Seven Most Common Traffic Violations in New York

Every year, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are ticketed for violations of local and state traffic laws. Collectively, these tickets cost drivers tens of millions of dollars in fines and fees every year, and result in many drivers having their licenses suspended or revoked. Here are the seven most common traffic violations that people are pulled over for:

  1. Speeding
    • Speeding is by far the most common reason people are pulled over by police, and also the biggest contributor to the likelihood and lethality of a car accident. The severity of a speeding offense depends on how much faster someone was going compared to the local speed limit. A relatively minor offense might only result in a fine and points on your license, while going more than 40 miles per hour over the speed limit could result in an immediate suspension of your license, plus additional penalties.
  2. Running a red light or stop sign
    • Another common offense involves running a red light or stop sign. In the case of red lights, this is typically the result of inattentiveness, or the result of trying to speed through a light as it changes. In the case of a stop sign violation, these are often the result of “rolling through” the sign, slowing down without coming to a full stop. In either case, however, failing to stop can make an accident more likely.
  3. Failure to signal
    • Whenever you make a turn or change lanes, you are supposed to signal with sufficient time to warn people behind you. If you forget to signal or signal too late, it can increase the likelihood of accidentally crashing into someone. It can also put you at risk of a traffic ticket if you are caught by a patrol car failing to appropriately signal.
  4. Crossing the median
    • It is common for many larger roads and highways to have a median, which is a strip of land that separates the two sides of a two-way road. Drivers are supposed to stay off the median, both for their own safety and to avoid crossing into oncoming traffic. When someone crosses the median, either intentionally to try and make an illegal turn, or unintentionally due to exhaustion or intoxication, they may get a ticket as a result.
  5. Failure to stop for pedestrians or school buses
    • Pedestrians have the right of way when they cross the street, and other vehicles are supposed to stop when school buses stop for children. When people fail to stop for pedestrians or school buses, it can put people’s lives at risk and increase the chance of a pedestrian accident. In the case of failing to stop for a school bus, this is likely to present a high risk to children attempting to board or leave the bus.
  6. Reckless driving
    • Reckless driving is a broad category of offenses that encompasses any behavior where someone drives with reckless disregard for the safety of others. This includes, but is not limited to: swerving, suddenly changing lanes, driving on the sidewalk, tailgating, or unsafe passing. Depending on the severity of this offense, it could go from a mere traffic violation to a misdemeanor, potentially resulting in jail time.
  7. Driving under the influence / Driving while intoxicated
    • Driving under the influence, also known as a DUI, encompasses any situation where someone drives while they are under the effects of alcohol or another mind-altering substance. While this most typically involves drunk driving, other types of intoxicants, including some prescription drugs, may also result in a DUI offense. Depending on how intoxicated they are and other circumstances, a DUI could be a mere traffic violation (known as driving while ability impaired, or DWAI), or it could arise to the level of a felony in the case of a DWI, or driving while intoxicated.

Fox Law Firm, PLLC is a New York traffic law practice serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. With more than three decades of law practice experience, attorney Kevin Fox has helped clients with their personal injury and criminal defense needs. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call us at 631-779-3400 or visit our contact page to discuss your legal options.

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