You probably remember the very day you took the test to obtain a valid driver's license. Whether that was a year or so ago, or if you've been driving for decades, chances are, you consider that past event a milestone in your life.
A new proposal by a Nassau County executive could double the cost of traffic citations in New York. The proposal, as discussed in a recent CBS piece, could lead to a $100 increase to many different citations.
Traffic violations are particularly frustrating since, unlike other charges, the accused is generally not innocent until proven guilty. Instead, the accused must either pay the fee or go to traffic court to prove his or her innocence.
It's a common myth that many commuters driving from New York to New Jersey and vice versa believe is true: If I get pulled over across the bridge, it is like it didn't happen in my home state.
Unfortunately, in our technologically advanced world, it is like there isn't a border at all between the two states when it comes to state agencies and insurance companies sharing information.
You're stuck at a red light, several cars back when you realize you forgot to remind your significant other about your dinner reservations. No problem, just whip out your cell and shoot him or her a quick text. It's no big deal, lots of people do it.
A horn blares just as you're about to hit send. You react, press the gas pedal, and move forward only to realize that not only wasn't the honk aimed at you, traffic in front of you hasn't started moving! Can you stop in time to avoid the car in front of you?
New York, like many other states in the country, has adopted what is referred to as a graduated approach to driver’s licenses for people under the age of 18. This means that drivers who receive learner’s permits or junior drivers’ licenses can only operate motor vehicles under certain restrictions. These restrictions ease in a graduated fashion until they are eventually lifted.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles website indicates that teenagers in New York will automatically be graduated from a junior driver’s license to a senior license upon turning 18. New York teenagers who are under 18 years old can earn a senior license before turning 18 if they successfully pass a college driving instruction course or if they have graduated from high school. Under New York traffic law, a teenager must be 16 years old before being granted a junior learner’s permit. Out-of-state residents who are under 16 are not allowed to drive in New York even if they are allowed to do so in their home states.
Drunk driving has long been a common topic among public safety advocates. Certainly most people in New York would agree that keeping the roads safe and reducing traffic accidents is important. However, many motorists also recognize that over-vigilance can lead to inaccurate stereotypes about people who are arrested for driving while intoxicated. It is also important for people to remember that not everyone arrested for DWI, DWAI or DUI charges is actually guilty.
A study recently released by Wallet Hub notes that South Dakota, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and North Dakota are the most lenient on people charged with drunk driving. In contrast, Arizona, Kansas, Alaska, West Virginia and Connecticut are the strictest. New York was called out as number 30 on the list of the harshest states for DUI laws and penalties.
New York traffic law has always been complex and the crackdown that motorists have felt since the origination of Vision Zero has increased that. Being cited for traffic violations can have long-lasting impact on drivers. You may be forced to pay high fines or you might even have your driver’s license suspended.
A look at statistics provided on the New York State website gives an idea of how many drivers have received different types of tickets such as a speeding ticket around the New York City area. In 2013, close to 331,000 tickets for all violations were issued in New York County. Close to 8,800 of those were for speeding and 84.2 percent of these drivers were convicted. Of the more than 31,000 safety restraint violations issued, 95 percent of drivers were convicted. Another 2,705 people were arrested for impaired driving.
In and around New York City, there has been a crackdown on various traffic violations over the past couple of years. The city itself led the way with the Vision Zero project and other counties and areas have also tightened their oversight on other issues and penalties. This includes multiple agencies including the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as law enforcement. All in all, New York traffic law has become a complicated thing.
Each county can have different ways of handling similar situations. While some basic traffic infractions are managed by the DMV in New York City, neighboring areas such as Suffolk County have moved the responsibility to separate agencies. One of the big repercussions of this change, at least in Suffolk County, is that while the DMV has no authority to order drivers to spend time in jail, the Suffolk Traffic and Parking Violations Agency does. The agency can also impose high fines.
Under New York traffic law, you can receive points on your driving record if you are convicted of traffic violations. The number of points you will receive can vary based upon the type of infraction committed. According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, you can have your driver’s license suspended if you amass 11 points within an 18-month time period. Some speeding violations can result in 11 points at one time, making it important for you to know the status of your license and how many points different violations are worth.
Following is an overview of some traffic violations and how many points they can add to your record.
- Five points can be added for texting while driving, not stopping for a school bus, reckless driving or some use of a cell phone.
- Four points can be added if you follow another vehicle too closely or your vehicle’s brakes are not sufficient. If the vehicle is your employer’s, however, you will only receive two points for a brake violation.
- Three points can be added for not following signals or signs, not giving the right of way, fleeing an accident scene that damaged property or animals, driving the wrong way on a street or inappropriately changing lanes or passing another vehicle, improper railroad crossing and having passengers not adequately secured.
Driving a commercial vehicle within New York City is no easy task. Navigating narrow, crowded streets while trying to meet deadlines can put drivers in difficult situations. If you hold a commercial driver’s license in New York, you know that there are stringent regulations by which you must abide in order to retain the ability to drive commercially. Some traffic violations may result in fines or action against an employer but some can result in points added to your driver’s license.
On the website of the New York City Department of Transportation, some important information for commercial drivers is provided. It details the list of routes designated for use by commercial vehicles and trucks within the city, as these vehicles are not allowed to use just any city street. It also provides an overview of the off-hour delivery program that you can participate in. This is a program by which commercial deliveries are made to businesses between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. It can help to reduce the number of violations that come all too easily from driving during more congested times.