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Can Police Issue Speeding Tickets Outside Their Jurisdiction?

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Can Police Issue Speeding Tickets Outside Their Jurisdiction?

Orange County PD flash their lights at you just a few traffic signals away from the border of Putnam County. Do you pull over or gun it so that cops can’t chase you over county lines? It sounds tempting to try to get away, but would it work? Can police chase you and issue a speeding ticket outside their jurisdiction?

What Are Police Jurisdictions?

The number of jurisdictions for law enforcement in New York (and most states) is staggering. According to the most recent census data, New York State has 514 law enforcement agencies. There are state troopers, county police, and city cops (e.g. NYPD), just to name a few. Each jurisdiction provides a primary mission for police—to protect the residents and enforce the laws of that region. However, while a police department’s jurisdiction provides a focus, it is not meant to cripple or incapacitate officers who witness illegal actions, be it a violent crime or traffic violation. In New York, any police officer with the authority to issue a ticket or make an arrest can do so anywhere in the state as long as there are grounds for the charges.

If that’s the case, why have jurisdictions at all? There are several reasons. One is budgetary. Each police department is given an annual budget for upholding the law and protecting individuals within a jurisdiction. While it is legal and acceptable for police to enforce the laws anywhere within the state, if this occurs too often it may be seen as a misappropriation of funds that could result in budget cuts for the department that is routinely overstepping its jurisdiction.

Another reason for jurisdictions is accountability. For example, if the State Troopers and NYPD are both issuing traffic tickets in NYC—as has been happening lately—it can create questions of who gets credit if traffic violations decline, or who to blame if an emergency call gets ignored.

Is a Speeding Ticket Issued Outside of Jurisdiction Easier to Defend?

From a legal standpoint, it makes no difference. That means a speeding ticket issued by Highway Patrol on local roads is just as valid as one issued on a highway. The same goes if an NYPD officer stops you after you’ve crossed the Queens/Nassau border. In some contiguous states, like Connecticut, it is permissible for police in either state to cross state lines to pursue you for speeding or other traffic violations.

How Should You Fight a Speeding Ticket Issued Outside a Cops Jurisdiction?

If you’ve been issued a ticket for speeding or any other moving violation in New York, regardless of jurisdiction, you need expert legal counsel right away. The attorneys of the Rosenblum Law Firm have experience fighting traffic tickets in nearly all jurisdictions across New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.

How to Avoid Speeding This Holiday

Travel is an inevitable part of the holidays, even if it’s only local. Between loading the car with gifts, getting the kids ready, and your wife’s complex and cryptic make-up routine, it’s almost impossible to not find yourself leaving the house later than you intended. When that happens, it becomes tempting to make up for lost time using your car’s accelerator.

In addition to the safety risk, speeding can result in a costly ticket that you don’t need this holiday season. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help avoid the need to rush in the first place.

Get ready the day before. Even if you don’t have to be at Aunt Mathilda’s until 4 p.m., there’s no need to wait until the day of to prepare. Pack everything you can in the car the night before, such as wrapped gifts. In addition, decide what outfits you and your family will wear and have it all set out before going to bed.

Leave with plenty of time. Some people set their alarm clocks five minutes fast in the morning to give themselves extra time in the morning. Consider doing something similar when getting ready to head out. For example, if you have to be at your brother’s house at 1 p.m. and you know it takes 25 minutes to get there, aim to leave at least 35 minutes in advance (i.e. 12:25 p.m.) Move your expected departure time further up if you expect traffic, have to stop to pick up additional people or need to swing by the store to grab something.  

Relax. Despite your best efforts, you end up getting in the car later than you’d like. Try taking a few deep breaths to calm yourself down. Think soothing, positive thoughts before starting up the car so you are less inclined to rush.

Watch the speedometer. Once you are on the road, keep a tight watch on your speedometer to avoid accidentally going too fast. Use cruise control if possible.

Recognize the cost of a speeding ticket. If nothing else, remember that speeding tickets can be very expensive. The fine for speeding ranges from $150 to $600. However, each ticket also includes a mandatory state surcharge that costs between $88 and $93. Moreover, if you accrue six points or more on your license as a result of the ticket you’ll be hit with a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) of at least $100 per year for three years. All told, you could end up shelling out hundreds of dollars for a single speeding ticket. If it isn’t your first offense, your fines could be even higher.

Don’t ruin your holiday with a speeding ticket. If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, you need the help of an attorney to avoid the high costs associated with a ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

Don’t Let Sun Glare Ruin Your Holiday Travel

For those who plan to travel during Thanksgiving, experts say the best time to leave is as early as possible, with 6 a.m. named as the ideal time to hit the road in NY. One of the biggest challenges to leaving so early, aside from lack of sleep, is dealing with sunrise-induced sun glare. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), sun glare is a critical factor in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.

How to Protect Yourself Against Sun Glare

You can’t control the cloud cover or whether or not you are traveling sunward. There are things that you can control in order to reduce the risk of sun glare.

  • Reduce your speed. The number one piece of advice for drivers for whom visibility is compromised is to slow down. The brighter the glare and the more it obstructs your vision, the slower you should drive.
  • Keep your distance. Just as with rain, snow or fog, drivers should increase the distance between themselves and the car in front when the sun is creating visibility issues.
  • Get out your shades. Sunglasses will help cut back some of the glare, but it won’t always eliminate the problem.
  • Clean your windshield. Ideally you should wash the car (or at least the windshield) to reduce dirt, streaks, and other contaminates. If you can’t clean the windshield before you leave, try using the wiper fluid on the road.

Sun Glare Can Result in a Traffic Ticket

When sun glare is a significant factor in an accident, many drivers inadvertently admit as much, thinking that this absolves them of some of the blame. In truth, when sun glare occurs drivers have a responsibility to adjust their behavior accordingly. Failing to do so could result in one of two possible tickets.

One of those would be VTL 1180 (e) – Failure to reduce speed (special hazard). This statute requires drivers to momentarily slow down in situations where the speed limit could present a hazard. This could include around a sharp curve, while approaching a railroad crossing, or when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds to dazzle you for a moment.

It’s also possible to be ticketed for VTL 1180 (a) – Speed not reasonable and prudent. This citation is issued to drivers who do not reduce their speed appropriately for the road conditions. This ticket is most commonly issued to drivers during inclement weather (e.g. rain, snow or fog). Sun glare qualifies as such conditions.

What Should You Do if You Get a Ticket?

Regardless of which ticket you receive–failure to reduce speed (special hazard), or speed not reasonable and prudent—the cost of conviction is up $150 plus a NYS surcharge of $88 to $93. Both carry three points on your license. If you or a loved one has been issued a ticket for failing to reduce speed (special hazards), imprudent speed, or any other speeding-related violation, contact an attorney to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

How to Get a Warning Instead of a Ticket

Every day police throughout New York and New Jersey pull drivers over for speeding but don’t always issue a ticket. Officers have the ability to issue a warning to drivers rather than cite them for a violation. Under what circumstances can the officer do this? And how can you maximize your chances of getting off with just a warning?

Let’s start with the opposite: when an officer is allowed to issue a ticket? A cop must have an objective, clearly articulable violation of an ordinance or statute which prompts the traffic stop.  This is referred to as “probable cause.” There are some exceptions to this, such as an investigative stop based on reasonable suspicion of a crime. If neither of the above are the case, the stop would be considered unlawful.

That said, if you have been pulled over it is usually reasonable to assume that the officer clearly witnessed a violation. When a driver isn’t cited, it is usually because the officer exercised discretion and decided not to. Law enforcement officials have surprisingly wide latitude in discretion — they can warn or ticket for a lot of reasons, including patently superficial ones. They can also choose to issue tickets for relatively trivial offenses, or issue a warning for serious ones.

The bottom line is that there isn’t necessarily a rhyme or reason behind the decision to ticket or not ticket. Does that mean that getting off with a warning is a matter of luck? Perhaps, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances, such as:

  • Be polite. Remember that the officer is only doing his/her own job.
  • Be calm. Don’t get frustrated or angry. At the same time, don’t gush or turn on the water works (this may work sometimes for women, but only in moderation).
  • Be quiet. In other words, don’t offer any more information than you have to. Don’t admit to the infraction. If you do and the officer does issue a ticket, that admission can be used against you should you challenge to ticket in court.
  • Be cooperative. Provide the legally required information and documents in a timely manner. Also, keep the music down and your hands on the wheel. In the daytime, take off your sunglasses. At night, turn on the interior car lights.

Realize that even if you do all of the above you may still get a ticket. If you or a loved one has been ticketed for speeding or any other traffic violation in New York or New Jersey, you need expert legal counsel right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

The Fastest Speeding Ticket Ever

Police cruiser setting speed trap
By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
New Yorkers speed far more often than they probably should, with 60 percent admitting that they exceed the legal limit regularly. Some speeding is worse than others, though. This leads to the obvious question: What’s the fastest speeding ticket ever written? Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), while New Yorkers rank high in a lot of traffic-related categories, Texas is said to be the home of the fastest speeder ever caught. The driver’s name is not known, but as the legend goes, he was doing 242 mph in a Koenigsegg CC. The act took place in 2003 as part of the Gumball 3000, an annual international motor rally on public roads. Rumor has it that the ticket would have cost him $650,000 had he not managed to talk his way out of it.

There is one caveat to all this – no public record of the incident exists. The story became widespread when it was mentioned on an episode of Top Gear (Season 8, Episode 1). No witnesses or evidence have ever turned up.

Given the possible fiction-status of this entry, we submit to you a follow up: a 205-mph ticket for a motorcycle rider in Minnesota. Here at least there is an article documenting the incident. It happened in 2004 on U.S. Highway 61 in Wabasha. The rider, then-20-year-old Samuel Armstrong Tilley, was arrested and charged with reckless driving and driving without a motorcycle license.

If you are caught going over 200 mph in New York you are likely to get hit with a speeding ticket of about $600, plus a mandatory NYS surcharge of up to $93. A conviction would result in 11 points on your license, which means an automatic suspension even if you have no other convictions on your driving record. Not to mention, at such a speed, it’s also possible to be charged with reckless driving, as happened to Tilley. That’s not even getting into the impact on your auto insurance.

If you or a loved one has been caught speeding – even if it doesn’t break any records – it is advisable that you consult an attorney right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys with experience handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

 

Difference Between Yellow vs White Speed Limit Signs

What’s the Difference Between Yellow and White Speed Limit Signs?

Speed limit signs seem like the simplest thing in the world. You may have noticed, however, that some speed limit signs are yellow, while most are white. Seems like a minor thing, but there’s a difference between them that you should be aware of.

Yellow speed limit signs are also known as advisory speed limit signs. You’ll see these most often when roads curve. You might also see them on a stretch of road that is hilly or which suddenly narrows. Either way, it is a warning to drivers to reduce speed.

The limit on an advisory speed limit sign is always at least 5 mph lower than the rest of the roadway. The yellow color is intended to draw your attention so that you adjust your speed accordingly. In most cases, the advisory limit is temporary; once you have passed the stretch of road with the advisory-inducing conditions, a white sign will typically be posted indicating you can return to the old speed. However, it is possible for multiple advisory limits to appear back to back.

Can I Get a Ticket for Exceeding an Advisory Limit?

Advisory speed limits are not a legal speed limit; only the standard white speed limit signs carry the force of the law. Therefore, you cannot get a speeding ticket for disobeying an advisory speed limit sign. Yellow signs are simply a warning to drivers of a change in road conditions that may make their current speed dangerous. The number is usually based on the physics of the road, taking into account things like centrifugal force (around a bend) and angular momentum (at the top of a hill).

If an officer issues a speeding ticket, it is most likely for exceeding the official (white) speed limit. This will cost at least $150 plus a mandatory surcharge of $88-$93 and will lead to no less three points but as many as 11 points on your New York license, depending on how far above the standard limit you were going. Alternatively, there’s a chance you could get hit with a ticket for failure to reduce speed. This rarely-issued ticket penalizes drivers who do not slow down for special hazards, such as when approaching train tracks or the crest of a hill. It carries a maximum fine of $150 plus a mandatory surcharge of $88-$93 and three points on your license.

While exceeding an advisory speed is not illegal per se, it can be considered negligent. That means if you are involved in an accident while exceeding the advisory limit, you can be liable.

In addition to the fines and points, a conviction for any kind of speeding ticket can cause your auto insurance rates to skyrocket. If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is advisable that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the costs and points associated with a ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

When a Speeding Ticket Becomes a Civil Lawsuit

Accidents can happen, although we always hope they don’t. Plenty of traffic accidents are relatively minor with few or no injuries, but in our litigious society, even seemingly minor mishaps can lead to multi-million dollar lawsuits. As such, if you have been issued a speeding ticket in connection with an accident it is very important that you do not plead guilty.

Once a guilty plea has been entered into the court system, that admission can be used against you in a civil lawsuit. That’s why other states such as California and Connecticut have the option of pleading nolo contendere, i.e. no contest. In essence, a plea of nolo contendere means you know you can’t prove your innocence, so you accept the consequences of the charges but do not admit guilt. As a result, the plea and the charges cannot be used as evidence in a civil suit since you never found guilty or admitted to committing the crime.

Unfortunately, New York does not allow defendants to plead no contest; you can either accept the charges or fight them in traffic court. It should be noted that being found guilty does not carry quite the same weight in civil court as pleading guilty. However, either one indicates a level of civil liability. If the odds of getting found not-guilty of one or more charges seem slim, the next best bet would be to hire an attorney to help negotiate the charges down to a non-moving violation. In addition to having less of an impact your auto insurance, a non-moving conviction can’t be used in an accident-related civil suit.

Drivers should also be cautious about verbally admitting to traffic violations, especially at the scene of an accident. Off-the-cuff statements such as “I was only going 5mph over the limit” or “I didn’t see her in my mirror” can be used against you in civil court (as well as in traffic court).

It is essential that you contact an attorney if you or someone you love has been given a speeding ticket or any other traffic violation in connection with an accident. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled traffic ticket attorneys with extensive experience fighting moving violations and negotiating with prosecutors. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.

 

 

How to Avoid a Speeding Double Whammy

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

While the vast majority of New York roads have posted speed limits, the state also has an official maximum limit of 55 mph. Violating the 55-mph limit on a highway (or anywhere else) is actually classified as its own violation. Technically, this means that drivers who exceed 55 mph in New York have committed two violations – speeding and speeding above 55 mph. In that case, could a driver get two tickets?

It’s not common, but it can and does happen. On very rare occasions an officer will issue someone a ticket under VTL 1180-d (your default speeding ticket) and 1180-b (exceeding state limit). The good news is that if you do get two tickets for the same offense, there is a high chance you’ll be able to fight the charges.

Any time you receive two tickets for what is essentially a single violation, that is considered double jeopardy. Federal law makes it illegal for a person to be charged twice for the same crime or violation, and an attorney can help you submit a motion to dismiss the charges. The judge then has the discretion to dismiss either one or both of the tickets.

A ticket for either VTL 1180-d or 1180-b costs at least $150 plus an NYS surcharge of up to $93, and carries a minimum of three points on your license. A conviction can also wreak havoc on your auto insurance premiums. If you or a loved one has been ticketed for speeding, exceeding the state limit, imprudent speed, or any other traffic violation in New York, contact a lawyer right away to fight the charges. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for all types of speeding and other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

Study: Driving Commutes Are Faster on Streets with Protected Bike Lanes

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

New York City drivers have always been reluctant to share space with bicyclists. For years, they worried that surrendering precious road space would lead to increased congestion and longer commutes. Well, worry no longer: A new study of the traffic patterns over the last seven years found the exact opposite to be true.

The NYC Department of Transportation unveiled a report that showed commute times for the 30 miles of roads that have protected bike lanes. On average, travel time has fallen by as much as 35 percent during rush hour, despite having one or sometimes two lanes taken from cars. For example, on Columbus Ave, it took cars an average of 4.38 minutes to travel from West 96 Street to West 77 Street between 7:00 am and 10:00 am before the new bike lanes were installed. Afterwards, the average travel time shrunk to just three minutes.

According to an analysis by Fast Company,  the designated left-turning lanes are a big part of the reason for the improved speeds. Designed as a safety feature for cyclists, the lanes prevent cars from blocking an entire travel lane as they wait to turn.

Faster travel times is not an excuse for speeding on NYC streets. Tickets for speeding start at $150 and increase depending on how far over the posted limit you were going. Each ticket also an NYS surcharge of  up to $93 and at least three points on your license. A conviction will likely increase your insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars as well. If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is imperative that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the consequences associated with a ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

5 Possible Signs You Need New Tires

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Tire failure causes around 11,000 car crashes each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of these can be avoided by occasionally checking your tires for signs of wear. In recognition of Vehicle Safety Week (May 22 through May 29), here are some things to look for that could mean it’s time for a tire change.

  1. Bulges. Tires bulge at the sides when they are low on air. The NHTSA estimates that tires lose about one pound-per-square-inch of pressure each month. A bulge or blister can also occur when the sidewall is weakened, which could lead to a sudden blowout.
  2. Cracks in the sidewall. Most tires that have been driven on for any length of time will have small, subtle cracks on the side. These are generally not noticeable unless you are right up on them. However, if the cracks are large and obvious from a distance, it could indicate a slow leak or a potential blowout.
  3. Constant pressure loss. Even if you don’t see cracks or bulges, you may notice that your tires seem to lose pressure frequently. It’s normal to lose about 2 psi per month. If you find your tires are leaking air more often than that, you may have a puncture or crack somewhere you can’t see.
  4. Tread wear. There’s an old-fashioned way of testing for tread wear that still works today: Place a penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head pointing down. If you can still see the top of Abe’s head, the tread is too low. Many modern tires also have wear bars — bits of rubber woven into the pattern at a specific depth. If you can see that bar, the tread is worn out.
  5. Vibration. Drivers should be mindful of any kind of vibration or thumping when the car is in motion. This could be a sign that the tires are out of balance, especially if the thumping feels like it’s coming from underneath your seat.

Worn out tires can be a serious safety hazard. In addition to the potential for sudden blowouts, worn tires have less grip on the road, making it harder to stop on time. This is especially dangerous when driving in the rain or snow.

Moreover, driving on worn out tires could lead to a ticket. A ticket for unsafe tires (VTL 375-35-c) applies to any vehicle with tires that are not properly inflated or which have dangerously worn treads. A conviction can cost up $150 plus up an NYS surcharge of $63. However, no points are assigned to this ticket. Even better, the law allows the ticket to be dismissed if the driver can provide proof that it was repaired within the first full business day after the ticket is issued.

It is essential that you contact an attorney if you or someone you love has been ticketed for speeding in New York. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.


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