Know Your Speeding Tickets

A speeding ticket may seem like a pretty cut-and-dried thing — you go too fast, you get a ticket, and that’s all there is to it. In reality, though, there are lot of different types of speeding tickets. Each applies in different situations and can carry different fines and points. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of speeding tickets you can get in New York.

1180-a: Speed Not Reasonable Prudent. This ticket applies when road conditions require drivers to slow down below the posted limit. Such conditions might include thick fog, heavy rain, or icy roads, and it is ultimately up to the officer to determine what conditions require slowing down and what speed is prudent. Cost: $150. Points: 3.

1180-b: Speed Over State Limit. New York State has established 55mph as the maximum speed that drivers can go on any road in the state, although many roads have lower limits. If you are speeding on a highway, this is the ticket you will probably get. Cost: $150 to $600 depending on speed. Points: 3 to 11 depending on speed.

1180-c: Speed in a School Zone. As the name implies, this a specific ticket for violating the 25mph limit around schools. Fines for this offense are more expensive when school is in session. Cost: $150 to $600 on non-school days or between 7pm and 6am on school days; $300 to $1,500 between 6am and 7pm on school days. Points: 3 to 11 depending on speed (regardless of day/time).

1180-d: Speed in Zone. This is your catch-all speeding ticket. Most speeding tickets issued in New York are 1180-d. Cost: $150 to $600 depending on speed. Points: 3 to 11 depending on speed.

1180-e: Failure to reduce speed (special hazards). A rarely issued ticket, this citation applies to drivers who do not reduce their speed when approaching things like railway crossings, the crest of a hill, or narrow turns. The statute also contains provisions redundant to other tickets, such as slowing down for emergency vehicles (similar to the Move Over law), when approaching construction zones (similar to 1180-f), or in hazardous weather conditions (similar to 1180-a). Cost: $150. Points: 3.

1180-f: Speed in Construction Zone. Nothing difficult here. Note that getting convicted of this violation twice in 18 months will result in an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. Cost: $150 to $600 depending on speed. Points: 3 to 11 depending on speed.

1181-a: Driving too slow (impeding traffic). This is an inverted speeding ticket – it applies if you are driving so slowly that you are holding up traffic. There’s no specific guidance as to how far below the posted limit constitutes too slow; it depends on whether the officer considers your speed to be a disruption or a hazard. Cost: $150. Points: 3.

1181-b: Driving below posted minimum speed. This is also a ticket for going too slow, and applies on highways that have posted minimum speeds. As with 1181-a, there’s no details on how far below the minimum is too slow, so it up to the officer to decide. Cost: $150. Points: 3.

1182-1: Unauthorized speed contest. This is a ticket for racing. There’s no points for this ticket because it is always accompanied by a speeding ticket (and possibly a reckless driving charge as well). Cost: $575. Points: None.

On top of the listed fines and points, a conviction for any of the above tickets can impact your auto insurance rates. In addition, three convictions for speeding within 18 months (or two convictions for speeding in a work zone) will automatically result in a suspended license. If you or a loved one has been issued any kind of speeding ticket in New York, contact a lawyer right away to fight the charges and avoid the 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 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.

 

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 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.

 

Are You Liable if Your Speedometer is Broken?

Old and new cars alike have been known to have components suddenly fail. Most drivers understand a belt or hose can go without warning. Less common, however, is the failure of your car’s instrument panel. For example, a faulty speedometer might show you driving at a lower speed than you are truly going. If that happens, are you still liable for the speeding ticket?

Unfortunately, you are.

In New York State, drivers are responsible for the upkeep of their vehicles. When something breaks – whether it’s a tail light, brakes, or a speedometer – you are liable for any violation that may result. Sometimes a ticket, such as one for a broken headlight, can be dismissed if the driver can prove in court that it was fixed within 24 hours of the ticket.

A broken speedometer would be more difficult to fight this way. For starters, you’d have to present evidence that you were speeding because the instrument was faulty. Second, you’d have to show proof that it was fixed within 24 hours of the ticket. Finally, you’d have to hope to get a lenient judge, since not all of them will dismiss a ticket just because you fixed the problem.

A conviction for speeding in New York carries at least 3 points on your license, plus $150 in fines. Drivers will also be expected to pay an NYS surcharge of up to $93 and possibly a $100 driver responsibility assessment. Speeding tickets can also increase your auto insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars.

If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is essential that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the costs associated with a ticket. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who have 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.

How Tread Wear and Tire Pressure Affects Speed

Worn out tires affect the accuracy of your speedomter. Photo credit Wikimedia Commons.

Most drivers realize that tire wear can affect traction and even fuel efficiency, but what few recognize is that worn-out tires can also affect the accuracy of your speedometer.

Your speedometer assumes your car is using the standard size tire for the make and model and calculates your speed based on the rotation of the axis. As tires wear out, the circumference (the distance around the outside of the tire) decreases. As such, each rotation of the axle moves the car less distance than it would have with a full tire.

For example, if your car uses a tire with a 24-inch diameter, it would have a circumference of 75.36 inches. If the tire loses ½ inch from wear, the total circumference would decrease to 73.79 inches (a 2% difference), and would require 1.02 rotations to go the same distance a brand new tire covers in one rotation. In terms of speed, this means that when your speedometer reads 60 mph the car is really only going 58.8 mph.

The inverse can occur if you overinflate your tires. If you overinflate your 24-inch tires so that they are a half-inch larger in diameter, your speedometer will read 60 mph, but the vehicle will actually be traveling at 61.2 mph. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but this could be the difference between going 10 mph over the limit (a $150 ticket) and 11 mph over the limit (a $300 ticket).

The good news is that neither worn out nor overinflated tires are likely to land you an unjustified speeding ticket. The bad news is you can’t use either as an excuse to fight a speeding ticket.

In New York, a speeding ticket costs at least $150, plus surcharges, and if you end up with six points or more on your license, you could also be required to pay a driver responsibility assessment of $100. At speeding ticket also carries at least three points on your license and can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket by hundreds of dollars.

If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is advisable that you imperative an attorney to help you avoid the 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.

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What to Do if Your Car Skids

New York drivers are masters of winter weather — or at least, they tend to think they are. While some drivers may truly understand the tricks and techniques needed to drive safely in the winter, even the best driver occasionally skids. Skidding can be harrowing as it causes the car to suddenly respond in a very unexpected way.

Not every skid is caused by poor driving skills. Black ice – a thin layer of ice on the pavement that is often invisible to drivers – can strike even the most mindful driver without warning.

It is important that drivers adjust their speed and take precautions during the winter, especially when the roads are covered in ice and snow. Even the best driver can stand to review these best practices for what to do when the car starts to skid.  

  • Beware of change. Skidding is typically triggered by changes in speed, direction, or both. Be extra mindful any time you are accelerating, decelerating, or turning, as this is when a skid is mostly likely to happen.
  • Remain calm. Try your best not to panic. Panicked drivers tend to overcorrect, which makes the skid worse.
  • Slam (or pump) the brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes (which most newer cars do), slam the brakes as hard as you can; the anti-lock technology will deliberately stutter the brakes to help the car re-grip the road. For older cars without anti-lock brakes, manually pump the brakes to achieve the same effect.
  • Steer into the skid. If the back wheels are skidding, turn the wheel in the same direction the back end of the car is sliding towards. For a front-wheel skid, straighten the steering wheel.
  • Look where you want to go. Hand-eye coordination makes a difference, so do your best to keep your gaze in the direction you want the car to go.
  • Don’t trust AWD. While all-wheel drive is great, it is not going to prevent every skid.

It’s not just about safety. Driving too fast in icy conditions can actually land you a ticket. There’s no specific guidelines as to what qualifies as imprudent, but if a police officer deems your speed to be not reasonable and prudent under the conditions, you could get a ticket for imprudent speed. A first offense can result in 3 points on your license, plus up to $150 in fines and an NYS surcharge of $93. A conviction could also mean up to 15 days in jail. Penalties increase for a second and third conviction within 18 months.

If you or a loved one has been ticketed for imprudent speed, or any other kind of traffic violation, consult an attorney to help you avoid the costs, points, and increase in insurance premiums that can result from a conviction. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for a range of driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.

NYPD to Crack Down on Speeding in 2017

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Drivers in New York City would be well advised to slow down. The NYPD is vowing to issue more tickets for speeding and other infractions as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to cut down on traffic injuries and deaths. The mayor also included several items in the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget that will aid in this additional enforcement, including 120 new radar guns for local precincts.

Last year the NYPD issued a record 137,000 speeding tickets, a record it will likely break this year. In continuing with his signature Vision Zero initiative, de Blasio has ordered police to step up enforcement of speeding and other infractions with the aim of cutting down traffic fatalities. According to the NYC Department of Transportation, in the three years since Vision Zero began, traffic deaths are down more than 20 percent.

Speeding tickets can cost far more than a simple $150 fine. In New York, a conviction for speeding carries at least three points on your license. Drivers will also be expected to pay a surcharge of up to $93 and possibly a $100 driver responsibility assessment per year for the next three years. Speeding tickets can also increase your auto insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars.

If you or a loved one has been ticketed for speeding, texting while driving, or any other traffic violation as part of NYC’s Vision Zero crackdown, contact an attorney to help avoid the consequences. 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.

Why Don’t Speed Limits Prevent Speeding? (Part I)

Speed limits are so often ignored that many people question whether we need them at all. Does the fact that people don’t obey speed limits mean they are useless?

This article is part one of a two-part series that will explain the history of speeding limits, look at their function, reveal how they are determined, and attempt to explain why people seem so apt to disregard them.

The U.K. is often credited with instituting the first speed limit of 10 mph (16 km/h) in 1861, but the concept of speed limits had been around for far longer. In the U.S., speed limits can be traced back to the colonial era, though they were defined a little differently then than they are today.  

Throughout the years, the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians has typically been the primary objective of speed limits. Determining safe speeds can be tricky, though. It’s unclear how the earliest speed limits were decided, but more than 50 years ago, most states began using what’s called rational speed limits, also known as the 85th percentile rule.

With this method, traffic engineers measure the average speed vehicles move along a particular length of road. The speed limit is then typically set at the 85th percentile. This is done to ensure that 85% of drivers will be traveling under the speed limit, while 15% will be breaking the law. However, a myriad of other factors are often taken into account as well, including proximity to schools, the terrain and visibility (e.g., hills and curves), population density, presence of residential and commercial driveways, and more.

The theory is that speed limits should be designed around the speed that most drivers feel safe traveling. The term “rational speed limit” refers the belief that people will obey speed limits if they feel they are reasonable.

It may seem democratic to set the limit at the speed most people are going to drive anyway, but are those speeds reasonable? Furthermore, if the objective is safety, then the 85% rule assumes that the average speed on a given road is the safest, but is that actually the case? Research at the time the method was developed showed the biggest risk came from differences in speeds, not just excess of speed. Thus, encouraging people to drive at the majority-agreed-upon speed would, theoretically, cut down on accidents.

However, as Part II of this article will show, people do not generally drive at the optimally safe speed. In fact, drivers are notoriously bad at determining the safest speed for a given road. Moreover, if the goal of the 85th percentile rule was to reduce speed variations, it has failed. While it may have reduced speed variations, there is no evidence that the method has reduced traffic fatalities — and that’s due in part to the fact that neither speed limits nor safety are the primary factors influencing driver’s speeds. Next week we will look at why this is and what actually impacts driver speeds.

A conviction for speeding costs at least $150 plus an NYS surcharge of up to $93, and carries three points on your license. It can also increase your insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars. If you or a loved one has been caught speeding, it is imperative that you consult an attorney to help you avoid the 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.