Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Can you get a New York speeding ticket if you are not speeding?

Most drivers in New York, and elsewhere, are aware that the posted speed limits indicate the maximum speed they are allowed to drive. Furthermore, they are generally cognizant of the fact that exceeding those limits can result in them receiving a speeding ticket. Many motorists, however, do not realize that they can also be ticketed for speeding, even if they are not driving faster than the limit. In order to avoid getting speeding tickets, it behooves people to understand the state’s laws regarding the maximum speed limits.

Under Section 1180(a) of New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, drivers are not permitted to drive at speeds that are unreasonable given the road’s conditions and any existing hazards. Doing so could be considered speeding, and thus a ticket may be issued by law enforcement. For example, it may not be prudent to travel the posted speed limit on a road that is slick and slippery due to ice or snow. When the conditions dictate, it is obligatory that motorists reduce their speeds so they are able to maintain control of their vehicles. Failing to do so could potentially result in a speeding ticket.

Certain hazards may also necessitate that drivers drive under the posted speed limits. This includes when approaching and going around curves, when nearing or crossing intersections or railway grade crossing, or when coming up on hillcrests. Additionally, Section 1180(e) stipulates that drivers reduce their speeds when driving on winding or narrow roadways. Hazards relating to pedestrian traffic may also mandate speed reductions to avoid being ticketed for speeding.

This post has provided an overview of the situations when motorists who are not exceeding the speed limit may be ticketed for speeding. However, it should be taken only as general information, and not be considered professional legal advice.

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