The Most Common New York Traffic Law Violations

At one point or another, most of us will receive a traffic ticket. Even the most careful of drivers find themselves going over the speed limit or driving with a taillight out. In New York, the New York City Police Department is, by far, the biggest distributor of traffic tickets in the state. The Nassau County Police Department and the Suffolk County Police Department come in second and third, respectively. And many folks traveling north or south on I-81 find themselves ticketed in Upstate New York, whether they be Canadians traveling through the U.S. or American tourists on their way north or back home.

Traffic tickets are often viewed as an annoyance, but a fairly minor one. However, traffic tickets can be much more than that. Most traffic infractions carry fines and points on your driving record. Points quickly add up as do the fines. You may face financial issues with paying the cost of traffic tickets. It is also a strong possibility that your insurance rates will go up. Many insurers view traffic ticket recipients as a risk to insure, as they have proven that they exhibit poor driving tendencies. Also, if you lose your license, you could lose your job, especially if driving is an integral part of your job. You will also eventually have to pay a license reinstatement fee. You may have to rely on walking or public transportation to get around, which can take up much more of your time as well. In some cases, you may even face jail time for your traffic offense.

What Are the Most Common New York Traffic Law Violations?

It may come as no surprise that speeding is one of the most common New York traffic violations. Everyone is in a hurry these days and no one seems to want to let up on the gas pedal as they make their way from place to place. Also, failure to obey a traffic signal is another common traffic offense. This includes failure to obey a yield sign or stop sign. A ticket for this infraction will usually carry a fine and result in two points being added to the driver’s license. If the driver violated something like a one-way sign, that can carry more than two points, but most failures to obey traffic signals will result in two points.

Improper cell phone use, another of the most common New York traffic violations, can result in a fine and five points on the driver’s license. Some of the most common offenses, however, may result in a fine, but there are no points awarded to the driver’s record. For instance, being ticketed for operating an uninspected motor vehicle or being an unlicensed operator, will not result in any points being assessed. There will, however, be a fine.

Some of the other most common New York traffic law violations include:

  • Driving in the wrong direction
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Failure to signal
  • Failure to move over
  • Failure to stop for a school bus
  • Following too closely (tailgating)
  • Improper lane change
  • Railroad crossing violation
  • Reckless driving

New York Traffic Attorneys

Receiving a traffic ticket is not the end of your options. You have the opportunity to contest the ticket or seek a reduction. The attorneys at CDH Law can help you do this. We are well versed in New York traffic law and are here to fight for you. Contact us today.

Driver Violation Point System

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the Driver Violation Point System in place as a means of identifying who they deem to be “high risk drivers” and taking action against them. As you accrue more points, you run the risk of fines. You also run the risk of having your driver’s license suspended. Points assessed to your license can also lead to increases in the cost of insurance coverage.

What is the “Driver Violation Point System”?

Under the Driver Violation Point System, the DMV assigns point values for particular traffic violations. For instance:

  • Failing to yield the right of way: 3 points
  • Speeding: 3-11 points (depending on how far over the speed limit you were going)
  • Reckless driving: 5 points
  • Texting and other unauthorized use of a portable electronic device: 5 points

Points will not be assessed to your license until you are actually convicted of the traffic violation. Points are calculated within an 18-month time period. Your points will go on your record based on the date the traffic violation occurred, not the date you were convicted of the offense. If you receive 11 points or more in an 18-month time frame, your license may be suspended.

In addition to possible license suspension, you also run the risk of paying a Driver Responsibility Assessment if you accrue enough points. The Driver Responsibility Program was started in New York back in 2004. Designed to place an added financial burden to drivers who continue to violate traffic regulations, the fees imposed by the program are substantial. If you receive 6 points during the 18-month period, your annual assessment will be $100 per year for three years. Additionally, you will be assessed $25 a year more for three years for each point about the six-point mark.

As an additional consequence to getting points assessed to your license, your insurance rates may go up, sometimes drastically. Internally, insurance companies have their own systems of calculating points to determine which drivers are high risks to insure. An infraction that an insurance company views as a greater risk to the safety of the driver and to others will more likely result in more substantial rate increases. This means that just because the DMV has assessed lower point values or no point values to certain traffic infractions that an insurance company will still take it seriously in determining insurance rates. If you are convicted of an alcohol or drug-related traffic offense, or if you have refused a chemical test, you will be subject to an annual assessment of $250.

New York Traffic Attorney

Traffic offenses can carry hefty penalties like suspension of your license and significant financial consequences in the form of fines and other assessments. CDH law will help you fight your traffic ticket in order to help prevent points being assessed to your license and other associated penalties from occurring. Contact us today.

Failure to Pay New York Traffic Fines

Whether the ticket was for running a stop sign or speeding, it is important to pay the fine for your traffic violation. Address the fine right away. It is far too easy to put the ticket in your glove box and forget the incident ever happened. Failure to pay a New York Traffic fine will turn what could be just a minor annoyance into a major headache.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Traffic Violation Fines?

No one likes getting a traffic ticket. It is an unplanned expense and can really put a damper on your day. The worst thing you can do, however, is to ignore it. The ticket will not go away on its own and pushing it to the side will only make things worse. The consequences of failure to pay your traffic violation fine include having your license suspended which means you will lose the privilege of legally driving. If caught driving on a suspended license, you may be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, which is a misdemeanor. This is no minor charge as you could be arrested and even jailed for 12-24 hours. If your license is not suspended shortly after you receive you fail to pay your fine, do not think you are in the clear. There is usually a waiting period between the ticket and the suspension that comes with processing, etc.

In addition to a suspended license, failure to respond to a traffic ticket may result in a default judgment entered by the court. When you are guilty by default, the judgment will be hard to vacate. The maximum fine will likely be imposed and you may have traffic violation points assessed. These points will stay on your DMV record for 18 months. You may also see your insurance rates increase because of this.

You have three other, better options when you receive a traffic ticket. Ignoring it clearly has the biggest downside. You may also plead guilty to the traffic violation. While we do not recommend you do so without consulting a traffic lawyer, it would be better than ignoring the ticket altogether.  To plead guilty, look at the instructions laid out on the ticket you received. Complete the form on the ticket and return it either by mail or in person. While pleading guilty means you will have to pay the fine, get the traffic points assessed to your license, and, depending on the offense, could mean a license suspension and an increase in insurance costs, the amount of the fine and the length of the license suspension may not be as severe as that which results from ignoring a traffic ticket.

You may also choose to plead not guilty to the traffic violation after you receive your ticket. Again, follow the instructions listed on your ticket. Fill in the requisite form. Mail out the form within 48 hours of receipt. You will then need to appear in court.

The best option is to let an experienced traffic attorney handle the case for you.

New York Traffic Defense Attorneys

Don’t let a traffic ticket take over your life. Addressing it head on is the best solution. The ticket will not go away on its own and ignoring it will only make things worse. The trusted traffic defense attorneys at CDH law can help you fight your traffic ticket in court. Contact us today.

What do Points on Your Driving Record Mean?

Points on Your Driving Record

When you get a traffic ticket in New York, you get more than just a fine. You also get points assessed on your driver’s license. The Driver Violation Point System in New York is a way for the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to both identify and take necessary action against drivers that are determined to be high risk. Different traffic violations will mean different amount of points on your license. Amassing points will eventually lead to your license being suspended.

What do Points on Your Driving Record Mean?

In order to have points on your driving record, you must first be convicted of a traffic violation. Your total points are based on the date the traffic violation occurred as opposed to the date of your conviction of the traffic offense. All points for violations that occurred within the last 18 months are totaled up. If you get a total of 6 or more points on your driving record within the 18-month period, you must pay a Driver Responsibility fee. If you get a total of 11 points on your record within the 18-month period, it will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

Different traffic offenses carry different point amounts that will be added to your driving record if you are convicted of the offense. Common traffic violations and the corresponding point amounts that will be assessed include:

  • Speeding:
  • 1 to 10 mph over speed limit: 3 points
  • 11-20 mph over speed limit: 4 points
  • 21-30 mph over speed limit: 6 points
  • 31 to 40 mph over speed limit: 8 points
  • Over 40 mph: 11 points
  • Reckless driving: 5 points
  • Tailgating: 4 points
  • Failure to yield right-of-way: 3 points
  • Disobeying a traffic control signal such as a stop sign or a yield sign: 3 points

There are some traffic violations that do not include points on your driving records. These violations include:

  • Any bicycle violation
  • Any pedestrian violation
  • Any parking violation

It also important to be aware of the fact that points will not be added to your New York State driving record if you are convicted of a traffic violation in another state or country. The exception to this is if the traffic violation happened in Ontario or Quebec. New York has a reciprocal agreement with Quebec and Ontario. This means that traffic violation convictions that happen in these provinces will end up on your New York State driving record. A traffic conviction in Quebec or Ontario will mean the same thing for your driving record as if it had occurred in the State of New York.

If you accrue 11 or more points on your driver record, taking part in a point and insurance reduction program may help avoid losing your license. A point and insurance reduction program must be approved by the DMV. Upon completion of the program, 4 points will be subtracted for the purpose of calculating a suspension if you have accrued 22 or more points. The points do not actually come off of your record, but they will not be included in the 18-month time period points calculation. Additionally, completion of the program may save you 10 percent on your automobile liability and collision insurance premiums. This is nice since getting points on your license often means an increase in your insurance premiums. Every insurance company has a point system of their own.

To check the status of the points on your driving record, you can access you MyDMV through the New York State DMV website.

Experienced Traffic Offense Attorneys

Remember, points will only be assessed if you are convicted of a traffic violation. The attorneys at CDH Law fight off a conviction so that you will not have to worry about points on your license that could eventually lead to you losing your license. Do not make the mistake in thinking a traffic violation is a minor thing. Traffic violations can have big consequences, especially when they are not properly handled. Contact us today.