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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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CITE vehicles once again allowed in New York

Drivers in New York know the sights and sounds of a police car when pulling someone over. New York traffic law requires that a driver stops when appropriately signaled by officers. The failure to do so could result in additional charges being levied. Police officers can stop drivers for any number of reasons including speeding, reckless driving, non-functional vehicle lights, expired auto tags and more. Fines, points and other penalties are typically determined by the circumstances of each individual situation.

In addition to the lights or sirens of police cars alerting New York drivers to the need to stop, there is now a renewed need to watch out for unmarked police cars attempting to stop drivers for various violations. The governor of New York in 1996 banned the use of such vehicles but, in 2008, the governor at that time repealed the ban, once again allowing Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles to be utilized on New York roadways.

Since the Independence Day holiday this year, CITE vehicles have issued 23,000 citations for mobile device violations. Another 9,000 tickets have been given to drivers by CITE officers for other reasons. Drivers who see a CITE vehicle attempting to pull them over should stop but take care to find a safe and well-lit place to do so. This can help ensure that the vehicle is driven a legitimate police officer, as it is unlikely that a false stop would be made in public conditions.

Anyone who is stopped by an officer in an unmarked car should take caution to stay safe and calling 911 if there is any question about the identity of a vehicle is one option to do this. Any ticket issued can also be reviewed by an attorney to determine an appropriate defense if applicable.

Source: Your News Now Syracure, “What to do when pull ed over by an unmarked car,” Iris St. Meran, December 6, 2013

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