If you need to make a left, right, or U-turn in New York, you must signal before doing so and turn your vehicle from the appropriate lane. You must also check for any signage prohibiting you from turning at certain locations. Failing to abide by the laws can result in a traffic violation ticket for an improper turn. A conviction for the offense can lead to points on your driving record, fines, and fees. You could also face other consequences, such as increased insurance rates.
New York’s Laws on Turning
New York has several statutes concerning proper left, right, and U-turns. Section 1160 of the Vehicle and Traffic Code provides that turns must be made from the appropriate parts of the roadways. If you’re going to turn right, you must do so as close as possible to the righthand curb or edge of the street.
The proper place for making a left turn depends on whether you are on a two-way or one-way street. On a two-way street, you must turn from the part of the road that’s closest to the center divider line. For a one-way street, you must be in the “extreme left-hand” that is lawfully available for moving traffic.
A U-turn must be made from the lane nearest the center line. Additionally, your vehicle must enter the intended lane nearest the center line. Under Section 1161, you cannot make a U-turn when you’re on a hill or a grade. In these areas, visibility is low for approaching motorists, which means they won’t be able to see you as you are turning.
U-turns are also prohibited in school zones. A school zone includes any roadway area that runs along a school building.
According to Section 1163, you must signal your intent before turning from a designated spot or appropriate location. You can use the indicator lamps equipped on your vehicle or hand movements. Your signal must be given continuously and at least 100 feet before turning.
Failing to abide by any of the turning laws can lead to an improper turn ticket. Therefore, it is important that you check for signage indicating a turn cannot be made at the location.
How Much Is an Improper Turn Ticket in NY?
The fine for making an improper turn can be up to $150 for a first offense. It increases with subsequent violations. A second offense may be as much as $300, and a third offense about $450.
Of course, various factors can affect the cost of an improper-turn ticket. The fine you could be facing may differ from the numbers listed above.
Do You Get Points on Your Driving Record for an Improper Turn?
New York operates under the point system. The DMV will charge points to your driving record if you are convicted of certain traffic violations. An improper turn is one of those offenses, carrying 2 points.
Accumulating 11 points in 18 months will result in a driver’s license suspension. Thus, if you already have 9 points on your record, an improper turn violation can lead to the loss of your driving privileges. Similarly, getting 6 improper turn tickets within a year and a half will affect your license.
In addition to the loss of driving privileges, points can also lead to the driver responsibility assessment fee, which is triggered when you get 6 or more points in 18 months. The cost is $100 a year for 3 years, for a total of $300.
A conviction for an improper turn can also lead to increased insurance rates. Your carrier may have a policy for percentage hikes for certain moving violations.
How Can You Fight Your Improper Turn Ticket?
Challenging your citation requires reviewing the facts and building a defense. For instance, an officer might have said you made an illegal U-turn, but there might not have been anything posted saying that you couldn’t turn at the location. A lawyer can examine your case and discuss options for fighting your ticket.
To speak with our New York attorney, please call Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. at (212) 235-1525 or contact us online, and we’ll get back to you promptly.