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Tag Archives: manhattan

New City Council Bills Aimed At Catching Hit-And-Run Drivers

Two recently introduced City Council Bills are aimed at aiding law enforcement authorities better catch hit-and-run drivers. One of the bills would create an “Amber Alert” style message sent to the phones of NYC residents. Another bill would create greater rewards for those who turn in suspected hit-and-run criminals. These bills could greatly aid in catching the criminals involved in hit-and-run accidents. Hit and Run Drivers Must Be Brought To Justice.
If you receive a summons for a speeding violation, cellphone, or any other moving violation in NY State, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.
Photo via Visualhunt.com

The Safest EV Car?

The Tesla S is not as safe as many have thought to have believed. Although a 2013 National Highway and Safety Administration gave the Model S a good review, a recent safety review states otherwise. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not grant the Tesla S either of its safety awards. The Tesla S was one of two electric vehicles the Insurance in Institute for Highway Safety tested

Receive a speeding ticket on the highway, in New York City, or anywhere throughout New York State, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

 

Photo credit: hans-johnson via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND

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A Presidential Visit = Massive Delays

Every time President Donald J. Trump visits his home in New York City, massive traffic jams will ensue. President Trump has expressed his desire to come back to NYC and visit his wife Melania, and son Baron. When Mr. Trump arrives to his home in Trump Tower, there will be a massive security increases, including closing several NYC streets. So, expect more days with unbearable traffic in NYC for the indefinite future.

If you receive a summons for moving from a lane unsafely, disobeying a traffic device, or obstructing an intersection, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call the Law Office of Michael Block at 212-227-9008, or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

 

Photo via VisualHunt

L Train Shutdown Intro

L Train Shutdown Info

We all remember the destruction that Hurricane Sandy did. From the uprooting of trees to the destruction of homes and cars, we can still feel the affects of the massive Superstorm. One major aspect of Sandy was the flooding.

The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy allowed for the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River to fill up with astronomical amounts of water causing unthinkable damage. So, the MTA decided to close the L train temporarily to make the necessary repairs. The L train will shut between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 18 months beginning in 2019.
Where will all of these commuters go you may ask? There will be an increase in service on the J, G, and M trains but will that be enough to withstand the volume of commuters?
The main question is though, will the repairs actually be finished by the 18 month allotment, or will this project drag on and on and linger for commuters from Williamsburg into Manhattan or vice versa?

 

NYC Triathlon this Sunday- Expect Street Closures!

This Sunday, July 24th  the Annual NYC Triathlon will take place. Be aware that there will be some street closures!!!

For the full story and information on which streets to avoid see below:

Thousands of athletes will test their limits this Sunday, July 24 when they take part in the annual NYC Triathlon.

First, competitors will swim the Hudson River before biking along Manhattan’s West Side Highway and running through Central Park.

But while those athletes compete in the grueling race, motorists will be competing for space on the roads due to some street closures.

The city’s Department of Transportation has announced several street closures in the Bronx and Manhattan related to the race.

The following streets will be closed on Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the DOT.

Manhattan

Henry Hudson Parkway (northbound) between West 57th Street and the Henry Hudson Bridge

West 72nd Street between Riverside Drive and Central Park West

West 79th Street between Riverside Drive and the traffic circle near the West Side Highway

The Bronx

Henry Hudson Parkway (northbound) between the Henry Hudson Bridge and Mosholu Parkway

Mosholu Parkway (eastbound) between Henry Hudson Parkway and West Gun Hill Road

How to Save Yourself When Pulled Over for using a Portable Electronic Device

You have just been pulled over by a police officer. You have no idea why. Do not engage the officer in conversation. Do not act angry or surprised. An officer will usually assume that you know the New York Traffic Violation you have committed. Getting visibly upset may only worsen the situation.

The officer hands you a ticket for Improper use of a Portable Electronic Device (texting). According to VTL 1225d  no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such device is in motion. You are shocked and outraged. You were stopped at a red light, so you thought it was okay to touch your phone while the car was stopped. That would be your first mistake. Whether the car is at a complete stop or in motion you are not to touch any electronic devices, especially a cell phone to text. Texting is one of the main causes of car crashes. According to the National Highway Safety Administration operating a motor vehicle while using an electronic device will increase your chances of being in a motor vehicle crash by twenty-three percent, as compared to those drivers who are not. The safest time to use a cell phone would be when the car is off the road and the keys are out of the ignition. In the state of New York you can be pulled over and issued a summons for doing any of the following:

-Talking on a handheld mobile telephone

-Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or    retrieving electronic data such as email, text messages or  web pages

-Viewing, taking or transmitting images ( picture and/or video)

-Playing games on your cell phone

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been pulled over for using an electronic device remember the less you say, the better. Give the officer the documents that have been requested. If you argue the officer will record that in his notebook. His memory of the case will be enhanced when it is heard in court. The line “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” is more than just a saying, it is the truth. The officer may try extra hard to obtain a conviction. If convicted you could lose your driving privileges and there may be an increase in your insurance premiums.

Always stay cool and calm and most importantly give an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Attorney a call immediately. If you receive a summons, contact us at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com. I have been fighting summonses in New York for over 28 years and I can fight for you!

Photo: The Globe and Mail

L Train Shutdown or Service Change Talks Have Begun

MTA has begun discussing plans for the L Train’s upcoming 18-month construction to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. They will either close the subway line or reduce service during the construction period. Either way this change in service will cause delays and increase traffic from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Please read the rest of the article below:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering two proposals to shut down the L train tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn that would close the subway line under the East River or reduce its service by 80 percent, officials said on Wednesday.

The proposals that will be outlined at a public meeting in Brooklyn on Thursday are closing the entire tunnel for a year and a half to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy, or closing one tube at a time over a three-year period. Any shutdown — a growing source of anxiety among people who live along the crowded subway line — would not begin until early 2019, officials said.

If one tube remained open, trains would run every 12 to 15 minutes, up from the current interval of three to four minutes during the morning rush, officials said at a briefing for reporters. Trains could carry about one-fifth of the 225,000 riders who currently take the L train under the river each day.

The agency has ruled out making repairs only during nights and weekends because the complex work could not be done in such a narrow window, said Veronique Hakim, the president of New York City Transit, which runs the subway and buses. Building a subway tunnel under the river, as some residents have suggested, would be expensive and take too much time, Ms. Hakim said.

Under either proposal, the authority might run extra buses over the Williamsburg Bridge and add ferry service between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Riders could be directed to other nearby subway routes, including the G and M lines, which would have additional trains to handle more passengers.

The authority’s chairman, Thomas F. Prendergast, and Ms. Hakim planned to present the two options on Thursday during the meeting at the Marcy Avenue Armory. A second public meeting is scheduled for May 12 at the Salvation Army Theater in Manhattan.

The subway crossing, known as the Canarsie tunnel, was flooded during the 2012 hurricane. Officials said the tunnel required major work to fix crumbling walls and to repair tracks and cables.

Despite the damage, Mr. Prendergast said that the tunnel was safe for riders, and that the agency had conducted regular inspections to look for problems. After receiving input from residents and businesses, the agency plans to decide which option to pursue within three months.

Asked whether he would rather close the whole tunnel at once, Mr. Prendergast said the agency was committed to hearing from the community before making a decision. But he noted that when people learned more about the plans, they often favored a full closing.

“I think there is an ‘Aha’ moment they have in their minds, like, ‘Geez if it’s only one in five people you can carry, maybe it would be better to have two tracks,’” Mr. Prendergast said in reference to closing the tracks in both tubes, the more efficient of the two options.

The Canarsie tunnel work could cost $800 million to $1 billion, with the federal government covering much of the project, Mr. Prendergast said.

The briefing was the first time that officials from the authority discussed the plans in detail. Under plans for a full tunnel closing, no L trains would run between the Eighth Avenue stop in Manhattan and the Bedford Avenue stop in Brooklyn. The line would continue to run throughout the rest of Brooklyn.

If one tube were closed at a time, the L line would run in two separate segments: reduced service between Bedford Avenue and Eighth Avenue and nearly regular service between the Lorimer Street and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway stops.

Asked whether buses might have a dedicated lane over the Williamsburg Bridge so they would not get stuck in traffic, Mr. Prendergast said the idea would be considered. To add capacity to the G line, Ms. Hakim said the agency would add cars to its trains, which are known for being shorter than their platforms.

World Trade Center Transit Hub Finally opens

A portion of The World Trade Center’s new $4 billion transportation hub opened today.

The Oculus, is a huge pristine white hall that will stop you dead in your tracks.

WTC inside 2

The architecture has many New Yorkers staring in awe or shaking their heads. Architect Santiago Calatrava designed it to look like a dove, but many have compared it to angel wings or bones.

Most importantly, it will serve as another memorial for those lost in the September 11th attacks.

The hub will connect 11 subway lines, the PATH system, and Battery Park City Ferry terminal. It will allow access the 9/11 memorial and World Trade Center buildings. Retail stores and restaurants will be occupying spaces in the months to come. Paul Bergen, northjersey.com

World Trade Center Oculus

With the opening of the Oculus, the rest of the memorials and the daily bustle of commuters coming into the city from New Jersey one can only imagine the increase of pedestrian traffic on the surrounding streets.

If you are a cab or Uber driver please be mindful and obey all traffic rules by World Trade Center. And if you receive a ticket in that area I can help you fight it! Call me at 212-227-9008 or email MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com with any questions.

Photo: NY Times

Fed Up Uber drivers protest the App during the Super bowl

Fed Up Uber drivers protest the App during the Super bowl in an effort to slow down business and get corporate headquarters attention on one of the busiest Sundays of the year. Tired of price cuts, no benefits for full time drivers and all around poor treatment, the driver partners led by fellow Uber driver Abdoul Diallo are in the process of creating their own e- hailing app that would better benefit employees.

Check out the full article from the New York Times below:

On Super Bowl Sunday, a few hundred Uber drivers met in the cold in a public park in Queens, plotting to disrupt the app that thousands of New Yorkers were about to use to get in place to watch the big game. Gathered angrily on rows of wooden benches were Uzbeks, Tajiks, Russians, Kenyans, Serbs and Bangladeshis, many of them waving handmade signs. Their yellow placards attacked the ride-hailing service in the innumerable languages of polyglot New York. “Shame on Uber!” one announced in Spanish. “Uber Broke Our Hearts!” said another in Tibetan. Then in English: “We Made You Billionaires!” and “We Are Not Slaves!”

“We want to show Uber that without us full-time drivers, they won’t have any cars on the road,” Abdoul Diallo shouted from atop a concrete stage. Mr. Diallo, a Guinean immigrant who has emerged as a leader of the strikes, was holding up his own sign: “No Drivers, No Uber — It’s That Simple.”

“This is the formula!” he hollered to the crowd.

It has been nearly five years since Uber arrived in New York City. With its Randian philosophy and proprietary algorithms, the company promised to reshape the driving industry, and in many ways that promise has come true. A million New Yorkers have become accustomed to making cars materialize by pulling out their smartphones — and not just in Manhattan, but also in the other boroughs, which have long been underserved by for-hire providers. In part as a result, taxi owners have seen their profits crumble, taxi lenders are slowly going under and taxi unions are scrambling to protect their members’ jobs.

More recently, however, Uber’s indomitable rise has been clouded by an insurgency from a small but vocal portion of its own drivers who say they feel neglected, even used. From spring 2014 to spring 2015, the company quadrupled its business in the city, and for nearly a year it has been signing up new customers at a rate of 30,000 a week. The drivers argue that such dynamic growth would not have been possible without them: They, after all, supply the cars that keep the network liquid. Drawn to the company by advertisements that promised decent wages, many now contend that they are victims of a corporate bait-and-switch. As Uber has obtained a solid foothold in the market (and a $60 billion valuation), the drivers are complaining that it has slashed its prices in an effort to destroy the competition and to finance its expansion on their backs.

“In the beginning, your company was great for both drivers and customers,” Mr. Diallo and his partners wrote this month in a letter to the service. “You treated drivers well and we loved you for that. Little did we know that it would be a short-lived momentary ecstasy that you used to lure us in in great numbers, just so that you can execute your plans and strategies toward world domination.”

Uber, mostly through the voice of Josh Mohrer, the 33-year-old general manager of Uber New York, has said it is pained by the grievances of the drivers, who, while not employees of the service, are known as “driver-partners” in the company’s jargon. Like most tech operations, Uber has a data set for everything, and Mr. Mohrer said his numbers proved that January’s price cut, like a steeper one two years ago, increased the demand for rides and therefore led to larger driver paychecks.

“It’s not intuitive to think that lower fares will mean more money, but that is the reality,” Mr. Mohrer said. He added that he understood why the drivers might be anxious. “It’s a big ask to say, ‘Just trust us.’”

And yet there are underlying reasons for the drivers not to trust him. Uber, like other players in the gig economy, has a tenuous relationship with those who make a living from its software. Its drivers — 34,000 in New York — are independent contractors who buy their own cars, pay for gas and maintenance, and provide their own insurance. Although they get no benefits, they remit to Uber 20 to 25 percent of what they make as a fee to use the service. And unlike its competitors like Lyft, Uber does not permit tipping through its app, but it still reserves the right to “deactivate” its drivers, sometimes for little more than a subpar rider rating.

Two years ago, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, said in an interview about the company’s plan to field a fleet of driverless vehicles that a reason the service was relatively expensive was that customers were paying for “the other dude in the car.” As the company’s ridership explodes and the investor class anticipates a potential public offering, the drivers say they often feel like just some other dude: a frictional human substance that gets in the way of an idealized experience of seamless digital travel.

“Uber treats its drivers however it wants,” Mr. Diallo said. “But we’re the ones who do everything except provide the technology.”

A former import-export trader who studied for a business degree, Mr. Diallo, 29, has been driving for the company for three years in a $50,000 Chevrolet Suburban. At first, he said, the job was great: He could afford his lease and still make money because he was taking in as much as $5,000 a week.

But in 2014, Uber cut its rates by 20 percent and not long after that it increased its commissions. Last year, it forced new drivers working for its luxury arm, Uber Black, to pick up passengers through its less expensive option, UberX. On top of this, Mr. Diallo claimed that Uber’s aggressive hiring has flooded the city with too many drivers chasing too few fares.

The price cuts last month were the final straw that set off the rebellion. Most of the drivers learned about the change through a company email, whose lack of warning and remoteness were softened by the fact that Uber promised, for a month, to guarantee an hourly wage at pre-cut levels. Within days of the announcement — and despite the guarantees — Mr. Diallo and two other drivers, Fabio Krasniqi and Farrukh Khamdamov, decided on a strike. Calling themselves the Uber Drivers Network, they created a Facebook page, designed a flier and paid for nearly 20,000 copies at a print shop near La Guardia.

“People can’t make a living,” Mr. Diallo said on the phone after a meeting to coordinate the New York actions with others in London and San Francisco. “They’re picking up $8 fares. They’re driving their cars into the ground. Collectively, there’s a lot of money coming in, but no one individual is making much.

“It’s gotten to the point,” he said, “where it’s literally unbearable.”

Uber likes to say that its drivers, not its riders, are its customers. And while the company might not give its customers health care or a pension, it does provide them access to high-tech support centers, modeled on Apple’s Genius Bars, where they can ask questions about commercial licenses, receive free medical exams or get a can of soda. Uber also helps its drivers negotiate leases with car dealers.

The conflict over the price cuts has been especially vexing for the company, which is adamant that the lower rates have been a boon to both the drivers and its own bottom line. Shortly after the strikers wrote to Uber, Mr. Kalanick posted a memo onto his Facebook page showing that the previous cuts had increased the average driver’s gross hourly wages from $28 to $37. On Tuesday, Mr. Mohrer released numbers indicating that from the three weeks before the last round of cuts to the three weeks after, drivers’ wages went up by 17 percent.

Uber also disputes the claim that there are too many drivers in New York. There are still more taxi riders that the company could woo, and, according to Mr. Mohrer, after the recent cuts were made, trips in the Bronx and Queens, where many drivers live, went up by nearly 25 percent.

But if all this data has the weight of scripture for Uber executives, it has been less persuasive to the drivers, who say the statistics do not fully describe the experience of working for the company. Though lower prices might increase their workload and thus their gross, they say, the increased revenue will be eroded by a corresponding increase in expenses.

At the Super Bowl rally, a driver named Mustafa, who declined to give his last name because he feared reprisals from Uber, said he expected to make about $40 an hour after the cuts. But that was before he paid for higher costs of maintenance, gas and washes; for his car lease, insurance and sales and income taxes; for emissions inspections and the 2.5 percent of earnings he gives each year to the Black Car Fund, a drivers’ trade group, for workers’ compensation; and, of course, for his commissions.

“When you put it together, the numbers don’t add up,” Mustafa said. “I’m taking home less than minimum wage.”
And beyond money, culture matters, too, the drivers say. Some mentioned a photograph that Mr. Mohrer posted on Twitter during his early days at Uber, which showed him smiling with Mr. Kalanick above a message that read, “Jamming with @travisk and plotting city domination.” Others pointed to their own support of Uber this summer when the company went to war with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wanted to cap its growth, ostensibly to lessen road congestion. During the fight, which it won when Mr. de Blasio dropped his plan for the cap, Uber mobilized millions of dollars and an all-star team of political tacticians, but it also made use of the sympathetic image of hard-working immigrants telling City Hall that Uber put food on the table for their families.

“We stood behind them,” said Ronnie Paulino, a driver who has worked for Uber for a year. “Then they turned around and cut our pay.”

After speaking this month to an economics class at New York University, Mr. Mohrer acknowledged that when he first came to Uber, there were fewer drivers and stronger bonds between them and his management team. But as the fleet has grown, he said, he has tried to remain responsive to the drivers, who, on average, work 30 hours a week — or triple the rate of their peers in smaller cities.

“They’re more vested and engaged in Uber, so we take a more careful approach here,” Mr. Mohrer said. He added: “It’s a deeper relationship.”

But deeper doesn’t necessarily mean easier. A few weeks ago, Mr. Mohrer met with the leaders of the strikes at his office on West 27th Street in Chelsea’s gallery district. He said they had a frank discussion about the rate cuts, which could be rescinded if the cuts do not achieve their goals. While he was not explicit about what those goals might be, he insisted that the conversation had been useful. “I want to do this regularly,” he said. “Giving drivers the opportunity to speak to me and my staff can result in more rapid change.”

The strikers found the meeting less successful. “It was a joke,” Mr. Diallo said. “They treated us like jokers.” From his perspective, Mr. Mohrer offered no concessions on the cuts and was firm on only one position: that there would never be a tipping option on Uber’s app.

And that was the message Mr. Krasniqi delivered to the crowd in Queens on Super Bowl Sunday. Cupping his hands to his mouth, he reported on the meeting, then told the drivers to call their friends and relatives who also worked for Uber and urge them to stop driving.

“That’s how we built them up — with our friends and families,” Mr. Krasniqi roared. “And if we built them up, we can destroy them!”

It is hard to tell at this point just how serious the threat to Uber from sustained unrest would be. The challenges of organizing a work force composed of men and women of disparate ethnicities and languages loosely connected by a cloud-based app are significant. “If the drivers can come together in a block causing problems, they might get something,” said Evan Rawley, a professor of strategy at the Columbia Business School who studies the taxi industry. “But this is not West Virginia coal miners who all grew up together in the same small town.”

Uber has been somewhat clumsy in dealing with the problems with its fleet. In a stroke of unfortunate timing, Wired magazine published a 3,000-word treatise on Uber’s new corporate logo one day after the drivers went on strike outside its New York office. It was an inadvertent study in tech-world navel-gazing: as hundreds of immigrants were splashed across the Internet attacking Uber, Wired described how Mr. Kalanick had been working for two years on the logo, immersing himself in organic color schemes and kerning.

There is a potential wild card: Class-action lawsuits have been filed against Uber, including in the federal courts in Brooklyn and San Francisco, which seek to make the drivers full employees. If the suits are successful, they could cripple Uber’s business model, though some legal experts have said they are skeptical that the drivers could prevail when they use their own vehicles, and decide themselves when and whether to pick up passengers.

That leaves the traditional route of union organizing, which, in the case of the strikers in New York, has become chaotic. About a year ago, the Uber Drivers Network approached Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, one of whose organizers has been helping them plan rallies and collect union cards. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, an advocacy group for yellow cabdrivers, claims to have signed up nearly 5,000 Uber drivers in the city. And on Feb. 2, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1430, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking to represent another 600 Uber drivers who work at La Guardia.

Mr. Diallo and his team have been working on a secret weapon: a driver-owned app to compete with those from Lyft and Uber, those from other ride-hailing companies like Gett and Via, and the taxi industry’s own two e-hailing systems, Way2Ride and Arro. The drivers designed the app themselves and have hired a company called Swift Technologies to build it. It could be ready as early as next month.

“The solution is not to stay with Uber,” Mr. Diallo said. “The solution is to have our own platform — to build a real partnership and really be partners.”

For now, however, they are still planning strikes, even if the one on Super Bowl Sunday was of questionable effectiveness. The drivers celebrated the action on their Facebook page, posting a screen shot of Uber’s app that night — accompanied by the hashtag #SHUTDOWNSUPERBOWL — that showed a wait time at Kennedy Airport of 72 minutes.

But the very next morning, Uber sent an email to its drivers announcing that the day before, it had broken its record for the most trips on a Sunday.

“Thanks to you, our driver-partners,” the email read, “hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers moved safely around the city this weekend.”

photo credit: nationofachange.com

Drunken Female Real Estate Agent Stole Yellow Cab in Manhattan

A drunken female real estate agent swiped a taxi when the cabby stopped at a Manhattan police station to report her boozed-up misbehavior — grabbing the wheel and taking off as he spoke to cops inside, authorities say.

Kinga Tabares, 27, who works for the Douglas Elliman agency, acted so wildly during the ride in the wee hours of Nov. 13 — even allegedly refusing to pay — that cabby Ronald Desir took her and a pal to the 13th Precinct station house, sources said Tuesday.

The 50-year-old driver picked up the women at Washington and Little West 12th streets, but their boozy buffoonery forced him to make the pit stop at the East 21st Street station house, according to the sources.

Tabares “was so drunk, she didn’t know where she was going,” Desir told The Post, adding that her friend was the “normal” one of the two.

While he was inside the station house asking for help, Tabares allegedly got in the driver’s seat and drove off.

“When I came back outside, they were taking off,” Desir said. When cops caught Tabares in Chelsea, she was vomiting out the driver’s window, the sources said.

The broker was charged with grand larceny, unauthorized use of a vehicle and DWI.

She was taken into custody and transported to Bellevue Hospital, where she allegedly refused to take a breath test.

When asked by The Post about the bust, Tabares — who is also taking classes at NYU — claimed that details about her stealing the cab were “completely false” and that “there’s more to this story.”

“I’m not speaking about it until there’s further investigation,” she said.

Tabares’ lawyer, Sean Parmenter, refused to comment any further and added that he was still looking into the case.

Article Originally Featured on the New York Post

*Photo Credit: NYC Taxi by Vinoth Chandar/Source: Flickr

“I got a traffic ticket! How do I fight it?"

One of the most frequently asked questions from our clients is, “Can you get me no points?  I don’t mind paying a fine.  I just don’t want the points on my license.”

This is a valid question as too many points could lead to a license suspension, increase in insurance premiums and hefty fines.  While we always fight for the best possible outcome, clients need to be aware how different courts work and why we can’t always negotiate points.

When you decide to fight a ticket in the state of New York, you should be aware that there are 2 types of courts and different ways of fighting tickets in both courts.

1) The Town, Village, or County Courts in Long Island and Upstate New York allow for plea bargaining (or negotiating points and violation.)

2) The TVB—Traffic Violations Bureau will only allow a win-or-lose situation with no negotiation of points or violation type.

Town, Village or County Court

In many parts of Long Island, and throughout Upstate New York, an attorney can fight the violation type as well as lower the points for the offense.  For example, if you receive a speeding ticket in Westchester, Rockland, or Long Island, an attorney can reduce the points on the violation depending on the speed charged and the court. The speed can be reduced to a lower speed, a non-speed point violation, or a violation with a fine and no points.

TVB—Traffic Violations Bureau

There is a lot of confusion about NYC courts as many of our clients say they’re willing to pay a fine as long as they don’t receive points, but there are point negotiations in the city.  If you are fighting a ticket in New York City, it’s likely that your ticket will be handled at a TVB—Traffic Violations Bureau.  If you wish to plead Not Guilty there will be a hearing with the police officer present.  The TVB will not allow for plea bargains or negotiations to lower the points or lower the violation type.  At a TVB court you can only plead guilty or not guilty.  If you receive a speeding ticket or any other moving violation, you can be found not guilty with no fine or points, or you will be found guilty and have points and a fine assessment.  Locations for TVB include: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens.

Regardless of where you receive a ticket and the type of court handling your case, the possibility of a positive outcome increases when you hire a traffic ticket attorney.  If you have a moving violation that you’d like to fight call us at (212) 227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com for free information on how we can defend your ticket.

Lyft Increases its Presence in NYC

In the battle for New York City riders, Uber isn’t the only smartphone-driven car service gaining ground. Its smaller rival known for pink mustaches is also racing ahead.

Lyft, which like Uber is based in San Francisco, has significantly boosted its business since its July 2014 launch in New York City, a Wall Street Journal analysis of new city data show.

Lyft drivers took New York City riders on an average of about 10,000 trips each day in August, more than double the average of the year-earlier month, according to data provided by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The data provide a glimpse into Lyft’s performance in the U.S.’s biggest taxi market in terms of revenue as the company revs up a push to attract riders and drivers in New York City to its ride-hailing app amid fierce competition by Uber and yellow cabs.

Lyft executives said the company’s gains in New York highlight its potential as a new transportation option and alternative to car ownership. The company said more than half of its New York City trips come via its carpooling option.

“This is inning one or two of a long game, and the market in a few years is worth way more than it’s worth today,” said John Zimmer,Lyft’s co-founder and president. “We want to aggressively grow into that.”

Fueled by cash injections from Uber’s Chinese rival Didi Kuaidi and activist investor Carl Icahn, Lyft has taken out subway and bus ads while offering generous discounts to riders and incentives for drivers.

 

The company’s 10,326 average daily trips in August add to a robust rise since April, the month it began regularly providing data to the city. But Lyft’s slice of the New York City market is dwarfed by that of Uber. Its deep-pocketed rival notched an average of 106,986 trips each day in August, more than 10 times the number of daily Lyft trips that month, the city’s data show.

The number of Uber’s trips in August marked a fourfold increase from a year earlier. The company’s rapid growth fueled a push earlier this year by New York City to impose a cap on for-hire vehicles city officials blamed for worsening congestion in Manhattan. Facing a backlash, the city backed off the proposed limit in July.

Despite Lyft’s push in New York, Uber executives said the company continues to see a stream of new drivers, riders using the app for the first time, and trips via its carpool feature.

Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York City, said it wasn’t clear whether Lyft or any of the city’s hundreds of car services was taking the company’s market share in the five boroughs.

“There’s room for multiple players,” Mr. Mohrer said.

The city began regularly collecting trip records from the city’s livery and black-car services this year as part of an attempt by taxi regulators to understand changes afoot in the taxi and for-hire vehicle industry.

Uber, which launched in New York in 2011, and Lyft operate as city-licensed black-car companies. Lyft started operating in the city last year without regulators’ blessing, but backed down after a brief legal fight.

 

The city’s trip data, which the taxi commission provided in response to a public-records request from the Journal, didn’t include records from some other new ride-hailing companies trying to make inroads in New York, such as Via and Gett.

 

A taxi-commission spokesman said the agency hadn’t yet been able to process trip records from Via, a service focused on carpool trips in Manhattan. Gett doesn’t own any for-hire vehicle bases in the city and instead dispatches rides through other car services.

The city’s Uber and Lyft data offer insights into how the companies are faring in New York.

Evan Rawley, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School and has studied the taxi industry, sees dim long-term prospects for Lyft in the city, saying Uber’s size and resources enable it to easily fend off competition. “Lyft is just so far behind,” Mr. Rawley said. “It’s going to be incredibly difficult for them to catch up.”

But Arun Sundararajan, a professor at New York University’s business school, said Lyft’s increase in trips this year showed “impressive growth,” a sign it could continue to increase its market share despite an uphill battle against Uber. “Don’t count Lyft out,” he said.

For drivers, the competition can mean new options.

Sukhjinder Singh, 31 years old, had been driving primarily for Uber but said he has increasingly been taking rides for Lyft as the company attracts more riders.

He appreciates that Lyft’s app, unlike Uber’s, lets passengers tip drivers, but Lyft alone doesn’t yet provide him enough for full-time work. “There is an increase of Lyft riders, but it’s not that dramatic, where I could fully depend on them,” Mr. Singh said.

Article Originally Published on The Wall Street Journal

*Photo Credit: “LYFT” By: Alfredo Mendez

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.

DWT--Driving While Tired May Be a Felony in New York

Most people have heard of the acronyms DWI, DUI and OUI. But what about Driving While Tired or DWT, is that a crime? Yes, if DWT is due to reckless behavior and results in an injury or death, then DWT can have serious criminal consequences.

The driver whose truck injured comic Tracy Moran and killed Jimmy McNair is awaiting trial in New Jersey on charges of death by auto and multiple counts of assault by auto. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) ruled that fatigue of the Walmart truck driver was the cause of the crash. According to the NTSB, “The driver . . . had been on duty for 13 ½ hours of a 14-hour duty day, with more driving planned. He had been awake more than 28 hours when his truck struck the limo van, including an overnight drive from his residence in Georgia to the distribution center at which he was based.”

This weekend, a taxi driver allegedly struck and killed an 88-year-old woman as she was crossing the street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The driver, Salifu Abubkar, allegedly told the police that he had been driving the cab for 16 hours.  According to Taxi and Limousine Commission Rule 2-23(a), that is a no-no: “A driver shall not operate a taxicab for more than twelve (12) consecutive hours.” However, it was later revealed that Mr. Abubkar did not work 16 consecutive hours because he took two breaks during his shift.

Mr. Abubkar was charged with a fairly new law, in New York City failure to yield to a pedestrian or bicyclist by a driver of a motor vehicle when contact results in a physical injury. The law, Section 19-190 of the New York City Administrative Code, which took effect in August 2014, is punished as a misdemeanor, by up to 30 days in jail.

However, while not commenting directly on Mr. Abubkar’s case, the criminal consequences for DWT in New York could be much more severe. Assuming a person feel asleep behind the wheel from fatigue and caused a physical injury or death, the act could be considered reckless behavior and imply several crimes with varying degrees of elements to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In New York, recklessness is defined as awareness and conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk.

Starting with the most severe, the act could be Manslaughter in the Second Degree, which is “recklessly caus[ing] the death of another person.” The crime is a class C felony, and the maximum prison term is up to 5 to 15 years. There are precedents for such convictions in states like Pennsylvania and Virginia. And there are cases to the contrary, most notably in Indiana, where falling asleep behind the wheel without warning was not considered reckless behavior.

Next are Assault in the Second Degree, a felony, and Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor. The second degree crime is charged when a serious physical injury is caused by means of a dangerous instrument. Yes, under New York law cars are considered dangerous instruments. The third degree crime is defined by recklessly causing only a physical injury. Finally, Reckless Engagement in the Second Degree, also a class A misdemeanor, is recklessly engaging in conduct that creates only a substantial risk of physical injury.

Generally speaking it is bad idea to drive a car if you are tired, which is why medications that cause fatigue come with warnings that read: do not drive or operate heavy machinery. If you do DWT, the new pedestrian or bicyclist right of way law may be the least of your problems.

Article Originally Posted on The Huffington Post

*Photo Credit: “sleepy James safari driver in Africa” By: m.shattock/Source: Flickr

5 Point Reckless Driving Ticket in NYC Reduced to 0 Point Violation

Another happy client had a 5 Point Reckless Driving Violation Reduced to a 0 Point Public Health Law Violation in NYC Criminal Court.

A reckless driving ticket is one of the most damaging tickets you can receive in New York City. Reckless driving is defined by New York law as “using any motor vehicle…in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.” This leaves reckless driving open to interpretation by the police officer writing the ticket, but examples can be driving the wrong way, driving at extremely high speeds, or weaving in and out of lanes during times of heavy traffic.

If you are ticketed for Reckless Driving, we can fight for you.  Call for free legal advice on Reckless Driving Violations 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 reckless driving 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 are charged with reckless driving, 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.

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Red Light Bike Ticket in NYC

Did you know it’s illegal for bicycle riders to pass on a red light?

In NYC a ticket for passing a Red Light has a minimum fine of $278.  Bike Riders are held to the same standards and obligated to follow the same rules as motorists.    Some of the most common bike summonses include:

  • Riding on the Sidewalk
  • Failure to have proper lights or reflectors
  • Failure to use and/or ride within available bike lanes
  • Failing to obey a traffic control device (signs, red lights, and pavement markings)

If you’ve received a red light bike ticket in New York City or anywhere in New York State, call us immediately at (212) 227-9008 or email us at MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com for information about your ticket.

*Photo Credit: “cyclists: castro, san francisco (2014)” By: torbakhopper/Source: Flickr

Taxi Driver Charged with Failure to Yield after Deadly Accident with Pedestrian

UPPER WEST SIDE –How long a cab driver was driving before an accident that killed an elderly pedestrian in Manhattan early Sunday is one of the key questions investigators are trying to answer, but now the TLC says the 73-year-old driver was not behind the wheel for 12 consecutive hours.

Luisa Rosario, 88, was hit and killed in the Manhattan Valley section, one of 108 pedestrians killed in New York City this year and the 12th since Halloween. But while driver Salifu Abubakar began his shift almost 16 hours before the accident, the TLC says he did not break any rules.

The review of Abubakar’s trip tracker records confirms that he did not drive more than 12 hours, taking at least two breaks. Officials say he logged in at 9 a.m., working five hours until 2 p.m., when he took a one-hour break. He logged in again at 3 p.m., and the meter was then active for just over 2.5 hours until logged off at 5:40 p.m.

He then took another break for just over an hour, logging in again at 7 p.m. At the time of the crash, approximately 12:40 a.m., the driver had worked for approximately 5.5 consecutive hours.

The TLC does have a rule on the books prohibiting taxi drivers from driving for more than 12 consecutive hours, but enforcement isn’t straightforward, as the above analysis illustrates. Drivers take breaks throughout their shift to attend to personal needs, and these breaks re-start the clock. Even in those instances where a meter is seen to have been logged-in in excess of 12 hours, it is often a demonstrable oversight on the driver’s part.

Many taxi drivers lease by the shift, meaning they only have the taxi available to them for a maximum of 12 hours. The TLC recently promulgated rules that facilitate fleet garages structuring shorter, more flexible shifts, similar to the flexible shifting that some drivers see as preferable in the for-hire vehicle industry.

For the above reasons, going all the way back to 1990 when the rule was instituted, no violations have been issued.

The cab driver’s son told Eyewitness News that his father is a hard-working man who is sorry for what happened.

Abubkar remained at the scene and was charged with failure to yield. He was issued a desk appearance ticket and will appear in court December 16.

Rosario was crossing the intersection at 109th Street and Columbus Avenue around 12:30 Sunday morning when she was struck by the cab, which was making a right turn. Police say she was in the crosswalk at the time.

Abubkar has been a driver for more than 26 years. His license to drive a cab was immediately suspended after the crash.

Article Originally Featured on ABC7 NY

*Photo Credit: Taxi Driver by Jim Pennucci/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.

Carpooling with UberPool Leads to Love Connections

Uber is fast becoming the Big Apple’s hottest dating app — as single New Yorkers are using the car service’s ride-share option to meet up with strangers for some back-seat romance.

Although taxi riders were once reluctant to share a late-night cab ride with someone they didn’t know, passengers say the UberPool service offers the perfect setting for a spontaneous blind date.

“I’ve actually never met anyone at a bar, but being in a car with someone puts you in a situation to really talk to people,” said Upper East Sider Ian Sebastian Gall, 34.

The Midtown lawyer says he has gotten his share of phone numbers while sharing rides around Manhattan with available women.

While using the ride-share service one evening in September, Gall struck up a conversation with a woman who lived a block away. They chatted about sports — he made fun of her for being a Red Sox fan — and grew so comfortable together that he got her phone number.

On another ride, he convinced an engaged fellow passenger to hook him up with her friend.

Artist Joshua Hurt took an Uber to La Guardia on Friday morning and ended up meeting the man of his dreams. He plans on calling him for a date when he gets back into town later this week.

“I’ve found a lot of things in the back of an Uber and I’ve done a lot of things in the back of an Uber, but I never thought I’d find love in the back of an Uber,” said Hurt, 28, of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

These love connections are possible because New Yorkers are, for the first time, willing to share car rides with strangers.

Back in 2010, the Bloomberg administration experimented with taxi-sharing stands in the hopes of encouraging riders to get into cabs with strangers, saving themselves money and keeping cars off the streets. But passengers were not willing to share their space and the trial fizzled.

Uber, however, seems to have finally cracked the code. During one week in October, nearly 50,000 passengers used the UberPool service, effectively taking a car off the road for the equivalent of 60,000 miles by sharing, company officials said.

The difference is that, unlike with the ride-share stations where passengers had to sort out where they were going and who was paying what, the app does that work for them, said Josh Mohrer, Uber’s general manager in New York City.

“Riders can’t be standing around asking, ‘Are you going that way?’?” Mohrer explained.

Article Originally Posted on The New York Post

*Photo Credit: “Lincoln Town Car” By: Jason Lawrence/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

NYC Traffic Tickets: Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving Ticket in New York

A reckless driving ticket is one of the most serious tickets you can receive in New York.  Reckless driving is defined by New York law as “using any motor vehicle… in a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of public highway,” and the court or judge who hears the case.  This leaves reckless driving open to interpretation by the police officer writing the ticket.  Some examples are: driving the wrong way, driving at extremely high speeds, or weaving in and out of lanes during times of heavy traffic.

Penalties

Conviction of a reckless driving ticket in New York will result in five (5) points.  Many drivers also fail to realize that a reckless driving charge is actually a misdemeanor offense.  This means that a motorist charged with reckless driving cannot simply plead guilty and pay the fine, but an appearance must be made in criminal court.  If convicted of reckless driving the motorist will then have a criminal record.

Depending on the severity of the offense, you could go to jail for up to 30 days for a first offense, 90 days for a second offense, and 180 days for a third offense.

It’s important to note that if you accumulate 11 points in 18 months your driving privileges may be suspended.  In addition, if you receive another traffic ticket in conjunction with the one for reckless driving in NY and a total of six (6) or more points would go on your record, you will be required to pay a “Driver Assessment Fee” to the DMV.  That amounts to $300 for six (6) points and an additional $75 for every point above six (6).

Financial Impact

A reckless driving conviction will put 5 points on your driver’s license and will incur a fine of up to $300.  Reckless driving charges can also have a serious impact on your auto insurance premiums.  Insurance companies often view reckless driving convictions as being just as bad as DUI or DWI convictions, and will raise your premiums accordingly.  So, in addition to paying the reckless driving fine and the possibility of the NYS Driver Responsibility Assessment, you could also be forced to pay a lot of extra money just to be able to continue driving. An attorney with experience defending reckless driving charge may be able to help you save your hard earned money instead of handing it over to your insurance company.

By working with an attorney with experience defending reckless driving tickets may keep your driving and criminal record clean.  In addition, a lawyer can also appear in court without you, to defend you against reckless driving charges.  If you have received a reckless driving ticket, or any other traffic ticket, please contact our office at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com to see how we can help you.

*Photo Credit: “up with the sun” By: Nancy> I’m gonna SNAP!/Source: Flickr

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TLC Lawyer: TLC Illegally Took Away Taxi Cars and Ubers

Illegal car seizures violated drivers’ constitutional rights: judge

Original Article Featured on The New York Post

The city Taxi & Limousine Commission violated ​the constitutional rights of ​​ drivers by illegally seizing their cars, a ​Manhattan ​federal judge ruled ​Thursday.

​The ​TLC ​officers have ​been taking the cars of drivers ​they believed were acting as cabbies​ without a hack’s license​, as well as the cars of Uber drivers suspected of driving outside the scope of their licenses.

The vehicles were held until the owners either plead​ed​ guilty and pa​id a fine or post​ed a bond equal to the highest possible penalty.

​In her ruling, ​Judge Valerie Caproni said grabbing drivers’ cars violated their 14th and Fourth amendment rights to due process ​and freedom from unreasonable seizure.

Five ​car owners sued TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, Deputy Commissioner Raymond Scanlon and the city last fall after their cars were seized​. They are just a fraction of the up to 8,000 cars the TLC seizes per year.

“It’s a whole scam,” said Uber driver Michael Krepak, whose car was seized at Kennedy Airport last month. “They are doing it to hundreds of people a day and taking advantage of working people.”

TLC officials said they have instructed their officers to immediately stop seizing cars while the agency ponders its next move.

As a TLC lawyer with over 25 years of experience, we can defend your TLC and NYC traffic tickets.  An experienced Traffic Attorney can help lower points on your license or get rid of charges altogether.  Call (212) 227-9008 immediately or email MichaelBlock.Law@gmail.com for more information on how to fight your NYC traffic tickets.

*Photo Credit: Taxi Driver by Jim Pennucci/Source: Flickr

6 Point Speeding Ticket in Southampton Town Court

6 Point Speeding Ticket Reduced to 0 Points in Southampton Town Court

Another happy client has a 6 point Speeding Ticket reduced to a 0 point parking ticket in Southampton Town Court!

Speeding tickets range from 3 to 11 points depending on how fast you were driving above the speed limit:

Traffic Ticket Violations Points
Driving 1-10 MPH over the speed limit 3 points
Driving 11-20 MPH over the speed limit 3 points
Driving 21-30 MPH over the speed limit 6 points
Driving 31-40 MPH over the speed limit 8 points
Driving over 40 MPH over speed limit 11 points

 

If you are ticketed for speeding, we can fight for you.  Call for free legal advice on Speeding 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 speeding 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.

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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Client Profile: Meet Oumare Toure

Meet Oumare Toure.  Toure, a Senegal native and taxi driver, has been Michael Block’s client for over 25 years.  Toure began his taxi career working as a Gypsy cab driver when he was referred to Michael by a coworker.  “He’s a good lawyer,” says Toure. “I never lost a ticket with him.”

The Law Office of Michael Block has defended Toure throughout his career.  Toure has also worked as a yellow cab driver for over 10 years and is currently employed by Euro Cab.  “I send a lot of guys here,” he adds.  Michael Block defended one of his first tickets as a cab driver.  All subsequent tickets have been dismissed or found not guilty.  Before visiting his home country, Senegal, he visits Michael Block for all of his traffic ticket needs.

*Picture Credit: “Senegal Grunge” By: Nicolas Raymond/Source: Flickr

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A New Look for Yellow Cabs to Compete with Uber

Traffic Ticket Lawyer: A New Look for Yellow Cabs in New York City

As of this month, New York City’s standard yellow cab will be the Nissan NV200, reports fortune magazine.  This change should result in a more comfortable ride for passengers as the new vehicle has a sunroof and charging outlets.  The entry of the new vehicles comes at a time of struggle for traditional yellow cabs.  Since Uber has entered New York City, Mayor Bill de Blacio’s administration has attempted to cap the amount of Ubers on the streets, but Uber’s successful campaign against de Blacio’s proposed regulations shut down the possibility of the cap.  The newer solution is to offer a better taxi experience to boost yellow cabs as an industry.

*Photo Credit: “NYC TAXI” By: Vinoth Chandar/Source: Flickr

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)

Why is Uber so Successful?

Uber has successfully created more job opportunities and transportation opportunities for low-income neighborhoods, according to Economic Policy for the 21st Century.  Uber’s boom and success in garnering clients and faithful employees can be attributed to its partnerships and business model.

Since Uber is considered a ride-sharing company, their employees own their own vehicles and work as independent contractors.  This gives each employee more autonomy to work on their own schedule.  Technically, the Uber app is a tool that links drivers and passengers.  Drivers work with Uber instead of for Uber.  This makes ride-sharing an attractive employment opportunity.  Interestingly, the majority of Uber’s drivers work part time.  Reports also show that they’re highly satisfied.

Uber continues to grow and expand.  There were almost 9.5 million UberX rides last year and a 450 percent increase in monthly ride share from January to December in 2014.  Uber’s rapid growth is proof that they’re keeping clients and employees happy.

*Photo Credit: “Lincoln Town Car” By: Jason Lawrence/Source: Flickr

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New York City Lawyer: Disobeying a Traffic Control Device

If you’ve received a traffic ticket for disobeying a traffic control device, you’re not alone. Traffic device violations are worth 2 points and are considered the most ticketed offenses all over New York.

What is it?

The law defines disobeying a traffic control device as violating any sign, marking, or device (placed by authority) that regulates, warns and guides traffic.  This means that disobeying any marking on the pavement and any traffic signs (such as a STOP or YIELD) are considered a “traffic device” offense.  The fine for disobeying a traffic control device starts at $138 in New York City.

What should I do?

If you’ve received a summons for disobeying a traffic control device, call us at (212) 227-9008 or email us at MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com for free legal advice.  A New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer is ready to assist you.  We have successfully defended thousands of traffic control device summonses.

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

*Photo Credit: “Caution” By: Payton Chung/Source: Flickr

NYC Red Light Traffic Ticket

NYC Red Light Traffic Ticket

In New York, drivers are issued summonses for red lights by law enforcement officers and through traffic light cameras.  If caught on camera, you will receive a NOL—Notice of Liability and you can fight the charges within 30 days.  If you plead guilty, you will be required to pay a fine of $50 or more.  You will not receive points for these infractions and they will not be reported to your insurance company.  A red light ticket issued by a police officer is different.

If a police officer issues the traffic ticket, then your offense will be categorized as a traffic infraction and you will receive 3 points on your license as well as a likely increase in your insurance premium.  The cost of an NYC Red light ticket, issued by a police officer costs:

  • $190 for the first offense
  • $375 for the second offense (in an 18 month time period)
  • $940 for the third offense (in an 18 month time period)

If you receive a red light ticket from a police officer, fight it!  An experienced New York Red light lawyer can help lower points on your license or get rid of the charges altogether.  Call (212) 227-9008 immediately or email Michaelblock.Law@gmail.com for more information on how to fight your NYC Traffic Tickets.

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

*Photo Credit: “Seeing Red” By: downing.amanda/Source: Flickr (modified) 

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How to Fight a Speeding Ticket

Speeding tickets contain 3 to 11 points and convictions usually result in an increase of insurance premiums. The cost of a speeding ticket ranges greatly depending the severity of the violation.  Along with the cost of the ticket, there’s an $80 NYS surcharge and a $100 annual driver assessment fee if you have 6 or more points already.

Fighting a speeding ticket can help reduce the number of points to your license or waive the charges altogether depending on your case.  The following comprehensive guide will allow you to understand the point system for speeding tickets at a TVB—Traffic Violation Bureau.

  • First determine how many points your offense carries.
Violation Points
Driving 1-10 MPH over the speed limit 3 points
Driving 11-20 MPH over the speed limit 4 points
Driving 21-30 MPH over the speed limit 6 points
Driving 31-40 MPH over the speed limit 8 points
Driving over 40 MPH over speed limit 11 points

 

Remember that the DMV can suspend your license for accumulating 11 points or more within 18 months (regardless of violation type).  In addition, simply receiving 3 convictions for speeding tickets in an 18-month period results in a 6 month revocation of your license.

The TVB—Traffic Violations Bureau only allows you to plead guilty or not guilty.  In addition, they have several locations all over New York City including: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and Rochester.  Because TVB offers a win-all or lose-all scenario, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer to defend you.

Often the lawyer will pay special attention to the police officer’s testimony to determine if there are any inconsistencies between what they wrote about the violation and their court statement.  For example, if an officer says that a driver was speeding on “123 Blvd,” but the police notes say that the driver was speeding on “ABC Street,” then the lawyer could point out the inconsistency to reach a better outcome.  In some instances, the lawyer may request to reschedule the court date to ensure a fair trial.

If you have a speeding ticket or any other NYC traffic tickets and violations, call us immediately at (212) 227-9008 or email us at MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com.  When you hire Michael Block, Traffic Ticket Attorney, you are not required to attend court.  We will always call to update you about your court dates and results as well as answer any questions you have about the process.

*Photo Credit: “Courtroom One Gavel” By: Joe Gratz/Source: Flickr

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Taxicab and Limousine Drivers—How many points do I have on my license?

TLC—Taxi Limousine and Commission drivers often face stricter traffic laws and heavier fines than most drivers.  Summonses may contain points or fines which could lead to the suspension and revocation of your TLC hack driver’s license.  As a taxi or limousine driver, you must exercise caution and can be held accountable for:

  • Refusing service to a passenger (on the basis of sex, age, gender, and/or ability).
  • Allowing any other driver to use your license
  • Using a portable or electronic device while operating your vehicle (this includes Bluetooth, cellphone, GPS, tablet and more)
  • Adjusting your meter or vehicle lights
  • Overcharging a passenger
  • Soliciting Passengers
  • Speeding
  • Traffic tickets and TLC tickets
  • Summons from TLC
  • Passenger complaints
  • Insurance Issues
  • DUI and DWI violations

6 or more DMV points in a 15-month time period can lead to a 1 month suspension of TLC driving privileges.  10 or more DMV points in an 18-month time period can lead to a 1 year revocation of your TLC driving privileges. To avoid accruing points, it’s important to exercise caution and seek the representation of an experienced attorney who may be able to fight these penalty points.

If you have any summons, speeding tickets, cellphone tickets, or any other traffic tickets, call (212) 227-9008 or email MichaelBlock.Law@gmail.com to learn more about how we can defend you.

*Photo Credit: “NYC TAXI” By Ian Muttoo

How to Reduce Points on Your License

Points on your license are more than just ugly marks on your driving record, and a number of different traffic violations will add points to your license, if you are convicted.  Too many points or a serious traffic violation may lead to revocation or suspension of your driving privileges.  Having more than 6 points in an 18 month period means you are required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee.  Fortunately, there are a few ways to reduce points before they stack up against you.

The PIRP—Point and Insurance Reduction Program is a series of courses offered to drivers who would like to reduce the amount of points on their license and cost of their insurance premium.  The Defensive Driving Course/Accident Prevention Course deducts 4 license points and offers a 10% reduction on your insurance premium.

Each course is 6 hours long and can be taken both in person or online.  In order to take an online course or I-PIRP/ADM—Internet Point & Insurance Reduction Program/Alternate Delivery Method course, you must enroll with an approved DMV sponsor.  The online course may require tests and quizzes to verify your participation.

An experienced traffic ticket attorney may help you avoid or reduce points depending on the violation and the county where you received the summons.  Please contact us at 212-227-008 or at michaelblock.law@gmail.com if you would like to receive free legal advice on how to fight your traffic ticket.

*Photo Credit: “Photo15028-UCD Pacific Place-3453.jpg By: Texas A & M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography Photostream”/By:Texas A & M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography Photostream/Source: Flickr

  1. I take the safe driver class every 18 months to help lower my auto insurance bills. Everyone should be taking these classes.

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City Council to Hold Vote on Uber Cap Next Week

The City Council will take up a vote on two bills next week that could cause serious problems for Uber and other ride sharing companies. The first bill proposes a moratorium on licenses issued for app-aided private car services in NYC until the industry is sufficiently regulated. The second bill will set up a study to analyze the effect the influx of Uber and ridesharing cars have caused on the city environment in terms of traffic and air quality.

Opponents of these bills could cut thousands of jobs for drivers currently employed by

Uber and believe these new bills are simply Mayor de Blasio’s way of supporting the yellow taxi industry, which was a large source of donations to his mayoral campaign. The yellow taxi industry has been hit especially hard by the competition presented by Uber and Lyft, as evidenced by the value of yellow taxi medallions dropping dramatically and the fact that there are more Uber cars in NYC than yellow taxi cabs.

Do you think this cap is a good thing? Or should Uber be allowed to grow at their own pace?

 

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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 York Traffic Lawyer: How Will New Technology Affect the Way We Drive?

While more and more technology comes out that seems to make driving safer, is it possible that it’s actually having the opposite effect? Distracted driving is a very real problem in New York and all over the country: a recent study showed that distracted driving was the cause for 16% of all traffic accidents in the U.S., while another study found that cell phone use was involved in 27% of all traffic accidents. Even though advances in technology may make life easier in some ways, the fact remains that those same advances may distract more and more drivers. Car companies and technology companies are looking for ways to integrate smart phone technology into automobiles to cut down on distracted driving, such as having head-up displays show up on car windshields, but will this just make the problem worse?

Self-Driving Cars
There has been a lot of press regarding self-driving cars, whether it was Delphi’s car which drove cross country from California to New York for the New York International Auto Show, the self-driving semi-trucks that have been driving along Nevada’s interstates, or the small number of self-driving cars that were involved in minor auto accidents (none of which were there fault, by the way). A self-driving car is a dream for many people, especially those who often have to ride the highways for long commutes or find themselves stuck in traffic every day, but it does not mean that these drivers will be able to read a book or use their cell phone while the car is driving its self. A driver has to be behind the wheel of a self-driving car at all times in order to take over in case the auto-driving system fails or the driver sees that they need to take action in order to avoid a collision – in addition, New York is the only state that requires drivers to have at least one hand on the wheel at all times while driving. Distracted driving laws apply to those behind the wheels of self-driving cars: they cannot talk, text, or use their cell phone for anything else other than an emergency while the car is in self-drive mode and they must be aware of their surroundings at all times. While it might be tempting to take a nap in your self-driving car, you’ll more than likely find yourself getting a traffic ticket if you do.

Auto-Braking Systems
Recently, a Youtube video started making the rounds showing a group of people testing out Volvo’s new auto-braking feature; however, the plan did not work out as expected. Instead of stopping in front of the group of people who were gathered around to watch the display, the remote controlled car instead plowed right through them. Volvo released a statement regarding the video, saying that the owner of the car did not purchase the “pedestrian detection functionality” upgrade which is meant for slow moving or stop-and-go traffic. Volvo also stated that the auto-braking system would have been overridden since the car was actively accelerating. Justifications aside, the fact remains that these people trusted this auto technology to do one thing and yet it did another – thankfully, none of the people involved in the incident were badly injured, but that doesn’t mean this will always be the case. Once again, an attentive driver is needed to be aware of their surroundings for just this type of occasion – a distracted driver who relies on auto-brake technology could very well find themselves in a fender bender, or even worse, striking a pedestrian.

Head-Up Displays
One of the newest developments in car tech is the Head-Up Display (HUD). Companies are now making devices that project information from your smart phone, such as calls and notifications, onto the windshield – it looks like a hologram at the end of your car’s hood. Drivers can answer or hang up with a wave of their hand while always keeping their eyes on the road. The rationale behind the HUD is that drivers are going to be on their cell phone no matter what, so the companies devised a way to allow drivers to stay connected with their smart phones while still paying attention while they drive. However, opponents of this technology claim that merely having eyes on the road is not the same as paying attention, and that making multitasking easier for drivers will just lead to more distracted driving accidents. Both sides make a compelling argument, but we will have to wait until the HUD technology becomes widely used and studied before any conclusions can be drawn about its effectiveness.

Wearable Tech
In Quebec, Canada, a driver was given a $120 traffic ticket for using his Apple Watch while driving – the man was using the watch to change the music on his car stereo. Quebec’s cell phone law states that drivers “may not use a hand-held device that include a telephone function” – as such, the driver is fighting the traffic ticket on the grounds that the Apple Watch is not hand-held since he wears it on his wrist. Whether or not he wins his case remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that a device is not less distracting just because it’s being worn on your wrist instead of held in your hand. We can probably expect the laws to be amended to include wearable tech at some point in the near future, just like it took states some time to pass cell phone laws after cell phones became ubiquitous.

Distracted driving is a target for law enforcement agencies, many of which stage crackdowns during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. In New York, a cell phone ticket has 5 points – one of the highest point tickets you can receive in New York. If you get a cell phone ticket, portable electronic ticket, distracted driving ticket, or any other traffic ticket in New York State, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help your case.

Study Shows New Yorkers Run Red Lights 10% of the Time

A new study looked at the stop light habits of New York drivers and found a disturbing statistic: on average, 1 out of every 10 New Yorkers runs a red light. In addition, Cab drivers run red lights 15% of the time in New York City, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens.

The intersection with the most red light violations was Evergreen Avenue and Gates Avenue in Bushwick. Residents were not surprised by that statistic and called for measures such as red light cameras to be installed in the intersection.

Both men and women run red lights at the same rate, and the study also found that most red light violations occurred on Mondays. A red light ticket carries a fine and a penalty of 3 points on your driver’s license.

If you receive a red light ticket or any other traffic ticket in New York, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help you.

*Photo Credit: “Apparently traffic lights like coffee and donuts too!” By: Nicholas Eckhart/Source: Flickr

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.

Uber Drivers Turning Cars into Yellow Taxi Cabs

The TLC recently amended a law to allow cars that are not brand new to become yellow taxi cabs, and some drivers have jumped at the chances. The original law, which was enacted almost 20 years ago, stated that only new cars could join the city’s taxi fleet; this amendment allows for cars that are no more than 2 years old to become yellow taxi cabs. 5 drivers have already gone through the process, with another 7 ready to go. One taxi driver was quoted as saying that “There are too many problems driving for Uber,” while another pointed to the fact that Uber has slashed fares in an attempt to undercut competitors. By undercutting fares, some Uber drivers cannot earn as much money and cannot afford to drive full time. Uber has stated that over 100 yellow taxi cabs join its fleet each week since they provide much more flexibility than taxi cab garages which often only offer 12 hour shifts.

Do you think this was a good move by the TLC?

Probe Finds Mixed Results for Vision Zero

The New York Daily News recently analyzed traffic data concerning 12 major thoroughfares that are directly impacted by Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero policies and the results were surprising. When comparing September through October of 2014 to the same months in 2012, the report showed that some of the streets that featured hallmarks of Vision Zero – a 25 mph speed limit, increased enforcement of speeding and failure to yield violations, and improved signage – saw a big decrease in the amount of accidents with injuries or fatalities. However, about half of those roads actually saw an increase in the amount of the same kind of accidents. The report states that the number of traffic accidents actually stayed the same from 2012 to 2014, while the number of fatalities decreased by about 4%. As a caveat, the city Transportation Department stated that there was not yet enough data to thoroughly analyze the effectiveness of Vision Zero.

Regardless, drivers can be assured that the NYPD will continue with its increased enforcement of speeding violations and failure to yield violations. The amount of speeding tickets has increased dramatically since Vision Zero was enacted, while failure to yield tickets more than doubled during the same time. If you receive a traffic ticket due to Vision Zero, please contact our office at 212-227-9008 to find out how we can help you.

“Broken Windows” Takes Another Gun Off the Street…and also Faces a Class Action Suit

Police officers on patrol in the Bronx stopped a man for violating New York’s open container law and over the course of the stop discovered he was carrying an illegal, loaded weapon. The man did not have identification on him, so the officers had to cuff him to bring him back to the station to issue the summons. After resisting arrest, the man was eventually cuffed and the officers discovered the loaded weapon. Incidents like this one and one earlier this year in which officers discovered a weapon on a man they stopped for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk are used as prime examples by supporters of “Broken Windows” policing; by policing minor offenses, many major crimes are stopped before they can happen.

“Broken Windows” has its fair share of detractors however, and a class action suit has been brought against the city alleges that officers issue criminal summonses without probable cause due to ticket writing quotas. This is due to the fact that about 1/5 of all criminal summonses issued in New York City are thrown out due to legal insufficiency. This class action suit, in addition to proposals put forth by members of the City Council, could change the way police operate in New York City.

Is “Broken Windows” good for the city? Or do you think it’s part of a ticket writing quota?

Broken Windows has Support Amongst New Yorkers

While there are some in the City Council that want to roll back some of the efforts of Broken Windows policing by de-criminalizing certain acts, such as public intoxication, riding bikes on sidewalks, and public urination, a recent poll shows that most New Yorkers favor this kind of quality-of-life policing. By targeting minor crimes, police hope that they may prevent major crimes from occurring – an example of this would be when police stopped a man who was riding his bike on the sidewalk and then found out he had an arrest warrant and was carrying a loaded weapon. Opponents of Broken Windows policing believe that prosecuting these petty crimes as misdemeanors clogs up the city’s judicial system. However, 57% of people across all races support the quality-of-life policing.

Is Broken Windows good for New York City? Or do you think it slows down the justice system while unfairly targeting certain groups of people?

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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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More Uber Cars than Yellow Taxis in New York City

TLC data shows that there are 13,587 Yellow medallion cabs in New York City, compared with 14,088 Uber cars. The New York Post reports that Uber’s “competitive rates and higher pay have quickly lured drivers and customers away from traditional taxi service,” but Yellow taxis still make about 10 times the amount of trips that Uber cars make in the NYC. Uber drivers also do not have to worry about customers that skip out on paying their fare, which is a risk that all Yellow taxi drivers must face. Opponents of Uber, such as the TLC and Committee for Taxi Safety, are concerned because Uber does not pay surcharges to the MTA that help fund traffic improvements, takes away tax revenue from New York City because they do not participate in taxi medallion auctions, and contributes to traffic congestion in the city. What are your thoughts on Uber? Have you used the service or are you an Uber driver? Are the opponents correct?taxi3

Uber Forces "Taxi Kingpin" into Debt

Gene Friedman, known as New York City’s “Taxi Kingpin,” is facing foreclosure on at least 90 of his Yellow Taxi Cab medallions due to the car-hailing app Uber. It has been said that Friedman has been having trouble renting out his medallions because of Uber, and this has affected his ability to pay bills. Friedman, who owns a fleet of 900 Yellow Taxi Cabs, borrowed against his medallions, something an industry source claims in common in the NYC taxi cab industry. The New York Post reports that the value of medallions has dropped from $1.05 million in June 2013 to $800,000 as of this past January, and most experts claim that Uber is the cause for this loss. Citibank has now brought Friedman to court to recoup their money in what they say is an “absolute last resort.” What are your thoughts on Uber and the state of Yellow Taxi Cabs in New York City?

Yellow Cab Fares Dip as Uber and Other Services Pick Up Steam

taxi1The TLC reported that yellow taxi cab rides dropped by 6% from 2013-2014, while black car pickups from app services such as Uber have grown 200% in the same period. That’s not to say that people aren’t using yellow taxi cabs anymore, though – there was an average of 432,763 yellow taxi cab trips per day in 2014, compared with 28,843 Uber trips and 3,973 Lyft trips a day from July through September 2014. Do you think app service rides like Uber will ever overtake yellow taxi cabs? Or will yellow taxis always have a place in New York?

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New York City Speeding Tickets on the Rise

Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero is in full effect as the number of speeding summonses has increased by 40%. This increase comes as a response to the lowering of the New York City speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH. While de Blasio claimed that motorists would be allowed to ease into the new speed limit, the evidence shows exactly the opposite. We advise New York City drivers to closely follow the speed limit, as it appears that all speeding violations are being strictly enforced, even relatively “slow speeding” violations. We remind you that all New York City speeding tickets carry points and hefty fines, which can have a huge impact on your finances. car1