenges.

Call 212-257-8321 to receive a free, no-obligation ticket evaluation from The Law Office of Craig Bondy or reach us by email.

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