Articles Posted in Traffic Law

Aggressive Driving or Road Rage

That morning had just been bad from the moment Liza Jane opened her eyes, awoken by the sound of her cell phone being hurled off the dresser by Toby, the cat. A slight headache from the stressful day she had yesterday still lingered. The silver lining of Toby waking her up was she forgot to set her alarm, and now had 45 minutes to get to her super important appointment in Mt Vernon, NY. Thankfully the roads were not slick this morning, but the other drivers were so slow!!! With teeth clenched, Liza Jane sped and weaved in and out of traffic. A mile from her destination, Liza Jane rear-ended grandma Emily. Witnesses later told police about her aggressive driving.

What does New York State define aggressive driving as? How does it differ from road rage?  Aggressive driving may include speeding, tailgating, frequently changing lanes while not using your signals, passing on the shoulder of the road, running stop signs, and/or red lights, passing stopped school bus, and being a nuisance to others who are in a vehicle, on a bicycle, or on foot.

Road rage, however, is an escalation of aggressive driving. Road rage incites a driver to either attempt, or to actually cause damage, to another driver. A driver acting out of road rage also makes others fearful by his or her angry hostile behavior. The two can also be thought of this way: aggressive driving generally involves a traffic safety law violation; whereas, road rage usually involves criminal actions or attempts of violent behavior.

The Unsuspecting Victim. Marie knew it was personal, that officer always stared her down when she dropped her kids off at the elementary school. Officer Smith had always held a grudge against her husband for losing the baseball championship game in junior college. And that morning had been one of those mornings when your ask yourself, “What else can go wrong?” So, when Officer Smith ticketed Marie for a cell phone and child safety restraint violation, it was no surprise. Giovanni seemed to be a natural born thrill seeker and it was no surprise that he once again got out of his car seat and wave happily to Officer Smith.

What was a surprise was the bill that came from the DMV after all Marie’s fines had been paid. Marie felt her face turning a shade of reddish purple as she read the words “Driver Responsibility Assessment” and “three-year penalty”. WHAT? WHY? Before her incident with Officer Smith, she was very prideful of her perfect driving record and often boasted about it.

The DMV Driver Responsibility Assessment. WNYS Driver Assessment Feehat is a Driver Responsibility Assessment and when does a driver get charged this fee? There are three instances where this fine is charged. First, a driver assessment fee can be earned by a traffic-related alcohol conviction. Likewise another way to wrack up a DMV assessment is by a traffic-related drug conviction; and the last way to activate a Driver Responsibility Assessment is by accruing to your driving record 11 points within an 18-month period. 

As the New York State Trooper’s bright flashing lights shone through Daniels back window, he felt his heart pound and a wave of nausea. By the time the officer got to his window, his face was covered in a cold sweat. The day had started off bad, and had progressed to worse. It was one of those days he should have cancelled all appointments and stayed in bed. But, sometimes being home and tending to its responsibilities was worse than dealing with clients. It was the call from home that had caused him to speed. He normally was so cautious about speed limits, but when he saw an opening to pass the car that had him boxed in on 1-87 just north of Yonkers, NY, he hit the gas in his 580 horse power twin turbo engine sports car and flew past the other car.  

New York State License Suspension for 11 Points

He heard the officer, but it sounded like background noise because he was too upset to focus. Forty miles over the speed limit is what the officer clocked him at when he passed that old timer on the interstate near Greenburgh, New York. Daniel could imagine the problems the ticket would raise at home. Plus, this would be an expensive fine.

A ticket for going forty miles plus over the speed limit will accrue eleven points on your driving record if found guilty or you plead guilty. One possible penalty is suspension of your driver’s license. And that is not to mention the increase in your insurance, which can cost thousands of dollars over the course of years. Although taking a DMV approved Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) course can mitigate four points that have accrued for suspension purposes. The points however, do not literally come off your driving record. Moreover, the NY DMV charges a driver a responsibility assessment fee for various infractions. One such infraction is accruing 6 points or more in an 18-month period. The fee is charged over a period of years, and its total ranges from $300 to $750. BUT, just because you accrue 11 points in an 18-month period, does not mean you have to lose your license. What you need is to hire the right attorney to handle your case.

The following is a true story:

At 8:33a on April 25th 2014, Courtney Ann Stanford posted on Facebook: “The happy song makes me HAPPY!”  Friends and family also state she was posting selfies.

This would be Courtney’s last post, and last feeling she expressed.  At 8:34a, one minute after her last FB post, the 32-year-old crossed the median on Business 85 in High Point, NC. She drove head-on into oncoming traffic and collided with a truck. Courtney did not survive the accident. Sadly, her story ended in a human life taken so early because of distracted driving. Courtney’s story is more common than it should be.

Can A Police Officer Write A Ticket If He Did Not See The Incident?

It happens more often than you think. If it has not happened to you, you probably know someone who it has happened to:

Monique works in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, New York. After a long day at work, she is driving home to Mt. Vernon, NY. Monique is a good driver and has never received a traffic ticket. Driving south on the Saw Mill River Parkway, Monique quickly checks her rearview mirror. Her eyes dart back to the parkway just in time to see the Honda Civic in front of her at a dead stop. Unable to stop in time, she barrels into the rear of the Honda with a deafening “BANG!” After the initial shock of the collision she looks for the other driver and his passengers. Thankfully neither she nor the driver or passengers in the Honda are seriously injured. The Yonkers police are called and the officer issues Monique a traffic ticket for following too closely (VTL § 1129-a). Not fair! The officer was not there when the accident happened. Can he issue Monique a ticket for a traffic infraction he did not witness?

These are excellent questions and why you should consult a knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer if you received a traffic violation from a police officer who did not witness the alleged incident. At The Claro Law Firm, we will fight your ticket and fill you in on your rights, which can be the difference of having your ticket dismissed or accruing points to your driving history. The traffic ticket attorneys at The Claro Law Firm know what law firms who do not concentrate in traffic law do not know: a police officer cannot write a motorist a traffic ticket for a violation that was committed outside his presence. The law says that in order for an officer to have authority to issue a motorist a traffic ticket, the violation must have been committed in the officer’s presence. Even so, police officers often write tickets for following too closely or for an unsafe lane change (VTL § 1128-a) after they are called to the scene of an accident. However, if the offense you are charge with was not committed in the police officer’s presence, this can be a basis for having your traffic ticket dismissed. The questions, however, remains: “Is this the best way to handle my ticket?”

Traffic tickets are unexpected and can be confusing, and like mosquitos, they can be annoying. They can blemish a clean driving record or be the nail in the coffin for a driver with points on his driver’s license. The looming question every driver asks who has received a traffic infraction or traffic violation is, how do I make a traffic ticket go away?

The truth is, every rarely will a traffic offense “go away,” but there are different ways to handle a traffic violation. Some ways involve going to court and others avoid court altogether. The ways to resolve a traffic ticket in New York State are:

  • To plead guilty

How Long Do Points Stay on Your Driver License in New York State

Excitedly, Esther walks to her mailbox eager to get her new cell phone case she ordered from Amazon. Flipping through her mail, she sees a letter from the New York State Department of Motor vehicles (DMV). Curious to see what the letter says, she drops everything and rips it open. WHAT?! A Notice of Driver’s License Suspension? How can this be? Quickly she thinks, I have only gotten two tickets, one New Rochelle NY Speeding ticket and one Cell Phone ticket in Bedford NY. What now?

You may have heard people say that after a certain amount of time points come off, or fall off your driver license. This is not true. The reality is that points stay on your license, or driving history FOREVER. Yep, once accrued, those bad boys are there to stay as a big ugly smudge on your pristine driving abstract.

Points accrue to your driving record through traffic violations. Each traffic violation, or traffic ticket, if you will, has points assigned to it. The New York State DMV is responsible for assessing points to the violation and is referred to as the NY Driver Violation Point System. It gives the NYS DMV a way to identify and take action against high-risk drivers.

bike lane signIn September 13, 2016, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio and the Department of Transportation unveiled a plan to add 75 miles of bike lanes to NYC streets. Extending among the five boroughs, 18 miles of these new bike lanes will be fully protected. This initiative is part of the Vision Zero plan, which will likely be completed at the end of the year.

Once completed, the plan will result in the installation of more miles of exclusive-use bike lanes than in any preceding year. In preparation for these new lanes, the Department of Transportation has provided a document showing where they will be located. Some areas of particular interest for NYC motorists include Queens Boulevard between Eliot Street and 74th Street, Jay Street between Fulton Street and Sands Street, and Amsterdam Avenue between West 110th Street and West 72nd Street.

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