Police officer pulls over driver for one of New York's traffic law violations.

The Most Common New York Traffic Law Violations

By David Hammond

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.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.