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New York Traffic Violations Legal Blog

Reckless driving can take on many forms

As a driver, your number one priority should be the safety of you and your passengers. Along with this, you must realize that the decisions you make as a driver will affect other people on the road.

Not only is reckless driving a safety risk, but it can also result in serious trouble with the law. This takes on many forms, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Excessive speeding: This is the most common form of reckless driving. There's a difference between driving a few miles over the speed limit and recklessly speeding. The best way to prevent this is to know the speed limit and obey it at all times.
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street: Most people know it's a bad idea, but they make mistakes and turn the wrong way or take a chance when they're in a hurry. This form of reckless driving has the potential to result in a head-on collision.
  • Illegal passing: You can make this mistake on almost any type of roadway. For example, if you're driving on the interstate, you may attempt to pass a slow-moving vehicle on the shoulder. Or if you're on a two-lane highway, you may cross over a solid line to pass a vehicle.

What are the different types of speed limit zones that exist?

Speed limits work much like any other regulations or laws here in the United States. They vary by state and the type of road or area.

There are three primary types of speed limits. These include statutory, posted and special conditions.

The most commonly issued traffic tickets in New York

Most Americans use a car every day to complete essential tasks such as going to work, taking their children to school, and buying groceries. When they use their vehicles, they must obey the traffic laws at all times. Traffic laws are put in place to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians as safe as possible.

Millions of traffic tickets are issued each year in New York. If you are a driver, you should be aware of the types of traffic tickets that are most common, as well as how to take action if you believe that you received one in error.

Suspicion of DWI: How to protect yourself

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime. Not only can it result in far-reaching penalties, such as a large fine and time in jail, but it also greatly increases the risk of an accident.

If you're pulled over for suspicion of DWI, here are some tips:

  • Stay in your seat: After pulling to the side of the road, put your hands on the wheel and stay in your seat. Once the officer arrives at your window, you can put it down.
  • Don't say too much: The more you talk, the more likely you are to slip up. If you don't understand a question, tell the officer you aren't comfortable providing an answer. Remember, you have the legal right to remain silent.
  • Don't admit to anything: When you are talking, don't admit to anything. For example, you may be tempted to say you only had one drink earlier in the day, thinking that this will give the officer reason to let you go. In all actuality, it gives them more reason to dig around. And if you are arrested, admitting that you were drinking will be used against you in court.

What are the penalties for texting and driving in New York?

Texting and driving at the same time is both dangerous and illegal. This is why many different activities that involve the use of a cell phone while operating a vehicle are illegal here in New York.

State law prohibits individuals from operating a motor vehicle with an electronic device in their hands. Motorists are prohibited from driving and engaging in a conversation on their phone while behind the wheel as well. It's also unlawful for motorists to use a phone to send or read emails, text or surf the internet while driving. It's unlawful for drivers to play games on an electronic device while operating a car as well.

Here’s why speeding is a bad idea

As a driver in the New York City area, you know that obeying the speed limit is easier said than done. For example, there are times when you feel that you have no choice but to speed to keep up with the flow of traffic.

Even with so many challenges to contend with, it's up to you to do the right thing. And that means obeying the speed limit at all times. Here are some of the many reasons why speeding is a bad idea:

  • It can result in a traffic ticket: Not only are traffic tickets expensive to pay, but too many of them can take a toll on your insurance premium. And at some point, it could even result in the cancellation of your policy.
  • It increases the risk of an accident: The faster you're driving, the less time you have to make decisions. For example, if you're speeding in a city setting, you may not have enough time to stop if someone traveling from the opposite direction makes a turn in front of you.
  • It can lead to other traffic violations: For example, if you're driving too fast, you may not leave enough time to stop at a red light, so you simply coast through it.

How to prevent texting and driving

Even with strict laws against texting and driving in the state of New York, many residents continue to make this mistake. While most do so without incident, texting can result in an accident or a run-in with the law.

As a driver, there are many steps you can take to prevent texting and driving. Furthermore, none of them are overly difficult to implement. Here's what you can do:

  • Turn your phone off: When your phone is off, you're not tempted to text. You don't know if anyone is texting you, so you don't have to concern yourself with answering them.
  • Use an app: There are a variety of apps designed to protect you against texting and driving. When your car is in motion, it disables your ability to text, thus taking away the potential to make a serious mistake.
  • Get into the habit of pulling over: If you don't want to turn off your phone or use an app, make a pact with yourself to pull over before you text. When your car is in park, you can then safely text.
  • Use voice texting: Some of the newest cars allow you to answer text messages by simply talking. This type of technology eliminates the need to take your hands off the wheel and/or your eyes off the road.

Truck driver accused of drunk driving after crash

New York State Police troopers charged a truck driver with drunk driving after an accident on the Wantagh State Parkway in East Meadow on March 8. Police say that the 29-year-old Georgia man hit an overpass at the Hempstead Turnpike while driving southbound in his tractor-trailer. The accident was reported at around 10:40 p.m.

When police arrived at the scene of the accident, they reportedly found pieces of the accused man's truck that had been scattered along the shoulder of the road. Shortly afterwards, police discovered the rest of the truck and its driver. While investigating the crash scene and the driver, police decided that they believed the truck driver was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him.

What New York law says about texting and driving

New York state law forbids drivers from operating a motor vehicle while using a cellphone or other portable mobile device. Drivers are not allowed to have a conversation, send a text message or transmit images while a car is in motion. An exception is typically made for those who are calling 911 for assistance. Individuals who are found to be in violation of the state's cellphone law could pay a fine as well as have points added to their licenses.

Those who accrue 11 or more points in 18 months could have their licenses suspended. For a first offense, an individual could be subject to a fine of between $50 and $200. For a second offense that occurrs within 18 months of the first offense, a driver could pay a fine of up to $250. A third subsequent offense within 18 months would result in a fine of at least $50 and as much as $450.

New York DUI arrests down

Drunk driving remains a major problem across the United States with approximately 29 people dying in alcohol-related crashes each day around the nation. However, a combination approach has helped many cities in New York drive DUI arrests down.

For example, Fulton County has seen a steady decline in misdemeanor drunk driving arrests over the past decade. In 2009, law enforcement agencies took 281 drivers into custody for alleged misdemeanor drunk driving offenses. In 2018, they took only 167 drivers into custody. Misdemeanor drunk driving arrests are also down statewide. In 2009, New York law enforcement agencies made 45,902 misdemeanor DUI arrests. By 2018, that number had fallen to 30,403.

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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