Running a red light is one of the most common traffic violations in New York State. Within the State and Westchester County, there are two ways to get a red light ticket: by a police officer or by mail via a red light camera ticket.

The Law and Its Exception

Every driver knows what a running a red light means. In fact, a potential driver must study this subject, be knowledgeable in it, and pass a written exam that test on this subject before being issued a driver license. So, drivers know, and the law (VTL § 1111-(d)) states that a driver cannot move his or her car until the light turns green. The only exception to the law is when an indicator (like a sign) allows a driver to continuing driving after having stopped for a red light.

What Is The DMV Driver Responsibility Assessment?

It is a fee assessed by the New York State DMV that is paid over a three-year period. This fee is most commonly triggered by an accrual of 6 or more within 18 months to a person’s driving record. The fee is meant to punish or penalize “bad drivers” so that their bad driving behavior does not become a habit.

The driver assessment fee is not be confused with fines and penalties associated with a ticket itself. The assessment fee is paid in addition to ticket fines and penalties.

A traffic ticket for passing a stopped school bus in New York State is a BAD violation. One reason is because courts take this offense very seriously and enforce maximum penalties. But, what does it mean to be in violation of this law? This traffic ticket is discussed in two different sections of the law, NYS VTL §§ 1174-a, 375.20, and must be read together to get the whole picture.

The following is what is required in order for a driver to be in violation of passing a stopped school bus.

  • A driver must stop for a school bus in either direction when:

A texting ticket is a serious violation and can have major consequences in terms of money and points. Courts are cracking down on this violation and for good reason – a distracted driver can kill you! But, the roads have become electronic device friendlier by designating “texting zones” along New York State highways and thruways. If you are issued a texting ticket, it is important to handle this ticket the right way. Lets first examine what the law says constitutes Use Of Portable Electronic Devices, VTL § 1225-d.

The Law

The law is quite simple and applies to commercial drivers (who are held to a higher standard) and non-commercial drivers. Non-commercial drivers cannot use a portable electronic device while driving a moving car. The only exception to this law is an emergency situation like communicating the fire department, police, or 911. There are also exceptions for persons who use an electronic device while in the performance of their official duties (i.e. police officer).

A cell phone ticket can be a hefty violation if not handled the right way. Lets first consider what the law says constitutes Use Of Mobile Telephones, VTL § 1225-c.

The Law

A non-commercial driver is in violation of the law when he or she is operating (driving) a vehicle while using a mobile telephone (“cell phone”). The law says a person is considered to be “using” a cell phone when he or she holds the phone to, or in the immediate proximity of, his or her ear while the car is in motion. Basically, a person must 1) be actively driving and 2) have a cell phone either to his ear or near his ear. The only exception to this law is when a person is using his or her phone in an emergency situation like calling the fire department, police, or 911. There are also exceptions for persons who use a cell phone while in the performance of their official duties (i.e. police officer).

The Program And Its Purpose

The goal of the defensive driving course (also known as the Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) or Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course) is to provide drivers with information on lawful driving and give techniques for safe driving. Even though private companies offer in-classroom and online courses, the requirements of the course are regulated by the DMV.

Why Take A Defensive Driving Course?

New York State Driver and Out-of-State Traffic Ticket
True story. While in Idaho visiting my sister, her and I decided to drive to California to see Mom and Dad. I had been driving for about 10 hours and was about 50 miles from my destination when I was pulled over by a California police officer. For nearly the entire trip the speed limit was 75 miles per hour and in a small narrow section of the highway the speed limit dropped to 50 miles per hour and I had not noticed. Needless to say, the officer gave me a speeding ticket. The issuance of that ticket raised a lot of questions, but no answers. Such as, I have a New York driver license, will this California traffic ticket have an effect on my car insurance? Will any points transfer to my NY driving record? Not knowing what to do, I paid the ticket and took a NYS safe driving course hoping that would do the trick.

Surely many other drivers have the same questions I asked when issued an out of state ticket. The good news? There are answers!

Will points be added to my NYS driving record? The short and sweet answer is no, except for traffic ticket issued in the Canadian providences of Ontario and Quebec. Also, the no points will be added rule only applies to non-commercial drivers. So, commercial drivers (CDL) be extra careful when driving in other states.


Red Light Traffic Safety Cameras (RLC) have been around a lot longer than you may think. RLC have been around for more than 20 years in New York. These tickets are treated similar to a parking ticket in that the ticket is written to the owner of the car and not the driver. Since the ticket is issued to the car, no points accrue to the car owner’s driver’s license and the tickets are returnable to Parking Violations Bureau or similar agency. Vehicle and Traffic Law §1111-b outlines the Red Light Camera law.

The tickets themselves are known as NOTICE OF LIABILITY is sent to the registered owner of the car. The ticket contains the date, time and location of the alleged violation, the camera ID number, the fine amount, and information on how to pay the fine or request a hearing. Pictures are also included on the notice.

What is a Junior Driver’s license?

Learner permits, limited-use, and full use, junior driver licenses (Class DJ or MJ) are issued to people learning to drive. Of course, because of the nature of the circumstances, the driving privileges for these types of licenses and permits are limited, or restricted. Meaning there are restrictions placed on the driver – legal “dos and don’ts.”

Did you know? A junior learner permit is different from a junior driver license in that a driver can only drive when supervised. But, a junior driver license holder may be able to enjoy unsupervised driving.

How To Pay A New York State Traffic Ticket FineHow To Pay A Traffic Ticket Fine In New York State

If you find yourself in the position of having to pay a traffic ticket fine to a New York State court or NYC TVB, that means that you plead guilty to the original charge or a lesser charge through the plea bargaining process. A fine levied upon a driver by a court is one of the many fines and penalties that can be issued. For a more in-depth discussion on fines and penalties, please visit our New York State Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties blog.

The question of how to pay a fine, in part depends on the court handling the traffic ticket. Fines are paid directly to the court. This is true even though you may be charged a mandatory surcharge However, for ticket issued in Buffalo, Rochester, or New York City, the traffic ticket fine is paid to the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) and not a city court.

Each court has its own payment rules, but generally a ticket can be paid by several different ways: online, in person, by phone or by mail. If you are uncertain about the method of payment, contact the court. However, if you hired a traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket for you, he or she should provide you with payment information.