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Tag Archives: cell phone tickets

Hampton Bay's Response To Texting and Driving

The town of Hampton Bay recently unveiled a new “Please Don’t Text and Drive” sign near route 24. The sign was placed in memory of a woman killed by a motorist using his cellphone while driving. Texting and driving not only endangers yourself, but it endangers other motorists and pedestrians on the road.

If you receive a summons for a speed, disobey traffic device, or any other moving violation, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Please call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com

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The Hidden Costs of a Cellphone ticket

Many of you may know that a conviction for improper cellphone or portable contact electronic device ticket carries a minimum fine of $138 on New York City. However most people do not realize the hidden costs that also are involved.

Convictions for these offenses will add five (5) points to your New York State Driver’s License. If you receive any other ticket within the same 18 month period, you will be subject to Driver Assessment fees. These fees kick after six points and start at $300. Each additional point will add more to your Assessment.

Additionally, your auto insurance premiums will likely increase after a conviction for these five (5) point tickets.

If you receive a summons for Cell Phone or texting or any other moving violation in New York State please give us a call at 212-227-9008

 

Photo via Visual hunt

More traffic deaths in 2017

Bicycle and pedestrian deaths rose last year, in spite of the small decline in traffic deaths. Pedestrian deaths increased from 139 to 144 and cyclist deaths rose from 14 to 18.

Additionally, 10 New Yorkers have been killed in traffic related incidents in the first 10 days of the year, so  Vision Zero has not been as effective in the waning days of 2017.

Mayor De Blasio has looked into spending more money on capital construction projects, which will have a positive impact on reducing traffic deaths.

If you receive a summons for speeding, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Contact us at 212-227-9008, or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

Governor Cuomo Releases Massive Campaign to Reinforce Move Over Law

Governor Cuomo Releases Massive Campaign to Reinforce Move Over Law

Do you remember Governor Cuomo’s Move Over Law? The Move Over law requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching any emergency or law enforcement vehicle. The initial law was originally established in 2011 in order to protect emergency service personnel and law enforcement.

This week, Cuomo has launched many public service announcements to try and increase the safety of the law enforcement agents and highway personnel. This is part of NY’s aggressive campaign to keep motorists, pedestrians, emergency responders, and highway personnel all safe while they are on NY roads

Throughout this week, State Troopers and Thruway staff will hand out educational flyers and engage in conversation  about the importance of the Move Over Law at service areas.

Receive a ticket for a moving violation this week? We can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

Photo via Visualhunt

Why to Hire a Traffic Attorney: Insurance premium hikes $$$

Although you may have a clean driving record since you were in high school, a conviction for a moving violation may lead to an increased insurance premium. If you receive a summons for a Cell Phone or Speeding, hikes in premiums are likely to follow. Convictions will also lead to fines, and possible Driver Assessment fees.

Obviously, a conviction for driving drunk or impaired will also lead to increased insurance rates. One reason to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney is to increase your chances of winning the ticket. If you are found not guilty, you will not get points or easy fines or pay more for insurance.

An experienced traffic ticket attorney, like those at Law Office of Michael Block will fight your tickets for moving violations. Call our office at 212-227-9008 to divert your summons.

 

Photo via Visual Hunt

Top Driver Excuses Given When Pulled Over For Cellphone Use While Driving

Getting pulled over for using ANY electronic device is a major offense. It is no wonder that when people get pulled over for talking on the their cellphone while driving they use all kinds of excuses to try to get out of their ticket. Take a look at the top 5 excuses I’ve stopped my clients from repeating in court:

1. I was using my GPS

2. I was just checking the time

3. I wasn’t using it, I was just holding it in my hand

4. It wasn’t my phone it was my comb. I was doing my hair.

  FYI- Then you’re still breaking the law. You must have both hands on the wheel.

5. I wasn’t on my phone, I was shaving.

                        – Shaving is still distracted driving, please don’t shave while driving. You could cause an accident or cut yourself.

6. I only had my phone in my hand because it fell on the floor and I had to pick it up.

 7. I was stopped at a red light.

                If actually true and believed by the court, this is a defense. But  if the officer’s statement is that the vehicle was in motion it’s hard to overcome. It’s best to NOT have your phone anywhere near you unless you are parked and the engine is off. Don’t touch it, look at it or play games on it.

Please remember: you must have BOTH hands on the wheel at all times while driving. It is never okay to “multi-task” while driving. If you are pulled over for driving while on your cell phone or any electronic device you will be ticketed and given 5 points. If this has happened to you please call my office immediately at 212-227-9008 or email me at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

Me dieron un ticket por usar el celular. ¿Qué hago?

Si usted usa su celular para mandar un texto, buscar direcciones, o hablar, le pueden dar una multa.  La ley  § 1225-d dice que si el teléfono esta en las manos del chofer, y el chofer está usando el celular, puede ser multado.  Aquí están los pasos que debe tomar para pelear el ticket y evadir los puntos en su licencia.

  • Recaude la Evidencia

Muchas veces es difícil comprobar que usted no estaba usando el celular.  El chofer puede pedir datos detallados de su compañía de teléfono para comprobar que no estaba usando el celular al momento que el policía le dio la multa.

  • Puntos en Su Licencia

El ticket de usar el celular en Nueva York tiene 5 puntos.  Puntos adicionales en su licencia alzan el precio de su seguro y lo ponen a riesgo de suspensión.  Es importante recordar que si usted recibe 11 puntos en un periodo de 6 meses, le van a suspender la licencia.

  • El Costo

La multa por usar el celular cuesta entre $50 y $400 dependiendo de la gravedad de la ofensa o la frecuencia de la ofensa—-  Además de la multa y puntos en su licencia, el costo de su seguro también puede aumentar.

  • ¡Cuidado con los Policías!

Puede que usted sienta la necesidad de hablar con el policía sobre su multa pero le recomendamos que no hable.   Sea respetuoso y obedezca las instrucciones del oficial.  Los policías toman nota sobre las conversaciones que tienen con choferes y pueden usar lo que usted dice en contra de usted cuando pelea la violación en la corte.

  • Estamos aquí para ayudarle

Si usted recibe un ticket por usar el celular o cualquier otra violación de transito llámenos al (212) 227-9008 o contáctenos por email a michaelblock.law@gmail.com para más información.

*Photo Credit: “This is My Father” by Bradely Gordon/Source: Flickr

New York City Crackdown on Speeding, Cellphones and Failure to Yield to Pedestrians

The New York Police Department said on Monday that it was cracking down on motorists this week in areas frequented by older adults, an announcement that came out the same day a 62-year-old woman was fatally struck by a city bus in Brooklyn.

The initiative follows a string of fatal collisions involving pedestrians and motorists in the past two months.

Police officers will target drivers who commit moving violations like speeding and failing to yield to pedestrians near senior centers during times when there are large numbers of people in those areas, officials said in an advisory distributed to members of the news media. The effort, called the Holiday Pedestrian Safety Initiative, began Monday and is expected to run until Sunday, according to the advisory.

The enforcement initiative focuses on seven moving violations outlined under Vision Zero, the mayor’s plan to eliminate pedestrian fatalities in the city. Other offenses include improper turns, texting or using a phone while driving, and traffic signal violations.

The initiative aims to “prevent injuries and create a safe environment,” the police said.

Traffic fatalities have fallen from 244 around this time in 2014 to 217 this year, a decrease of about 11 percent, according to figures provided by the Police Department. Pedestrian fatalities have fallen more modestly, from 128 to 122 in the same period, about a 5 percent change, the police said.

The police said the woman killed on Monday, Eleonora Shulkina, was crossing East 17th Street in Sheepshead Bay when she was hit by a B36 bus making a left turn off Avenue Z. The driver remained at the scene and was not arrested as the police continued their investigation on Monday.

Her death follows a series of fatal accidents involving older pedestrians in New York. On Dec. 2, Liana Platika, 84, was fatally struck by a garbage truck at 58th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan. Bella Markowitz, 85, died the same day, two days after she was critically injured by a driver making a left turn at East 16th Street and Kings Highway in Brooklyn.

In both cases, the drivers remained at the scene or were found nearby. Neither was arrested or issued a summons, the police said on Monday.

 

*Article Originally Featured on The New York Times

*Photo Credit: “NYPD” By: Giacomo Barbaro/Source: Flickr

Tips for Avoiding Traffic Tickets During the Thanksgiving Weekend

Are you Driving for Thanksgiving?

According to the American Safety Council, Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for drivers.  46.9 million people are predicted to be on the roads this Thanksgiving.   The heaviest traffic is between 2PM and 5PM on Thanksgiving Day.

Traffic Tickets also increase around the holiday season.  Here are 3 simple ways to avoid being ticketed this Thanksgiving.

  • Avoid your Cellphone. You could easily receive a Cellphone ticket while fidgeting with your GPS, sending a quick text message, or even checking the time.  You can receive a summons for anything while holding your Cellphone.  If you absolutely need to use your it, use Bluetooth or any other hands-free system.  Better yet, pull over and shut off your engine before touching your device.

Here at the Law Office of Michael Block, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.  Drive carefully and call us if you receive any traffic tickets at (212) 227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com to learn about how we can defend your traffic violations.

*Photo Credit: “Northbound I-405 rush hour” By: Oran Viryincy/(Source: Flickr)

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Should NYC Have "Text Stops"

There are designated “texting zones” or “text stops” on the Long Island Expressway to keep drivers from using their phones while driving.  This makes the roads safer and curbs the amount of Cellphone ticket given.  Do you think that NYC should also make texting stops available?

Cellphone ticket dismissed in Manhattan

Another happy client had a Portable Electronic Device Ticket (also known as a Cellphone ticket) dismissed in NYC Criminal Summons Court!

A cellphone ticket may be issued regardless of how the driver was using the device.  The law defines “using” as holding your cellphone while talking, taking pictures, texting, or simply viewing the device.  So if you are viewing the device as a GPS, you are in violation.

Cops also have a better chance of catching you unnoticed.  CITE—Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement—vehicles are unmarked black SUVs that allow the police to drive and enforce laws unidentified.

If you receive a Cellphone ticket, we can fight for you. Call for free legal advice on Cellphone Tickets at (212) 227-9008 or email us at MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com. The most important advice we can offer at this moment is to fight the ticket. Do not simply mail in a payment or pay the DMV online. This will result in a guilty plea and points on your license which can raise the cost of your insurance.

A cellphone ticket lawyer is waiting to help you. New York Traffic Ticket Law can be very damaging to your driving record. My advice is: don’t pay that traffic ticket. Take a moment now to share a few details about your ticket here.

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients. If you’ve received a speeding ticket or any other type of moving violation, let us help you! Email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

We fight tickets all over New York, including: Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Long Island.

Traffic Ticket Lawyer: "Cops are cracking down on speeders, drivers blowing red-lights and motorists who fail to yield"

The NYPD is revving up it’s traffic enforcement effort, as part of the city’s “Vision Zero” initiative, cops in all 77 precincts will focus on dangerous drivers for one week starting Thursday, police said.

Cops citywide are cracking down on speeders, drivers blowing red lights, and motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians, police said.

Drivers who illegally park in bus lanes or cross walks are also being targeted.

The NYPD’s committed more than 1,000 patrol officers, 230 highway cops and 1,185 traffic agents to his effort.

Since October 31, 12 pedestrians have been struck and killed in car crashes.

Police handed out 5,200 summonses—mostly for cell phone use during a two-day traffic crackdown in 2014.

104 pedestrians were killed by drivers in 2015 compared to 117 during the same time last year, the Mayor’s office said.

Article Originally Featured on Pix 11

*Photo Credit: “NYPD” By: Giacomo Barbaro/Source: Flickr

Bronx Driver Arrested for Trying to Bribe His Way Out of a Cellphone Ticket

If only he had been talking with his lawyer.

A Bronx driver stopped for talking on his cell phone tried to bribe a cop into letting him off with a warning, police said Tuesday.

Johnny Taylor, 69, offered a cop $60, then $100, to get out of a ticket for driving his 1998 Ford Windstar while on his cell phone on Undercliff Ave. at Sedgewick Ave. in Highbridge around 1 p.m., Monday, police said.

But the ploy to get off with a warning backfired, according to authorities.

Police arrested Taylor at the scene and charged him with obstructing government administration and bribing a public servant.

Fines for talking on a cell while driving range from $50 to $150 for a first time offense, according to the New York State DMV.

Article Originally Featured on New York Daily News

*Photo Credit: “April 10 33” By: Lord Jim/Source: Flickr

Cellphone Ticket found Not Guilty in Manhattan

A 5 point Cellphone Ticket (Operating Motor Vehicle While Operating a Mobile Phone) was found Not Guilty in Manhattan South Court

Cellphone Tickets in Manhattan have skyrocketed in recent years!  From 2011 to 2012 tickets issued for driving while texting increased 234 percent.  Under Governor Cuomo, the state pledged $1 million to fund the campaign against cellphone use as well as increased the 3-point penalty to a 5-point penalty on the driver’s record.

Cops also have a better chance of catching you unnoticed.  CITE—Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement—vehicles are unmarked black SUVs that allow the police to drive and enforce laws unidentified.

cellphone ticket may be issued regardless of how the driver was using the device.  The law defines “using” as holding your cellphone while talking, taking pictures, texting, or simply viewing the device.  So if you are viewing the device as a GPS, you are in violation.

In addition, cellphone tickets rack up as much as 5 points.  Extra points on your license can increase the price of your insurance.  3 cellphone tickets could result in the suspension of your license.

The cost of cellphone tickets can range between $50 to $400 depending on the gravity and frequency of the offense.  Aside from the immediate cost of the ticket, points on your license could cause insurance premiums to increase significantly.

When you receive the cellphone ticket, do not discuss it with the police officer.   Anything you say can, and WILL be used against you in court.  Officers take notes on any comments you make which can later harm you while disputing your traffic ticket.

A cellphone ticket lawyer is waiting to help you. New York City Traffic Ticket Law can be very damaging to your driving record. My advice is: don’t pay that traffic ticket. Take a moment now to share a few details about your ticket here.

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients. If you’ve received a speeding ticket or any other type of moving violation, let us help you! Email us at michaelblocklawyer.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

We fight tickets all over New York, including: Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Long Island.

5 Point Cellphone in Nassau Reduced to 0 Point Violation

A 5 point Cellphone Ticket (Operating Motor Vehicle While Operating a Mobile Phone) In Nassau County Traffic Violations Agency was reduced to a 0 Point Jaywalking Violation.  Our client was driving Westbound on Southern State Parkway and was pulled over right on exit 19!

This is nothing new.  Cellphone Tickets in Long Island and New York have skyrocketed in recent years!  From 2011 to 2012 tickets issued for driving while texting increased 234 percent.  Under Governor Cuomo, the state pledged $1 million to fund the campaign against cellphone use as well as increased the 3-point penalty to a 5-point penalty on the driver’s record.

Cops also have a better chance of catching you unnoticed.  CITE—Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement—vehicles are unmarked black SUVs that allow the police to drive and enforce laws unidentified.

cellphone ticket may be issued regardless of how the driver was using the device.  The law defines “using” as holding your cellphone while talking, taking pictures, texting, or simply viewing the device.  So if you are viewing the device as a GPS, you are in violation.

In addition, cellphone tickets rack up as much as 5 points.  Extra points on your license can increase the price of your insurance.  3 cellphone tickets could result in the suspension of your license.

The cost of cellphone tickets can range between $50 to $400 depending on the gravity and frequency of the offense.  Aside from the immediate cost of the ticket, points on your license could cause insurance premiums to increase significantly.

When you receive the cellphone ticket, do not discuss it with the police officer.   Anything you say can, and WILL be used against you in court.  Officers take notes on any comments you make which can later harm you while disputing your traffic ticket.

A cellphone ticket lawyer is waiting to help you. New York Traffic Ticket Law can be very damaging to your driving record. My advice is: don’t pay that traffic ticket. Take a moment now to share a few details about your ticket here.

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients. If you’ve received a speeding ticket or any other type of moving violation, let us help you! Email us at michaelblocklawyer.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

We fight tickets all over New York, including: Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Long Island.

Client Success Story: Cellphone Ticket Lawyer in Suffolk County, Long Island

A 5 point Cellphone Ticket (Operating Motor Vehicle While Operating a Mobile Phone) In Suffolk County Traffic Violations Agency was reduced to a 2 Point Improper Signal Violation.

Cellphone Tickets in Long Island and New York have skyrocketed in recent years!  From 2011 to 2012 tickets issued for driving while texting increased 234 percent.  Under Governor Cuomo, the state pledged $1 million to fund the campaign against cellphone use as well as increased the 3-point penalty to a 5-point penalty on the driver’s record.

Cops also have a better chance of catching you unnoticed.  CITE—Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement—vehicles are unmarked black SUVs that allow the police to drive and enforce laws unidentified.

A cellphone ticket may be issued regardless of how the driver was using the device.  The law defines “using” as holding your cellphone while talking, taking pictures, texting, or simply viewing the device.  So if you are viewing the device as a GPS, you are in violation.

In addition, cellphone tickets rack up as much as 5 points.  Extra points on your license can increase the price of your insurance.  3 cellphone tickets could result in the suspension of your license.

The cost of cellphone tickets can range between $50 to $400 depending on the gravity and frequency of the offense.  Aside from the immediate cost of the ticket, points on your license could cause insurance premiums to increase significantly.

When you receive the cellphone ticket, do not discuss it with the police officer.   Anything you say can, and WILL be used against you in court.  Officers take notes on any comments you make which can later harm you while disputing your traffic ticket.

A cellphone ticket lawyer is waiting to help you. New York Traffic Ticket Law can be very damaging to your driving record. My advice is: don’t pay that traffic ticket. Take a moment now to share a few details about your ticket here.

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients. If you’ve received a speeding ticket or any other type of moving violation, let us help you! Email us at michaelblocklawyer.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

We fight tickets all over New York, including: Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Long Island.

Middle Aged Drivers Talk and Text on Cellphones while Driving Too

Middle-Aged drivers are texting and using cellphones while driving.
Maybe it’s time to take away our allowance? It turns out that teenagers aren’t the only ones who text and drive. Middle-aged drivers do it too and are at a higher risk of causing a car crash because of it, according to a study by the University of California, San Diego.  The research found that most middle-aged drivers admit to using their cell phones regularly while driving, even with children in the car; drivers also feel pressured to answer work calls while driving.
More than one in four car accidents are caused by cell phone use, says the National Safety Council (NSC). A driver’s crash risk increases eight-fold if they are texting; even talking hands-free makes drivers four times more likely to be involved in a crash.

The authors of the study hope companies will talk to employees about the risks associated with distracted driving, and institute policies that will discourage them from using their cell phones while in the car.

The study found that 75 percent of the participants talk on cell phones hands-free, and almost 90 percent of them consider themselves capable or very capable drivers while doing so. Less than 30 percent of participants knew that talking on a hands-free phone increases the risk of crashing to the same degree as driving at the legal alcohol limit, according to the study which was published in the Journal of Transport and Health.

“We weren’t surprised to see that relatively few people understand the risks of distracted driving,” said Jessa Engelberg, lead author of the study, in a press release. “What we were really interested in was whether factors like children and work obligations had an effect on people’s behavior.”

Apparently they do not. Middle-aged drivers continued to use their mobile phones with kids in the car and more than one-third of the participants said they felt pressure to answer a call from the office.

Maybe what we need is an app that automatically turns off our phones when we start up the ignition?

*Photo Credit: “texting and driving” By: frankieleon/Source: Flickr

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Police Crack Down on Calling, Texting While Driving

Police Crack Down on Calling and Texting While Driving

More than 60 motorists were pulled over Monday in the Hampstead area, says Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

Police in the Hampstead area are targeting motorists this week who get distracted by using their cellphones while driving. The use of handheld cellphones while driving is illegal in New York.

On Monday, deputies from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with members of the Maryland State Police and the Hampstead Police Department on a Distracted Driving Initiative, sponsored by the Maryland Highway Safety Office.

From 2 p.m. to about 6 p.m., the law enforcement personel patrolled the area of Route 482 and the Route 30 Bypass, according to a story posted on the Facebook page of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. The focus on this enforcement effort was handheld cell phone use, although the police made traffic stops for other violations.

At the end of this event, a total of 35 citations, 24 warnings and two equipment repair orders were issued to motorists, according to the sheriff’s office. Throughout the week, police in the area will continue to look for and enforce laws directed at distracted driving.

Article Originally Featured on Patch.

Photo Credit: “NYPD” By: Giacomo Barbaro/Source: Flickr

Headphone Tickets in New York

Did You Know!  You could receive a traffic ticket for driving with headphones!

While most of us are aware that it’s illegal to use your cellphone while driving, we should be very careful about driving with headphones which is also illegal.

Some studies have also shown that listening to music with headphones is just as dangerous as texting while driving.  Using both ear buds also blocks out the sound of any emergency vehicles or possible dangers on the road.  They pose a distraction for drivers behind the wheel.

According to Vehicle and Traffic Law, under article 375-24, it is illegal for the driver to be wearing “more than one earphone attached to a radio, tape player or other audio device.”  This means that listening to music on your cellphone or iPod, with more than one headphone in, is also illegal.

But—What about one ear-bud?  Technically talking on the phone hands free or with only one ear bud, is legal.  Devices such as Bluetooth use one ear-bud and are considered legal.  Many vehicles now have built in Stereo Bluetooth which allows you to sync a cell phone or electronic device to make conversations completely hands-free.  These are also legal.

If you receive any kind of earphone violation, cellphone ticket, or electronic device violation call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com for free legal advice on your NYC traffic ticket.

*Photo Credit: “Summer Crusin'” By: Jellaluna/Source: Flickr

Cellphone Tickets Have More than Doubled!

Drivers Beware – From 2011 to 2012 tickets issued for driving while texting increased 234 percent.  Under Governor Cuomo, the state has pledged $1 million to fund the campaign against cellphone use as well as increased the 3-point penalty to a 5-point penalty on the driver’s record.

A cellphone ticket may be issued regardless of how the driver was using the device.  The law defines “using” as holding your cellphone while talking, taking pictures, texting, or simply viewing the device.  So if you are viewing the device as a GPS, you are in violation.

Cops also have a better chance of catching you unnoticed.  CITE—Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement—vehicles are unmarked black SUVs that allow the police to drive and enforce laws unidentified.

If you receive a cellphone ticket, do not engage the police officer in conversation.  They can and will often use anything you say against you in court.  If you receive a cellphone ticket or any other traffic ticket, call us at 212-227-9008 immediately to learn how we can defend you.

Photo Credit: “April 10 33” By: Lord Jim/Source: Flickr

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New York Lawyer: Traffic Ticket After a Car Accident

Traffic Ticket Issued After a Car Accident

Car accidents can involve personal injury and or property damage.  Calls from insurance companies, lawyers, hospital bills and costly car repairs make dealing with the aftermath of an accident unbearable.  To make matters worse, traffic tickets issued after an accident can seriously impact the cost of your insurance and determine which of the drivers is liable.

When a police officer is called to the scene, he will try to determine the facts surrounding the accident, and if possible, determine who caused the accident.  You may give your side of the story, but chose your words carefully.  Saying things like “I’m sorry” or “it was my fault” could damage you.  You also have the option to say nothing and only comply with handing the officer your license, registration and insurance.  Regardless of what you say or don’t say, the officer may still give you a ticket.  The types of tickets issued after accidents may include:

Traffic Ticket Points
Red light ticket 3 points
Following too closely (tailgating) 4 points
Reckless driving 5 points
Failure to yield right of way 3 points
Stop sign 3 points
Improper passing or changing lane unsafely 3 points
Driving in wrong direction or left of center 3 points
Leaving scene of property damage incident 3 points
Child safety restraint violation 3 points
Improper cell phone use 5 points
Use of portable electronic device (texting) 5 points
Speeding 3-11 points

Though there is a great deal of hassle associated with getting your car back on the road and sorting through the things that your insurance does and does not cover, a traffic ticket has serious ramifications which could negatively affect your license.  An experienced attorney could lower the points against your license or get rid of the charges altogether.  Call (212) 227-9008 or email MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com immediately for more information on how we could represent you.

*Photo Credit: “Accident” By: zooroo/Source: Flickr (modified)

6 Things to Know When You Receive a Cellphone Ticket

  1. Why you received the Cellphone Ticket.

If you hold your cellphone in any capacity, you can receive a traffic ticket.  The § 1225-d defines “using” as holding your cellphone while talking, taking pictures, texting, or simply viewing the cellphone.  Be certain that you’re not fidgeting with your GPS either.  The portable device violation extends to using a tablet, GPS, and iPod among other electronic devices.

  1. Gathering the Evidence

It’s often difficult to provide evidence to prove that the cellphone was not actually in use.  A driver may need to provide specific data on cellphone usage from their service provider.

  1. License Points

In addition to the hassle, cellphone tickets rack up as much as 5 points.  Extra points on your license can increase the price of your insurance.  3 cellphone tickets could result in the suspension of your license.

  1. The Cost

The cost of cellphone tickets can range between $50 to $400 depending on the gravity and frequency of the offense.  Aside from the immediate cost of the ticket, points on your license could cause insurance premiums to increase significantly.

  1. Don’t Give Police Officers a Reason to Remember You.

You may feel the need to discuss the ticket with the police officer, but be very careful and compliant.  Anything you say can, and WILL be used against you in court.  Officers take notes on any comments you make which can later harm you while disputing your traffic ticket.

  1. We’re here to Help

If you have received a traffic ticket for a cellphone or electronic device violation, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com to learn more about how we can assist you or email and defend your NYC traffic ticket.

*Photo Credit: “This is My Father” by Bradely Gordon/Source: Flickr

Traffic Ticket Lawyer NYC: Young Driver – Distracted Driving Survey

We recently surveyed drivers aged 18-26 to find out about their driving habits and how they might contribute to distracted driving. Some of the results were surprising, while others seemed to confirm notions we already had about distracted driving. To begin with though, we will start out with some statistics from distraction.com regarding distracted driving:

  • 10% of drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal car accidents were distracted at the time of or just before the crash
  • 27% of drivers involved in distracted driving crashes are in their 20s
  • 25% of teens admit to sending at least one text every time the drive, while 20% of teens and 10% of parents admit to having extended text conversations while they drive

These statistics are frightening due the staggering number of both teens and adults that engage in this dangerous activity.

Survey Answers

When asked who gave the best driving advice, the most popular answer by far was “Father” with 43%, followed by “Mother” and “Driving Instructor” with 22% and 21%, respectively. Friends and other family members rounded out the group with 14%. This is an interesting statistic, since a recent study has found that male drivers are 3.4x more likely than women to get a ticket for reckless driving. In addition, more than 11,900 male drivers died in traffic accidents in 2009, as compared to 4,900 women drivers during that same time period.

Vision Zero is Mayor DeBlasio’s plan to end pedestrian deaths by the year 2024 – as a result, police have been handing out a steady stream of speeding tickets and failure to yield tickets. In addition, many cell phone tickets are issued due to distracted driving crackdowns in New York City and New York State.  While there were 29,179 speeding tickets issued in New York City between November 2014 and January 2015, 57% of drivers surveyed have never received a speeding ticket. At the same time, 15% of drivers surveyed reported receiving a cell phone ticket, while only 7% reported receiving a failure to yield ticket.

A quarter of young drivers surveyed did not know that using a GPS device on a cell phone is illegal. Drivers can be ticketed for using their handheld cell phone GPS with a Portable Electronic Device ticket, which has a penalty of 5 points, as well as a heavy fine.

Even more drivers were unaware of the laws when it comes to music in their car. 38% believe that it is not illegal for them to use their iPod while in the car, while 42% believe they can use their cell phone while in the car. It is illegal to use any portable electronic device in the car if it is handheld – this includes touching the click wheel on an iPod or changing songs on a phone without voice commands.

38% of young drivers surveyed said that they sing along to music in the car “all the time.” A recent study by AAA found that singing along in the car was cited as a reason for 8% of all traffic accidents among young drivers.

As far as cell phone use while driving is concerned, only 15% of survey respondents said they do not use their phone while driving. Most (40%) admit to using their cell phone for GPS / directions, while 19% use it for talking. 16% of drivers surveyed use their phones for music, and thankfully very low numbers of drivers (7% and 3%) use their phones to text and check social media, respectively. It is also important to note that the average amount of time a person takes their eyes off the road to check their cell phone while driving is 5 seconds – a car traveling 55 mph can travel roughly the length of a football field in that time.  New York is taking steps to fight this epidemic: in addition to crackdowns and distracted driving awareness campaigns, the state made 91 “texting zones” on the New York Thruway, Long Island Expressway (between exits 51 and 52), and other New York State highways. These texting zones are specifically designated for drivers to pull off the road so they may send and read text messages.

Out of all the drivers surveyed, almost half of them (47%) have been involved in an automobile accident where they were at fault. The drivers who were at fault for their accidents all reported facing higher insurance rates, and in some cases points on their licenses, as a result of the accident.

The findings of this survey make it very clear that parents need to educate their young drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. While some activities, like talking and texting, are obviously dangerous, others like singing along in the car to music are not. Yet both can lead to fatal car accidents, which is nothing any parent or teen wants to contemplate. If you receive a cell phone ticket, speeding ticket, failure to yield ticket, or any other traffic ticket in New York, please make sure to contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com to find out how we can help you.

*Photo credit: “Young Woman Texting Near Car” by: Sharon & NIkki/Source: Flickr

 

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Vision Zero Vigil Takes Over Union Square

A group of 1,000 people, all of whom were affected in one way or another by serious traffic accidents in New York City, gathered in Union Square on Wednesday night. They had a very clear message – traffic accidents are avoidable and preventable. That is the driving force behind Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero policy, which seeks to end all pedestrian traffic deaths in New York City. So far in 2015, there have been 123 traffic related deaths and over 23,000 serious injuries.

The strategy to end pedestrian traffic deaths comes consists of increased enforcement of speeding, failure to yield, and distracted driving offenses, as well as ambitious plans to redesign some of the more dangerous city streets. Speed cameras have been set up in certain areas of NYC and statistics show that speeding violations caught by those cameras have actually decreased; this means drivers are becoming more aware of their surroundings and the regular enforcement of these violations.

While progress has been made, events like the Vision Zero Vigil highlight the fact that there is still much work to be done in order to bring the number of pedestrian deaths down to zero in New York City. What are your thoughts on Vision Zero? Could the Mayor be doing more? Or is he on the right path?

New Safety Details regarding Self-Driving Cars

California state officials have recently released information detailing six accidents involving self-driving car prototypes. The accidents were not serious enough to result in any injuries to the drivers however. It is important to note that California law mandates that a person is still present in the driver’s seat of a self-driving car while the cars are out on the streets. These laws aim to prevent such accidents which result from distracted driving or texting while driving, which lead to traffic tickets with hefty fines. The Associated Press (AP) successfully argued that the California DMV was improperly withholding information about self-driving car accidents that was previously confidential. Interestingly, 8 different companies have permission to test 82 self-driving cars in California, but Google has been testing the most with over 1.8 million miles tested in total. Google was responsible for 5 out of the 6 total crashes, while Delphi was responsible for the one other crash. In addition, Google has become more open about releasing information about collisions and Google officials claim to be proud of their safety record. Google has been testing its self-driving cars since 2009, but it was only until September of 2014 that the California DMV officially permitted the testing of self-driving cars. Will self-driving cars ever be allowed to test in the complex traffic of New York City?

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: What is Vision Zero?

In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his Vision Zero policy as a way to eliminate all pedestrian traffic deaths in New York City. Studies that led to the creation of Vision Zero claim that 4,000 people are injured each year in New York City traffic crashes while another 250 are killed due to involvement in a traffic crash. The basic tenets of Vision Zero are as follows:

• There is no such thing as a traffic accident – instead, they are crashes that could have been prevented.
• There is no acceptable level of injury or death that stem from traffic crashes.
• The public should expect safe traffic behavior on the streets.

How does Vision Zero affect New York drivers? Vision Zero studies estimate that 70% of traffic crashes involving pedestrians are caused by driver actions, specifically speeding, failure to yield and improper turns, texting / talking while driving, and signal violations. As such, New York City has increased the enforcement of speeding and failure to yield violations in some effective ways.

Speeding
In November 2014, the un-posted speed limit in New York City was lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph as part of the Vision Zero initiative. In addition, enforcement of the new speed limit was heavily increased – in the first few months, the number of speeding tickets issued in NYC skyrocketed 40% from the previous year. Drivers have reported getting speeding tickets for going only 1-5 mph over the speed limit, which has not always been the case in NYC. The penalties for speeding tickets vary anywhere from 3-11 points depending on how fast over the speed limit the driver was going. 11 points or 3 speeding tickets within an 18 month period is often grounds for driver’s license suspension, while 6 points within an 18 month period will bring about an extra fee in the form of the Driver Responsibility Assessment.

Failure to Yield, Improper Turns, and Signal Violations
One of the biggest changes to come out of Vision Zero is the fact that drivers who fail to yield the right of way and seriously injure or kill pedestrians can now be charged with misdemeanors. In addition, the number of failure to yield tickets issued by the NYPD increased over 125% from the previous year. City bus drivers feel they are unfairly targeted by this new enforcement, especially since they are tasked with running tight schedules to keep commuters moving. 6 city bus drivers have been arrested since the change to the failure to yield law, though one of them was just recently cleared of any wrongdoing. Improper turn and signal violation tickets are already fairly common in New York City as “right on red” is typically not allowed on city roads, though it is allowed in other parts of New York as well as the surrounding states. Failure to yield tickets carry a penalty of 3 points, while improper turn and signal violations carry 2 point penalties.

Texting / Talking While Driving
One of the worst tickets drivers can get in New York is the cell phone / portable electronic ticket. Not only is it a high-point ticket (5 points), but it is also a difficult ticket to fight. Unfortunately, as part of Vision Zero and other distracted driving awareness pushes, there has been a huge increase in the number of cell phone tickets issued in New York. The burden of proof for a cell phone ticket is fairly low – an officer merely needs to see the cell phone in the vicinity of a driver’s head to issue the ticket, and drivers will typically need to pull call records from their cell phone provider to prove they were not on the phone at the time in order to stand much of a chance of beating this ticket. A police officer may issue a portable electronics ticket to drivers if they are touching any handheld electronic device – this includes iPods and MP3 players, GPS devices, and tablets.

Impact
Mayor de Blasio claimed that Vision Zero has been a great success, especially since 2014 proved to be the safest year for pedestrians in New York City since 1909. However, the mayor let everyone know there was still much work to be done since the goal of Vision Zero is to totally eliminate pedestrian traffic deaths. Other reports say that Vision Zero has seen mixed results since its roll out, with pedestrian deaths lowering in some parts of the city while actually rising in other areas.

Future
Judging by the amount of tickets written in New York City due to Vision Zero initiatives, as well as the relative success of the policy in its first year, it is a very safe bet the program will not only continue, but that officials will not rest on their laurels. Expect to see an even stronger focus on the targeted enforcement of Vision Zero violations as officials strive to reach their goal of eliminating all pedestrian traffic deaths in New York City. It’s possible that in order to reach this goal, higher monetary fines and point values will be attached to Vision Zero traffic tickets, all while steadily increasing enforcement of these traffic violations.

If you receive a speeding ticket, failure to yield ticket, cell phone ticket, or any other Vision Zero traffic ticket, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help you.

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Lawyer Sues Tech Companies over Distracted Driving

Stephen L. Joseph, a lawyer from Los Angeles who achieved positive results stemming from lawsuits against the food industry over trans-fats has now targeted the tech industry. The reason for the lawsuit? He believes companies such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Google produce devices that encourage drivers to focus on everything but the road while they’re driving. The lawsuit claims that these tech companies have a moral responsibility to help stop the problem of distracted driving. While Apple made no formal comment on the lawsuit, it did point out that drivers have the ability to turn off their phones and devices or engage settings that can limit the distractions – basically saying that it is the driver’s responsibility to limit distractions before they start driving.

The legal grounds for the lawsuit rest in “public nuisance” laws, which typically refer to community disruption, though law suits filed under the public nuisance law have been used to address public health issues. Experts expect the lawsuit to be throw out due to the fact that most public nuisance lawsuits have failed in court. This is true, but Mr. Joseph has filed other lawsuits that were ultimately thrown out – the trans-fat lawsuit and a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles regarding graffiti – that still generated a lot of publicity and led to the changing of practices in those areas.

Do you think tech companies have a responsibility when it comes to distracted driving? Or is it up to the driver to make their own decisions?

The New Sheriff in Town: Suffolk County is Cracking Down on Traffic Violations

Since the Suffolk Traffic and Parking Violations Bureau (STVPB) began in April 2013, hearing officers have sent 39 people to jail in Suffolk County for traffic violations such as speeding, improper cell phone use, and driving without a license. In 2015 alone, 16 people have been sentenced to jail terms from 3 days – 60 days for traffic offenses. Suffolk County’s aim is to discourage drivers from driving without a New York State License. Interestingly, prior to the STVPB initiative, motorists were not sentenced to any jail time for traffic tickets.

Critics have mixed reactions to the STVPB; some say that the initiative disproportionately and unfairly targets immigrants who have a hard time receiving a New York State License. Others say that the initiative is making the streets safer by eliminating inexperienced, unlicensed drivers from the road. One thing is clear, however, and that is the fact that Suffolk’s traffic court has become a major revenue source for the county. The STVPB collected $47.8 million in fees in 2014, its first year of operation, while its costs were only $11 million.

If you receive a traffic ticket in Suffolk County, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to find out how we may help you.

Long Island Traffic Attorney: How Technology Changes the Way We Drive

Automobiles are being manufactured to make everything easier for drivers; they come installed with navigation, hands-free phones, and numerous other features that help to keep drivers safe. But where will the future lead with this kind of technology? Mercedes-Benz is already producing cars that are already equipped with “anticipatory driving,” which is meant to analyze the road to improve battery performance in hybrid cars. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has also joined Google and Delphi, among other companies, in producing driverless cars and trucks. But where will technology take cars and drivers in the future?

The Internet
Ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft have contributed to the role the internet plays in transportation. Urban Millennials may never again have to buy a car because of these ride-for-hire companies that can pick customers up on the fly and bring them to their destination efficiently and quickly. Robotic taxis are also under study to see what benefit such high-tech machines may have for society. Interestingly, a study by the Earth Institutes at Columbia University demonstrates that robotic taxis would cost considerably less to operate than human-driven vehicles. But one large question remains: what about all those jobs that would be lost if cars were operated robotically instead of by human beings?

New Technologies for Auto Insurance?
Progressive, a major auto insurance company, recently introduced a new system that can determine how much money a driver must pay in insurance by studying their braking patterns. Drivers can save up to 30% on their premiums based on their driving performance, which indicates that safe drivers are finally being rewarded for their safe driving habits. These programs have many skeptics, however, because there is a concern that insurance companies will unfairly scrutinize people in setting premiums. That being said, it seems as though riskier drivers will end up paying more on their premiums due to their unsafe driving behaviors. But what constitutes a risky driver? The amount of miles traveled daily may play a factor into calculating the riskiness of drivers; companies like Metromile have already started to use mileage data when determining auto insurance premiums. These programs seem superb in theory because, once again, the determination of driver risk would no longer rely solely on credit score or education.

Cyber security
With all of the glitz and glamour that comes with great technological improvements, there are significant negatives like threats from malicious hackers who could easily gain access into “smart city” technologies. For example, the threat of a cyber-attack on our traffic systems and traffic lights has become a reality in the United States. The infrastructure of heavily-populated U.S. cities is at real risk from hackers whose goals are detrimental to the inhabitants of those cities. Other viruses or bugs have caused havoc in the past, such as in 2006 when San Francisco’s public transportation system closed down and trapped passengers underground. In a recent study, over 200,000 control sensors for traffic flow in D.C., New York, and San Francisco were found to be vulnerable to attack. However, steps have been taken to prevent these catastrophes from happening. Initiatives like “Securing Smart Cities” set out to protect the vulnerabilities of smart cities, while alert systems in in San Francisco notify jurisdictions if a specific county endures a cyber-attack.

Smart Roads
While there is a lot of attention paid to the technology built into automobiles, people rarely speak about the technology that goes into roads they drive on. Sensors and systems are being built into roads to create situations where drivers and cars can anticipate issues with the road surface before they become a problem. IBM has claimed to have reduced traffic by 25% in Stockholm, Sweden by examining traffic systems and informing the public on the most efficient times to drive. The goal of smarter roads and systems is for steady flow that can help reduce the amount of traffic and the amount of collisions on the road.

Semi-autonomous cars
Mercedes-Benz has recently introduced a semi-autonomous car with a steering assist feature that allows a vehicle to basically drive itself on freeways. This innovative driving feature, which is included in the Mercedes S550, allows the car to center itself within any lane and automatically brake and steer to keep up with the pace of traffic. However, the S550 does not fully drive itself, meaning the driver still needs to pay attention to the road. The S550 does not handle sharp turns well, so completely ignoring the road and relying on the car to drive itself is not a smart idea. To combat the complacency drivers may feel while sitting in a semi-autonomous car, Mercedes installed an alarm which goes off when the driver has taken their hands off the wheel for more than 10 seconds.

Semi-autonomous cars are becoming cheaper and more widely available each year, and are setting the stage for future fully autonomous cars. But would fully autonomous cars be a real benefit to society?

Smartphones
Smartphone-enabled carpooling could help to reduce the effect automobiles have on the environment by increasing the amount of passengers per car which, in turn, decreases the amount of cars on the road. Other for-hire transportation services like Uber and Lyft have changed the way we think about transportation in the city. Smartphones allow Uber drivers to receive directions automatically through GPS before the customer even sits in the car (increasing the efficiency of its rides), and Uber also guarantees payment to its drivers through the customer’s credit card. Although the perception of all ride-hailing services is that these innovative services are the cheapest option, some public transportation services have comparable or even cheaper rates. Could you imagine cities with only taxis and for-hire vehicles on the streets?

Smart roads, smartphones, and smart cities are indeed redefining the way we look at both transportation and the relationship between technology and how we get around in a city. Also, we must now look differently at how we purchase auto insurance. All of this new technology, from smartphones to semi-autonomous cars, aims to make the driving experience more efficient and safe. However, even with safety measures taken, human error is still present with these systems. Semi-autonomous cars may very well be paving the way for a future of automatic cars, and the country is anxious to see the future of transportation.

New Distracted Driving Study Highlights a Serious Problem

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a new study on distracted driving, and the results show the problem to be much worse than most people think. These are some of the highlights of the study:

• Distracted driving caused 3,100 deaths in 2013
• 10% of people video chat while driving
• 61% of people text and drive
• 33% of people check their email
• 17% of people take steering wheel selfies
• 30% of people admit to being on Twitter “all the time” while driving

46 states, including New York State, have laws against texting and driving. New York also has some of the most stringent cell phone laws in the country – a cell phone ticket or portable electronic device ticket in New York carries a penalty of 5 points. In addition, a cell phone only needs to be in the vicinity of a driver’s head for a police officer to issue a cell phone ticket.

If you receive a cell phone ticket or a portable electronic device ticket, please be sure to contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help you.

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Social Media is a Big Cause of Distracted Driving

Almost half of all drivers who have used their cell phones while driving used the phones for social media, according to a new survey. The report also notes that 70% of people who own smartphones use them to engage in some type of activity while driving, such as texting, surfing the web, or checking email.

As far as social media is concerned, drivers admitted to checking Facebook the most, followed by Twitter and Instagram. Snapchat, Pinterest,Vine, and LinkedIn were also cited in the study.

New York has a very strict law concerning cell phones and portable electronic devices – a conviction for a cell phone ticket can lead to heavy fines and a penalty of 5 points, the same as passing a stopped school bus or reckless driving. If you receive a cell phone ticket in New York, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to find out how we can help you.

Long Island Driver Arrested for Driving Drunk while on a Cell Phone

A driver was pulled over in Hampton Bays this weekend after police observed him tailgating and using a cell phone without a hands-free device. Upon stopping the driver, police officers determined him to be intoxicated and unlicensed. He was charged with DWI and operating without a license, which are both criminal charges. He was also ticketed for following too closely and operating a vehicle while using a cell phone.

A DWI conviction can result in heavy fines, driver’s license suspension, and extra penalties in the form of the New York Driver Responsibility Assessment. An unlicensed operation conviction could result in heavy fines and possible jail time, though the jail sentence is very unlikely. A following too closely ticket carries a penalty of 4 points on a driver’s license, while a cell phone ticket has a penalty of 5 points.

If you receive traffic tickets on Long Island, or if you are charged with DWI or unlicensed operation, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 so we can begin working on your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome.

New Studies Show Statistics of Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted driving is such an important issue that New York often stages Distracted Driving Awareness campaigns in which they ticket motorists for distracted driving offenses, most notably cell phone and portable electronics violations. The fact that cell phone tickets have 5 points attached to them as well should let drivers know how seriously New York takes distracted driving violations, and recent studies show that New York is right: a study conducted by AT&T found that 61% of people use their phone to text while driving, 33% email driving, and 27% use Facebook while driving. In addition, other studies show that distracted driving and cell phone use are responsible for anywhere from 16% – 27% of all traffic accidents.

Do these statistics surprise you? Is there anything more that New York should do to combat distracted driving?

Driver Receives Traffic Ticket for Using Apple Watch

A driver in Quebec was pulled over for police for using his Apple Watch and was given a $120 traffic ticket. The driver was using his Apple Watch to change the music in his car when police noticed him and decided to pull him over. Quebec’s law concerning cell phones and portable electronics is similar to New York’s law, stating “no person may, while driving a road vehicle, use a hand-held device that includes a telephone function.” But is the Apple Watch a handheld device since it is worn on the wrist? The outcome of this case can set a precedent, and drivers in New York should be aware of what happens.

In addition to heavy fees, a New York cell phone ticket will put 5 points on your driver’s license. But should wearable tech carry the same kind of penalties? Or is it just as distracting as a handheld cell phone?

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: What Happens When I Get a Traffic Ticket?

Traffic tickets are an unfortunate reality for New Yorkers. From crackdowns on speeding to heavy fines imposed on cell phone violations, drivers always take the risk of receiving a traffic ticket when they drive in New York. While it might be better to just pay a New York parking ticket and move on, it’s almost never advisable to plead Guilty to moving violations in NYC due to the large fees and penalties that drivers face when convicted of those offenses. Instead of risking losing their driver’s licenses by going it alone, drivers should hire NYC traffic ticket lawyers to see what can be done to help.

NYC Traffic Tickets

There are so many different traffic laws for New Yorkers to know that it’s inevitable for drivers to slip up and receive a traffic ticket. Almost every moving violation in New York carries points, such as Failure to Yield (3 points) and Following Too Closely (4 points). Most NY traffic tickets usually have 2 or 3 points, but there are some offenses that are more heavily penalized due to their severity. Speeding tickets in NY range from 3 to 11 points, depending on how fast the driver was going when observed by the police officer. Cell phone tickets, reckless driving tickets, and passing a stopped school bus tickets each carry 5 points – these are the highest point tickets in New York besides high speeding tickets. If a driver accumulates 11 points on their driver’s license within an 18 month period, their license may be suspended. In addition, 6 points within an 18 month period will bring about extra fees in the form of the New York Driver Responsibility Assessment. The points can also cause insurance premiums to increase, which will cost drivers far more money beyond just the original traffic ticket fine.

Distracted Driving and Cell Phone Tickets

Over the past few years, New York has passed a number of more stringent traffic laws, such as penalizing the use of cell phones and portable electronic devices in an effort to combat distracted driving fatalities. Cell phone tickets initially did not have points attached to them, but that changed in February 2011 when all cell phone tickets also came with 2 points. In June 2013, that penalty was increased to 5 points. This is because cell phone use while driving is a huge contributor to deadly driving accidents. State and local police often stage distracted driving crackdowns multiple times a year in order to curb these dangerous habits and save lives.

Vision Zero

Vision Zero is Mayor de Blasio’s policy to end all pedestrian traffic deaths in New York. Among other measures, Vision Zero included a reduction of the un-posted city speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph and increased targeting of Failure to Yield to Pedestrian violations. The amount of speeding tickets issued in NY has dramatically increased since the speed limit was lowered, and the amount of Failure to Yield tickets has increased by over 125% from the previous year. In addition, a Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian offense that results in death or serious injury has now become a misdemeanor offense as part of Vision Zero. While reports show that New York City has seen mixed success with Vision Zero, drivers can expect this policy to keep moving forward.

Other Crackdowns

New York law enforcement agencies often stage week-long or month-long crackdowns for different traffic offenses throughout the year. Just recently, state police participated in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, in which they targeted cell phone users but also gave out a large number of speeding tickets, seat belt tickets, and other moving violation tickets. From May 20th to June 1st, police all over New York will engage in a “Click It or Ticket” campaign – while adult drivers and passengers do not receive points on a ticket for not wearing a seat belt, drivers can get 3 points on their license if any underage passengers are not securely buckled in. At other times in New York City, police target commercial truck drivers whose trucks are over the allowed weight limit. These targeted crackdowns are meant to increase safety awareness and help put a stop to dangerous driving practices, but traffic tickets issued during these periods can always be fought.

How a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help

NYC traffic tickets can be a heavy burden for drivers, whether it’s due to the financial hardships they impose or the possibility of losing driving privileges. New York traffic ticket lawyers can often help clients by using their many years of experience navigating through the traffic court system to gain favorable outcomes. While no particular outcome can ever be guaranteed, drivers can at least be secure in the knowledge that they’re entrusting their driving record to an experienced lawyer who can put forward a valid defense. In addition, traffic ticket attorneys can also save drivers valuable time by making court appearances without having their clients present. For more information on how a New York traffic ticket lawyer can help you, please contact us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

New York City Traffic Lawyer: Don’t Text and Drive!

New York City has seen a big increase in the amount of traffic tickets issued to drivers who talk or text while operating a vehicle. As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, New York State police conducted distracted driving crackdowns that targeted drivers using their cell phones, but the overall trend has seen more tickets issued for cell phone use. In fact, cell phone tickets made up almost 25% of all traffic tickets written in Manhattan in the first 3 months of 2015. This is a gigantic number, and drivers should be aware of the actions that can cause them to end up with a hefty fine and 5 points on their driver’s license.

When Drivers Use Cell Phones

State Farm recently conducted a survey on the cell phone habits of drivers. More than half of the drivers surveyed said they used their cell phones while stopped at a red light, while 30% of drivers said they used their cell phone while driving on an open highway. Many drivers stated that they do not use their cell phones if they are driving in inclement weather, through school or work zones, in heavy traffic, or if it is dark out.

What Drivers Do on Cell Phones

Surprisingly (or maybe not, actually), most drivers do not use their cell phones to actually talk to other people. Instead, most drivers text, email, surf the web, or check social media sites on their phones while driving. This is a very disturbing statistic, because these actions are possibly more distracting than talking on the phone. Studies have shown that when a person looks at their phone to read a text message, their eyes are off the road for an average of 5 seconds. In that time they can travel 50 yards, or half the length of a football field. That leaves an awful lot of time for the car ahead to slam on the brakes – something a driver looking at a text on their cell phone would never notice. The more ways smart phone technology advances, the more ways there are for drivers to become distracted.

Not Just Automobiles

There has recently been a push in the City Council to make cell phone use while riding a bicycle illegal. In fact, Park Slope leads the city in the amount of cell phone tickets issued to bike riders. However, New York’s cell phone law explicitly bans cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle, which clearly excludes bicycles. The issue though is that cell phones are a distraction to both drivers and bike riders, since bicyclists can pose danger to pedestrians and themselves if they ride while distracted. Proponents of a cell phone ban for bike riders say such a law would be in line with Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program, and could cost bicyclists who break the law fines ranging from $50 to $200.

Fines and Penalties

New York has strict laws regarding cell phone use while operating an automobile. Fines and surcharges for cell phone tickets range from $138 to $288 for the first offense, while subsequent offenses within 18 months of the first range from $138 to $538. More importantly, cell phone tickets carry a penalty of 5 points on your driver’s license. In fact, if you receive a cell phone ticket in conjunction with any other moving violation, you can expect to pay the New York Driver Responsibility Assessment, which is given to drivers with more than 6 points on their license, in addition to fines and increased insurance premiums.

If you receive a traffic ticket for using a cell phone while operating an automobile, or if you receive traffic tickets for any other violations, please be sure to contact us at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help you.

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Brooklyn Neighborhood Leads in Cell Phone Tickets for Bike Riders

Park Slope leads the city in tickets issued to bicyclists who ride while using their cell phone – the problem is that there are no laws on the books that state bicyclists cannot use their cell phones. At a recent City Council hearing, a spokeswoman for the NYPD legal bureau argued that New York City’s cell phone ban applied to cyclists as well, even though the law clearly states that the operators of “motor vehicles” are banned from using cell phones while driving.

Even if the law is amended to include bicycles in the cell phone ban, bike riders would not be subject to the same penalties as drivers. A traffic ticket for using a cell phone while driving carries a hefty fine, but more importantly, it carries a penalty of 5 points on one’s driver’s license – the points are a huge motivation for drivers to put down their cell phones, as 5 points may increase their insurance premiums and will put them well on their way to a license suspension, which occurs at 11 points. Points cannot be added to a driver’s license for offenses committed while outside of a motor vehicle, so bike riders who text – just like jaywalkers – would not receive any points on their license.

If you receive a traffic ticket for using a cell phone while driving, or if you receive any other traffic tickets, please contact us at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help you.

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Big Spike in Long Island Cell Phone Tickets and School Bus Tickets

“Operation Hang Up,” the New York State Police’s distracted driving crackdown, resulted in 17,447 tickets issued to distracted drivers over a 5-day period. Police officers issued cell phone tickets, speeding tickets, and seat belt tickets, as well as making DWI arrests and issuing tickets for failing to move over when passing police and emergency vehicles pulled over on the shoulder.

In addition, State Police also conducted “Operation Safe Stop Day” last week, which was a crackdown on drivers who illegally passed school buses. While numbers are not yet available for this year’s school bus crackdown, last year police wrote 1,200 illegal passing tickets, many of which were on Long Island.

Cell phone tickets and school bus tickets both carry 5 points and heavy fines. If you received a cell phone ticket or school bus ticket on Long Island during the police crackdown, or if you received any other traffic tickets during this period, please call us at 212-227-9008.

Lawsuit Accuses Uber of Promoting Reckless Driving and Breaking NY Cell Phone Laws

A lawsuit brought against Uber by XYZ Two Way Radio Services and Elite Limousine Plus claims that the company’s drivers are a “pack of predatory drivers racing to win fares with their eyes on their phones instead of the road.” This is in reference to the fact that Uber fares are accepted via the smartphone app and also that the company urges drivers to communicate with each other by texting or calling. Since Uber drivers only have 15 seconds to accept a fare in their area before it goes to another driver, the lawsuit states that the drivers must be accepting fares on their phones while driving, which is in direct defiance of New York’s cell phone laws. The plaintiff’s attorney also claims that “Uber’s business model unleashes in this city thousands of drivers encouraged to engage in conduct that is not only unsafe, but unlawful.”

Reckless driving tickets and cell phone tickets both carry 5 points in New York in addition to heavy fines, and reckless driving is also a criminal charge. If you are a driver in New York and receive a reckless driving ticket, a cell phone ticket, or any other traffic ticket, please contact us at 212-227-9008 or michaelblock.law@gmail.com to see how we may help you.

NYC Cell Phone Tickets Skyrocket since Last Year

The number of NYC cell phone tickets handed out since last year increased by 50% due to police officers becoming much more attuned to the habits of cell phone using drivers. Almost 50,000 tickets have been issued since 2014, while over 75,000 cell phone tickets were written elsewhere in New York State, a 35% increase from 2013 numbers. A source in the NYPD says that cops are feeling increased pressure from the state government to write more cell phone tickets, and that the increase has less to do with more people using their cell phones than before and more with police officers having a better idea of what to look for when enforcing cell phone laws. Many police departments enact week long crackdowns, such as the one state police are running right now in conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Drivers who are convicted of violating New York’s cell phone laws can face a fine of $450 and 5 points on their driver’s license, while provisional and permit drivers risk having their driving privileges suspended. If you receive an NYC cell phone ticket or any other traffic ticket, please contact us at 212-227-9008.

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New York State Police Cracking Down on Texting While Driving

Governor Cuomo announced that state troopers will be heavily targeting motorists who use their cell phones while driving on New York State roads from Friday, April 10 through Wednesday, April 15. The push coincides with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and is similar to a crackdown that occurred last year which resulted in 550 cell phone tickets being written in a short period of time. It has been reported that 3,100 people died in 2013 due to accidents involving distracted driving, which includes behaviors such as talking and texting, playing with the radio or iPod, and applying makeup or fixing hair. That is a scary statistic, and makes one wonder if crackdowns like this should occur every month to lower the number of lives lost due to these tragic accidents. Remember, a New York cell phone ticket carries 5 points, the same amount as reckless driving. If you receive a cell phone ticket in New York, or any other traffic ticket, please contact our office at 212-227-9008.
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New York Traffic Lawyer: AAA Report on Teen Driving

Automobile accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths in the United States. This is a very disturbing fact for everyone, including parents and teens. In order to get a better idea of how teen drivers become involved in car accidents, the University of Iowa examined video data from 1,691 teen driver crashes between 2007 and 2013. AAA reported the findings and found out what types of behaviors contributed to the crashes:
Speeding and driving too fast for road conditions made up for an overwhelming 79% of single-vehicle crashes, while failure top yield and following too closely made up for 43% of angle crashes and 36% of rear-end crashes, respectively.

Distracted driving accounted for 58% of all crashes, including:
• 44% of loss-of-control crashes
• 89% of road-departure crashes
• 76% of rear-end crashes
• 51% of angle crashes

Some of the activities that led to these distracted driving crashes were:
• Interacting with one or more passengers (15%)
• Cell phone use [talking, texting, or other] (12%)
• Looking at something in the vehicle (10%)
• Looking at something outside the vehicle (9%)
• Singing / dancing along to music (8%)
• Personal grooming (6%)
• Reaching for an object (6%)

Teen drivers were most frequently distracted by talking or interacting with passengers and using their cell phones.
• Passengers were present in 36% of all crashes
• Fewer than 5% of those passengers were parents or adults, while 84% were other teenagers
• 27% of these passengers were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

Cell phone use (talking, texting, or other) was visible in 8% of all crashes and appeared likely in an additional 4% of crashes. Cell phone use was most prevalent in road-departure crashes (21% visible, 13% likely) and rear-end crashes (10% visible, 8% likely).

Cell phone use varied significantly by crash type:
• Visible in 21% of road-departure crashes, not visible but likely in additional 13%
• Visible in 10% of rear-end crashes, not visible but likely in additional 8%

Miscellaneous Facts

Most single-vehicle loss-of-control crashes involved bad weather and surface conditions.

Teen drivers spent an average of 4.1 seconds looking at their cell phones in the last 6 seconds before a crash and often showed no reaction at all before rear-end crashes occurred, meaning that they had no idea what was happening on the road in front of them.

Teen drivers were found to make decisions errors such as speeding, running stop signs, and failing to yield in 66% of their car accidents.

What can parents do to make their children better drivers?

While this research focused on teens aged 16-19, parents should know that their children up to age 26 are at still at risk of being involved in an automobile accident because of the types of behaviors listed above. There are New York laws in place that prohibit cell phone usage and limit the amount of underage passengers teen drivers can have in their cars, and parents need to make sure that their children understand the consequences of violating those laws. Junior driving licenses can be suspended or revoked for up to 60 days if teens violate New York Graduated Driver’s License rules, while violating the New York cell phone laws can lead to a suspension or revocation of 120 days for the first offense and 6 months for the second offense.

In addition, teens need to know that simple things like singing and dancing in the car or looking at something outside of the car can be almost as bad as talking on the cell phone. One disturbing fact found in this report is that over a quarter of all passengers involved in these accidents were not wearing seat belts. Seat belts have been proven numerous times to save lives – statistics show that wearing a seat belt decreases the chances of serious injury or death by 45% and decreases the chances of minor injuries by 50%. Make sure your teens know the risks involved with these behaviors and that driving is a privilege – a privilege that can be taken away by the NY DMV.

For more information regarding this teen driver study, please visit: https://www.aaafoundation.org/using-naturalistic-data-assess-teen-driver-crashes
Attorney Michael Block has more than 25 years experience fighting traffic tickets and achieving positive outcomes for his clients. When you receive a New York traffic ticket, please contact our office at 212-227-9008 for a free consultation.

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Manhattan Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Don’t Pay Cell Phone Ticket – Fight It!

Are you aware that you can get a traffic ticket on 42nd Street in Manhattan for looking at your cell phone while stopped at a red light? Or that you don’t even have to be talking or texting on your cell phone in Manhattan, but that you can get a ticket just for holding your phone? In addition, did you know that a police officer walking down the street can give you a traffic ticket just as easily as a police officer in a patrol car? If you have received a cell phone ticket in Manhattan, or any other traffic ticket in New York City, please give us a call at 212-227-9008 to find out how we can help you.

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Long Island Traffic Attorney: What Can Happen If You’re Caught Talking on a Cell Phone and Texting while Driving on Long Island

The cell phone law on Long Island is one of the strictest cell phone laws in the country. Using a hand-held mobile phone to talk or text while driving can result in hundreds of dollars in fines and 5 points on your driving record. In addition, probationary and permit drivers may risk losing their driving privilege if they are caught by police on their cell phone while driving.

Consequences of Talking and Texting on a Cell Phone
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, drivers caught using a cell phone or texting while driving on Long Island can carry fines of up to $200 for the first offense, and if caught driving and texting again within 18 months, the fines can go up to $250 and $450 for the second and third offenses. In addition, these texting and driving violations carry 5 points on your driving record, which will lead to an increase on your insurance premiums. A judge also has discretion on whether to suspend your license. Representation by a Long Island traffic lawyer can potentially save motorists from the financial hardships that can result from a conviction.

Probationary and Permit Drivers
Probationary or permit drivers caught violating Long Island cell phone laws are subject to even harsher penalties. These include the suspension of their license or learner’s permit for a period of 120 days for the first offense, and the revocation of their license or learner’s permit if convicted for the same offense within 6 months of having their driving privileges restored. Talking on a cell phone while driving on Long Island is certainly not worth the risk when you consider the consequences for this violation. If you receive a summons for texting or talking while driving, we strongly advise you to consult a traffic ticket attorney before you proceed.

Long Island traffic attorneys urge drivers to be safe and not use a cell phone while driving. If you do not have access to a hands-free mobile device, please do not text and drive or talk on the phone and drive. Pull over, park your car, and turn off the ignition before you use your cell phone. If you would like more information on how a Long Island traffic lawyer can help you with cell phone violations, including how being represented by an attorney can possibly save you from a court appearance, please contact our office at (212) 227-9008 for assistance.

  1. This is some really good information about traffic attorneys and its laws. It is good to know that permit driver caught on their cell phones will driving will get harsher penalties. My little brother is going to be starting to drive soon and this is going to be something he will have to be aware of.