s

Tag Archives: New York City

Hampton Bay's Response To Texting and Driving

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

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

 

Photo via VisualHunt.com

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  2. Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous web site.

  3. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.

  4. Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  5. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  6. Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my weblog so i came to go back the choose?.I’m trying to find issues to improve my web site!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!

  7. I really like what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and exposure! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.

  8. Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  9. Really liked this part of the article, with a nice and interesting topics have helped a lot of people who do not challenge things people should know you need more publicize this so many people who know about it are rare for people to know this, Bandar Togel Success for you

  10. Really liked this part of the article, with a nice and interesting topics have helped a lot of people who do not challenge things people should know you need more publicize this so many people who know about it are rare for people to know this, Success for you

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

New AAA Report

A new AAA report states that many injuries and deaths from car crashes on Long Island can be avoided through the introduction of new roundabouts, guardrails, and better crosswalks. AAA seeks to spend $146 billion on safety over the next 20 years all across the U.S.A. When traffic deaths were measured per 100,000 people, the United States ranked 32nd globally.

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 Visual hunt

Rise In Traffic Related Deaths

There has been a sudden, and sharp rise in the amount of traffic related deaths in the United States. According to the National Highway Safety Council, 40,200 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016. This number of traffic deaths in 2016 is significant because it is 6% higher than the year before. Also, this is the first time since 2007 that more than 40,000 traffic related deaths have occurred in a single year.

If you receive a summons for a failure to signal or any other moving violation, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help! contact us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.
Photo via Visualhunt

"Labeling" Pre-Owned Cars

The Federal Trade Commission has lowered its rules on labeling used cars as “certified pre-owned.” Used cars formerly under recall, and without the proper repairs from that recall, can be sold as certified pre-owned. There are a few dealers who have refused to sell any recalled vehicles to their customers. However, some dealers, like Ford, are selling recalled vehicles that have been deemed “certified pre-owned,” but are not advertising them as safe vehicles.

Do you think that this practice of selling certified vehicles is ok? Let us know in the comments below.

If you receive a summons for failing to yield to a pedestrian or any other moving violation, 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.

The Hidden Costs of a Cellphone ticket

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

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

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

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

 

Photo via Visual hunt

Gridlock

A gridlock alert is in effect for NYC and will probably remain in effect until New Year’s Day. What does this mean to drivers who must travel in New York during this time?

Traffic will be heavily congested during the next few weeks. The annual Christmas tree lighting festivities, as well as Holliday Tourists will contribute to Gridlock.

New York State Law basically mandates that you cannot enter an intersection unless there is sufficient space to accommodate your vehicle on the other side of the intersection. If you get caught blocking the box, you may be issued a ticket for Spillback. The summons carries two points and a fine.

If you receive a summons for Spillback or Obstructing an Intersection or any other Moving Violation call us at 212-227-9008

Texting Stops

I drove many miles of beautiful and scenic NY State roads this weekend en route to visit my son at the University of Binghamton. From Long Island to New York City to the Hudson Valley, I shared the beautiful scenery with tens of thousands of other New York drivers. One thing I noticed was a new name for places to stop.
In the past, there were Full Service Stops. These contained Gas, Food and Rest Rooms. These still exist.
There also are Rest Stops. These usually include a rest room, and vending machines. These are now called “Text Stops”.
This is clearly a recognition of the volume of driver’s use of Electronic Devices.It also recognizes the danger involved.A conviction for Texting or Cell Phone use will add five (5) points to your license, plus a fine.
If you receive a ticket for cell phone, Texting or any other Moving Violation, please contact my office at 212-227-9008.
Photo credit: l . e . o via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Driving Stats Post-Halloween

The statistics just came out for all of the tickets troopers gave last Halloween weekend from October 28-November 1. State troopers wrote out 11,497 traffic tickets during Halloween weekend. The most common tickets received by motorists were cellphone, speeding, seat belt, and distracted driving violations. 

On Long Island, troopers issued 823 traffic tickets. In central New York, troopers issued 1,270 traffic tickets. In the lower Hudson Valley, troopers issued 1,270 traffic tickets. Troopers are out there and are cracking down on moving violations.

It is also important to note that 3 people died and 227 others were injured from car crashes Halloween weekend.

Receive a moving violation for speeding, operating your cell phone, or distracted driving? An experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call my office at 212-227-9008 and we can assist you! 

Save The Tailgating For Football Season!!!

It seems like everyone in Manhattan is always in a rush. No one wants to wait at a red light or to let pedestrians safely cross the street. Some motorists quickly trail behind the car in front of them to avoid anything that might slow them down. It’s not only annoying, but extremely dangerous. On highways, cars usually are following too closely or tailgate as a method of intimidation because they want to pass the car in front of them. By law, motorists are supposed to maintain a safe following distance behind the car in front of it.

According to VTL 1129 following too closely is described as: the driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon the condition of the highway.

Reasonable and prudent can be determined by the motorists’ judgment. In driver’s education we were taught that you should always remain “a car length” apart from other cars and more than one “car length” apart on highways. The average car is about 14 feet and 8 inches long. By doing so you are creating a buffer space, should anything happen.

If the car in front of you suddenly slams on their brakes, that leaves you with a short reaction time. You have seconds to brake or safely switch lanes. If a motorist is driving behind a car leaving little to no space in front of them the likelihood of them braking in time is greatly decreased. This could cause a car crash domino effect.  According to NYPD this year there have been 542 summonses issued for following too closely. This is a very common summons in New York City; many of my clients have been issued a summons for this and want to fight it.

An experienced New York Traffic, Criminal, TLC and CDL Attorney can help. I have been fighting these summonses and others like it for over 28 years. If you have a summons for Following Too Closely, contact me immediately. I can be contacted at 212-227-9008 or via email at michalblock.law@gmail.com.

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

Did You Know That You Can Drive Within The Posed Speed Limit & Still Get a Speeding Ticket??

As you are probably aware, most speeding summonses are issued by Police Officers or State Troopers. They are experts in estimating speeds and using speed detection equipment. They usually charge a motorist with going a specific speed over the posted speed limit. For example, driving 75 mph in a 40 mph zone (an 8 point summons). The point system for Speeding summonses in New York is referenced above.

Updated Speeding Violation chart

You should also be aware that a summons for Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent can be issued. VTL 1180a provides that no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. Basically the Police Officer can allege that you were going too fast for the condition of the road and traffic. It is common sense to reduce your speed during bad weather conditions. This includes torrential rain, snow, or fog. When the roads are not clear you must drive in an appropriate manner. If you are driving at a high speed that can prevent you from stopping your vehicle quickly when the roads are wet or slick. A lot of motorists think because their car may have 4- wheel or all wheel drive that this rule doesn’t apply to them.

This type of summons can be issued when a motorist is involved in a car crash, for example when a driver didn’t reduce their speed due to construction and spins out of control on the highway and hit a median. Or when a driver swerves and their car ends up on the side of the road in an embankment. While receiving a summons for this might not be common, it is very possible. In scenarios like this, a summons is issued because if the motorist was not driving in a reasonable and prudent manner.

Convictions for summonses for Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent will result in three (3) points on your driver’s license. The minimum fine is $138. If you are convicted of three (3) Speeding Tickets received within an 18 month period, your privileges will be revoked. If you or someone you know has recently received a moving violation in New York, contact me immediately. I can fight for you. Hiring an experienced Traffic, Criminal, TLC and CDL Attorney  can be the difference between being found guilty and maintaining a clean license. Don’t hesitate to call my office at 212-227-9008 or email me at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

Off Duty NYPD Officer Kills One and Injures Three Others While Driving Drunk.

An NYPD officer is out on bail after driving drunk and killing a pedestrian and injuring three others in Brooklyn over the weekend. No matter who you are, when you get behind the wheel you should never be under the influence. Driving while under the influence can change your life and the lives of others in the blink of an eye. Always exercise good judgement and when in doubt call a designated driver or a cab home.

Please read the full article below:

Bystanders corralled a drunken off-duty cop after his speeding SUV killed a Brooklyn pedestrian and horribly injured three of his college pals in a gruesome wreck, cops and eyewitnesses said.

Officer Nicholas Batka’s vehicle was seen swerving in the seconds before impact. His runaway SUV tore the leg off one victim and left another impaled on a fence, witnesses said.

“The EMTs had to get a saw to remove the man impaled on the railing,” said witness Jaminah Kang, 35. “Another man (looked) like he took a chain saw to the knee.”

The inebriated second-year cop flashed his badge and slipped into his SUV’s passenger’s seat about 3 a.m. Saturday as the mangled victims writhed in agony on a bloodstained sidewalk in Williamsburg.

A cell phone video captured a man in a red shirt wagging a menacing finger at Batka, keeping the SUV door shut tight and the off-duty cop pinned inside.

“Don’t let him get out!” someone else shouted. “He’s going to run away!”

The sloshed cop was trapped inside the SUV — on the driver’s side by a utility pole he crashed into and on the passenger side by the enraged onlookers.

A 21-year-old man died at Bellevue Hospital after Batka lost control and the gray 2012 SUV Dodge Durango careened off Bedford Ave. just after making a right-hand turn from N. Eighth St.

Prosecutors identified the victim as Andrew Esquivel in charging documents, along with three survivors of the late night crash.

Sophia Tabachoun, 20, was listed in stable condition, while Divya Menezes, 23, was hospitalized at Bellevue in critical condition. She underwent surgery late Saturday after breaking both legs in the crash, officials said.

James Balchaunas, 24, was also hurt, but his condition was not immediately known.

Batka was charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, three counts of assault, driving while intoxicated, driving with impaired ability and driving on a sidewalk.

In a white T-shirt and blue jeans, he appeared somber with his head down at his arraignment late Saturday night in Brooklyn Criminal Court. He posted $300,000 bond, and was released. A judge ordered his driving license suspended.

Witnesses described a nightmarish scene of chaos and carnage in the darkness once the SUV jumped the curb and plowed into the group walking together along the sidewalk.

“I ran over and this girl’s leg was in half,” said Ryan Carpenter, 27, who was heading home when he spied the bloody crash scene.

“I took my shirt off and tried to stop her from bleeding while trying to calm her. She kept screaming.”

At least three of the victims were Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates living in Williamsburg and headed for home after getting off the L train, said the sister of one victim.

“Help! Help! Help!” one anguished victim is heard howling during a chaotic six-minute video. “I don’t want to lose my leg! Help!”

An employee from the Bedford Gourmet Food store across the street rushed over with ice and towels.

“I didn’t know what to do,” said the store worker, who declined to give his name. “Everyone panicked. (The driver) was trying to back out, too, and kept going into the building. People were holding the driver from leaving.”

The shocking crash occurred just four hours before Batka was due to start a 7 a.m. shift with the Manhattan Transit Task Force following two days off, cops said.

Batka, 28, a former city correction officer, was arrested at the scene and suspended from the force, NYPD Inspector Scott Shanley told reporters at the accident site.

The officer refused to take a Breathalyzer test, sources told the Daily News. After denying he had been behind the wheel, he then asked to speak with his union rep from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, prosecutors said.

Some other friends walking with the four victims escaped unscathed when the SUV missed them by inches.

“The other two friends were literally one step ahead of them, so they didn’t get hit,” said eyewitness Kang, who called 911. “It was unreal. It was like an episode of TV come to life.

“I wasn’t even thinking about what I was doing.”

Police sources echoed the stories of witnesses, reporting that the force of the impact led investigators to believe Batka was speeding before jumping the curb.

According to witnesses, the drunken cop first attempted to throw the SUV in reverse after the vehicle crashed — but the car instead kept lurching forward, slamming into a townhouse stoop.

Batka, who joined the NYPD in January 2015, was listed in stable condition, police said.

Batka’s aunt and uncle said there were never any indications that the young cop had a problem with alcohol — and they appeared shocked by word of his arrest.

“I know a lot of people who shouldn’t be cops … that have the wrong attitude, but Nick is mellow Jell-O,” said his uncle Walter Leonick, a retired NYPD officer. “I never worried about him doing anything wrong.”

Batka took guardianship of his niece last year when his older brother died of a heart attack, and spent time caring for his mother. His brother, just 35 years old, keeled over during a Christmas party.

Leonick knew immediately that the Saturday accident was a bad situation, saying “He’s in a lot of trouble.”

Photo: NY Daily News

U.S. Safety Agency Investigates Another Tesla Crash Involving Autopilot

Tesla is back in the news again-.there was another car crash, this time in Pennsylvania due to the operator using the autopilot mode. This isn’t good news for Tesla or for the future of self driving cars.

Read Below for the full article:

The nation’s top auto safety regulator said on Wednesday that it had begun an investigation of a second crash involving a Tesla Motors car equipped with Autopilot technology, a system designed to let vehicles drive themselves for brief periods.

In the nonfatal crash, a Tesla sport utility vehicle rolled over last Friday on the Pennsylvania Turnpike after hitting barriers on both sides of the highway. Safety officials continue to investigate a fatal Florida accident in May. The driver of the Pennsylvania vehicle told the Pennsylvania State Police that he was operating it in Autopilot mode.

The accidents have put new scrutiny on Tesla’s Autopilot system and raised questions about whether the technology, which the company describes as only an experimental “beta” test, lulls drivers into a false sense of security.

Although Tesla drivers have posted YouTube videos of themselves operating the vehicles completely hands-free — even climbing into the back seat — the company has cautioned that Autopilot is meant only as an “auto-assist” feature that requires drivers to keep their hands on or near the steering wheel at all times.

In the Florida crash, the first known fatality involving an autonomous driving system, the driver was killed when his Tesla Model S sedan struck atractor-trailer that was crossing the roadway.

An account given on Wednesday by a witness to the Florida accident seemed to indicate that the Autopilot system continued operating the car at highway speed, even after the vehicle’s top was sheared off by the impact and the Tesla went under the trailer and continued down the road.

“The car came from underneath the trailer,” said the witness, Terence Mulligan, who was named in the Florida Highway Patrol’s accident report. Mr. Mulligan, who was driving behind the tractor-trailer at the time, said: “The top was gone. It went right by me.”

Mr. Mulligan, in a telephone interview, said he turned and followed the Tesla, which did not slow down until it had left the road, crashed through two fences and hit a utility pole. His account jibed with the accident report by the Florida Highway Patrol, which said the car was traveling at 65 miles per hour when it hit the tractor-trailer.

Tesla has declined to comment on the details of the Florida crash, which is still under investigation by state and federal officials.

In a statement on Wednesday about the Pennsylvania crash, Tesla said it had “no reason to believe that Autopilot had anything to do with this accident” based on the information it had collected so far.

The Pennsylvania crash involved a Model X S.U.V. heading east on the Pennsylvania Turnpike about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh. The car scraped a guardrail on the right side of the road, crossed the roadway and hit the concrete median. It then rolled over onto its roof and came to a stop in the middle of the road.

Tesla vehicles have the ability to send data back to the company about their condition and operation. In a statement, the company said it received an automated alert from the Model X in Pennsylvania on July 1 showing that its airbags had deployed. But the company said more detailed information about the car’s operation was not received, a situation that could happen if the car’s antenna was damaged in the crash.

Details of the Pennsylvania crash were first reported by The Detroit Free Press. The Pennsylvania State Police declined to release additional details because an investigation is in progress.

The Pennsylvania driver, Albert Scaglione, said by phone on Wednesday that he had just been released from the hospital and declined to comment on the accident. “My attorneys will be releasing a statement shortly,” he said.

A passenger in the car, Tim Yanke, was reportedly not seriously injured.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Wednesday that it was collecting information from the Pennsylvania State Police, Tesla and the driver to find out whether automated functions were in use at the time of the crash.

The federal safety agency has also sent a crash investigation team to Florida to determine if the Tesla Autopilot system was at fault in the accident on May 7, which killed Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old from Canton, Ohio.

In the Florida crash, charges are pending against Frank Baressi, the driver of the tractor-trailer that was hit by Mr. Brown’s Tesla. But no final determination on charges will be made until the inquiry is complete, Sgt. Kim Montes, a spokeswoman for the Florida Highway Patrol, said on Wednesday.

“We know the truck made a left turn, and the person going straight has the right of way,” she said, referring to Mr. Brown’s vehicle.

Mr. Baressi, reached by phone, declined to comment.

In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Mr. Baressi said he had heard a Harry Potter movie playing from Mr. Brown’s vehicle, but also acknowledged, “He went so fast through my trailer, I didn’t see him.”

Sergeant Montes said, “We don’t know if that’s accurate,” adding, “We may never know, obviously, given the damage of the vehicle. In a very violent crash, there’s not going to be a lot left inside a car that could be playing.”

A DVD player and a laptop computer were recovered from Mr. Brown’s vehicle after the crash.

Questions have been raised about why neither Tesla nor the federal safety agency notified the public sooner about the May 7 accident, if only to caution other drivers about using Tesla’s Autopilot feature.

When the federal investigation of Mr. Brown’s accident was disclosed last week, Tesla released a statement saying it had informed the agency of the crash “immediately after it occurred.”

But in a statement on Tuesday, Tesla said it did not tell the federal agency about the accident until nine days later.

The Florida Highway Patrol contacted Tesla, seeking help in downloading data from the car’s so-called black-box recorder, seven to 10 days after the crash.

The company said in a statement that it was obligated to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on a quarterly basis when it became aware of a fatal accident involving a Tesla vehicle.

“As part of its regular ongoing communication and not as part of any formal process, Tesla told N.H.T.S.A. about the accident while it was still in the process of conducting its investigation,” Tesla said. “This happened on May 16.”

Failure to Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalks

As a lawyer who defends people who receive summonses for moving violations, I frequently represent clients for Failure to Yield to Pedestrians. These summonses are issued more in NYC than they are in the rest of New York State. VTL 1151 provides pedestrians’ right of way in crosswalks. (a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles. It does not matter that you drove into the intersection on a green light. As long as the pedestrian is lawfully in the crosswalk, you may not enter the intersection. The pedestrian has the right of way if he or she has entered the intersection with a walk signal.

Failing to yield to a pedestrian or give them the right of way can result in a 3 point summons. So far this year there have been 17,490 summonses issued for failing to give a pedestrian the right of way in New York City. That is an alarming number that unfortunately will continue to grow. This is a city of pedestrians. No matter what time of day there will always be a sea of people walking to and from their destinations. Be mindful of them as they cross the streets.  According to Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero data, there are 22 pedestrians killed a year and 1,925 pedestrians injured yearly in the city. Safer driving is imperative! Always give pedestrians the right of way and stay off electronic devices while driving so you can give 100% of your attention the condition of the road.

A conviction for Failure to Yield to Pedestrians will result in three points and a minimum fine of $138. If you receive a summons for Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian you or your attorney must personally appear in court. You cannot plead guilty by mail or internet. If you have recently received a summons for this violation or any other moving violation in New York please contact me at my office at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

  1. Pingback

  2. Pingback

  3. Hello,I log on to your blogs named “Failure to Yield to Pedestrians in Crosswalks | New York Traffic Ticket Attorney | Long Island Traffic Ticket Attorney” on a regular basis.Your story-telling style is witty, keep it up! And you can look our website about love spells.

Celebrate Responsibly Don’t Lose Your Driving Rights on Independence Day

Summer is officially here and we are approaching one of the biggest “BBQ holidays” of the year – the Fourth of July. Everyone will be driving to visit family and friends at various BBQs and ending the night with fireworks.  While this is a celebration of freedom and family, it is important to remember to be safe while cooking on the grill, at the beach, handling fireworks and especially on the roads.

According to the National Safety Council last year the Fourth of July weekend was predicted to be the deadliest in seven years. This year the holiday period begins on Friday, July 1 at 6 PM and ends on Tuesday, July 5 at 11:59 PM. Not only will there be an increase of cars on the roads, but there also will be a larger police presence.  Police will be looking out for motorists who are committing all violations, but they will especially be on the lookout for motorists driving while under the influence and speeding. This Fourth of July weekend, don’t end up a statistic! Abide by the rules of the road and exercise safe driving practices.

There are so many things we all can do to keep us and our loved ones safe this holiday weekend. The simplest thing we can do is always buckle up when in the car. Wearing a seatbelt is the law and can prevent serious injuries in an accident. Be mindful of other motorists, use signals when changing lanes and remember to share the road with motorcycles. Always pay attention to the road. Distracted driving accounts for a large portion of crashes and car related deaths. According to distraction.gov in 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Looking at your phone or GPS for even a minute is a minute too long.

You should always obey your local speed limits; it’s the number one way to keep motorists safe. Speeding summonses always carry points. The higher you drive over the posted speed limit the more points you will receive. Here is our violation and points chart:

Updated Speeding Violation chart

Keep in mind, once you approach 11 points your license may be suspended.

The most important warning I can give, is that under no circumstances should one drive if they’ve been drinking. Police will be out in droves looking for motorists who are driving while intoxicated or impaired. It’s never worth it and can put many lives in danger. It’s always smart to have a backup plan. This way if no one is able to drive you are already protected. Assign a designated driver, someone who will not be drinking all night and is able to take you home safely. Call a cab or an Uber; there are so many e-hailing apps available now, you literally have chauffeuring at your finger tips. You want to remember the holiday weekend as a great time with friends and family. Not in the back of a Police car or worse, in a hospital.

If you or someone you know is issued a summons over the holiday weekend, you need to hire an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Attorney to fight for you. I’ve been handling summonses issued in New York State for over 28 years. I can help. You can contact me at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

Have a Safe & Happy Fourth of July.

  1. A L Giannopoulos  |  

    Recently I received a moving violation speeding 21 miles over the limit in Staten Island . I have used you before its been a while whats the protocol you can e mail me or call 917-833-7359 my name is Artie….. Thanks

Had too much to drink? Call Designated Driving Service, NYC

Have you ever driven somewhere and later realized that you may have had too much to drink and that you should probably call a cab home? While it’s the responsible thing to do, and the best way to avoid a DWI/DUI or a car crash it forces you to leave your car. Designated Driving Service, NYC is a chauffeur service that acts as a designated driver for anyone that may need a ride home after a night of partying.  Michael Block, New York Traffic Ticket Attorney interviewed Ronald Kandov of Designated Driving Service, NYC to learn more about the company.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney: Can you explain what Designated Driving Service, NYC is?

Ronald: We are a designated driving service. We specialize in taking YOU and YOUR car home when you’ve had a drink and can’t drive back home. We send over 2 drivers to your location. One will sit in your car and take YOU and YOUR car home and the other driver will follow to get back the first driver. Our service saves lives every day and it’s more affordable then taking a cab.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney: How long have you been in business and where are you based?

Ronald: We’ve been in business for one year and are located in Fresh Meadows, NY.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney:  How many drivers do you have on staff?

Ronald:  We have a fleet of 20 drivers.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney: What are the requirements to become a driver with Designated Driving Service, NYC?

Ronald:  All of our drivers must pass a background test. If a driver has 3 or more speeding tickets on their record, gotten a DWI/ DUI or had suspended a license we will not hire them. Our drivers are highly experienced and insured under Designated Driving Service, NYC.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney: What areas do you service?

Ronald: All 5 boroughs and we’ve expanded to New Jersey and the Hamptons.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney: What are your hours? Is there a time frame that clients can call for this service?

Ronald: We are open 24/7.

Michael Block, New York Traffic AttorneyDo you offer any other services?

Ronald: We also offer a personal chauffer service.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Attorney: How can a client get in contact with you to make a reservation for either service?

Ronald: You can make a reservation on our app within seconds “Designated driving service NYC” or on our website www.designateddrivingservicenyc.com

You can call us at 631-697-6820 or 718-415-1316.

 

How Does Never Driving Again Sound to You?

Autonomous cars are getting mixed reviews. Older drivers aren’t ready to give up the wheel, while younger more technologically savvy drivers welcome the idea.

See below for the full article:

The technology to make autonomous cars a reality may be ready, but American drivers don’t seem to be.

From smartphone-addicted teenagers to researchers designing the next generation of self-driving vehicles, there’s a fair amount of skepticism among consumers when it comes to letting go of the wheel and allowing a car to do the driving, several surveys over the last year have found. Even engineers have some qualms.

“I have no problem letting a car take control,” said Jeffrey Miller, an associate professor of engineering practice at the University of Southern California. “But having a car take my kids to school? You’re talking about people who don’t have the ability to take over if something goes wrong. I’m not that comfortable with it.”

That sentiment was echoed in a survey of over 400 respondents by IEEE, the professional engineering organization, that grew out of a round table that Professor Miller took part in. On a scale of 1 to 5 — with “very comfortable” being a 5 — more than two-thirds of the experts in the study said they weren’t ready to have a robotic car play nanny, giving the concept a 3 or lower. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from engineers of the state of the art in self-driving cars.

“It’s not the technology. It’s user acceptance that’s holding us up right now,” Professor Miller said.

This is not to say experts and consumers don’t see potential benefits.

Scott Fischer, 55, the chief executive of a privately held recruiting firm in Chicago, foresees a variety of situations in which autonomous vehicles would be a major advantage. “I’m not skeptical at all,” Mr. Fischer said.

Mr. Fischer, who took part in a study of older drivers conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab and the Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence, part of the insurance company The Hartford, said autonomous cars could give him more peace of mind about his two daughters, who are in their 20s and have limited driving experience. “They don’t drive as much they take Uber,” he said, “so I see the safety aspects.”

For his father, who is in his early 80s and facing driving challenges because of vision issues, an autonomous vehicle would be a way to get around on his own, Mr. Fischer said. And for his own part, Mr. Fischer would let the car take over when he was tired on a long drive or needed to read email.

“But I want to see proof of concept that the technology actually works,” he added.

Joseph Coughlin, director of the M.I.T. AgeLab, said that for the study’s participants, who ranged in age from 50 to 69, there was no reflexive aversion to technology-assisted driving. “If they see it as useful or enhancing safety,” he said, “they’re willing to pay for it.”

Jodi Olshevski, a gerontologist and executive director of the Hartford Center, said that, in general, people over 50 expressed the most interest in technology that alerts drivers to vehicles in their blind spot, said “It was naturally appealing to them since there’s often a reduced range of motion” in older drivers, Ms. Olshevski noted.

Still, even older drivers were hesitant to give up total control. In the M.I.T. study, most were less likely to accept automatic parking and cruise assistance systems, worried that they would become overly reliant on the technology at the expense of their driving skills.

There’s also the Route 66 romanticism many older Americans still have with the automobile. “Baby boomers have a love affair with the car,” said Raj Rajkumar, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a longtime researcher on autonomous vehicles. “On the other hand, the current generation would rather be Snapchatting, and they are a lot more receptive to technology.”

And in the autonomous-vehicle age, established automakers may be on an equal footing with technology companies. A Nielsen automotive study of over 1,100 participants 8 to 18 years old found there was an equal interest in buying a self-driving car from a technology company, such as Google or Apple, as there was from purchasing one an automaker like Ford or General Motors.

According to a 2016 Autotrader Car Tech Impact Study, about two-thirds of consumers would switch brands to get the technology they want. “But completely brand agnostic, I don’t think people are shopping that way yet,” said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader.

More telling, perhaps, is that roughly two-thirds of the consumers in the Autotrader survey acknowledged that they still would not feel confident enough in a self-driving car to take their eyes off the road.

Even the young participants in the Nielsen study seemed reluctant to take their hands off the wheel, especially high school students with licenses. Roughly three out of four drivers of high school age would prefer to drive themselves, according to the Nielsen study. And one-third said self-driving cars were unnecessary.

That may reflect the fact that those with freshly minted driver’s licenses may be particularly reluctant to give up their newfound independence, says Mike VanNieuwkuyk, vice president, automotive, at the Nielsen Company. Mr. VanNieuwkuyk also noted that younger drivers have not yet logged hundreds of annoying hours stewing in traffic or had to suffer through the daily ritual of monotonous commutes.

“And yet young people are the ones who are going to be the potential beneficiaries of this technology,” Mr. VanNieuwkuyk said. “The youngest have more acceptance; they’re already passengers and they’re more engaged with technology.”

The various studies also reflect a sharper divide between those who love to drive and those who find it a stressful activity.

“There are people who want to hop into the back seat and go to sleep,” said Ken Washington, vice president of Ford’s research and advanced engineering division, “and others who say, ‘No robot is going to drive my car.’”

Most of the researchers and automotive experts say driver attitudes will shift as more advanced safety and semiautonomous systems are introduced into new models. Education about how the systems work and their benefits will also help.

“And just think of being stuck in a traffic jam,” said Professor Rajkumar of Carnegie Mellon. “Then you start to see the light.”

Photo: NYTimes

How’s your driving? If you’re looking for lessons then you’ve come to the right place!

Alan Schlesinger is the founder of Abbott Safety Consulting,Inc. and APS driving lessons. Abbott Safety is a corporation that provides commercial drivers and warehouse safety specialists with affordable programs for accident prevention that meet the specific needs of trucking companies. APS driving lessons provides lessons for drivers to pass their road test on the first try in the comfort of their own vehicle. With a 95% success rate, he is the man to call if you, a loved one, or a friend needs some driving help. He is dedicated to providing drivers with safety tools and techniques to avoid accidents at all costs. We called Alan to get an insider interview. Here’s what he said.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started.

Alan Schlesinger: I learned the business very young when I swept floors, operated forklifts, drove heavy-duty trucks and tractor-trailers for my grandfather, father, and uncle. I got my bachelor’s degree and then returned to the family business and eventually became the Executive Vice President in charge of Operations, Transportation and Safety. In 2006 I founded Abbott Safety Consulting. I am also a former CDL driver, a licensed CDL examiner, an experienced Driver Trainer and I have OSHA and DPT certifications. I am also certified by the National Safety Council, the National Traffic Safety Institute and the American Safety Institute.

Michael Block, New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: What does Abbott Safety Consulting Incorporated Specialize in? Do you offer training in anything? Where is it located?

Alan Schlesinger: We are located in White Plains, New York. We specialize in a variety of things including:

aps table 3

We also offer training in:

aps table 2

Michael Block,New York Traffic Ticket Attorney:What is the CSA and why is that important to your students?

Alan Schlesinger: The CSA is a U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enforcement program requiring large commercial vehicle carriers to be in compliance with safety Laws and regulations. It has three main parts including; Measuring safety performance/Collecting data-CSA BASICs (Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Categories), Evaluation of high risk driving behavior- identifying candidates for intervention and which type of interventions needed, and Intervention to improve safety. Abbott Safety can evaluate and help truck drivers comply with CSA.

Michael Block,New York Traffic Ticket Attorney:Are there any services you provide that can help improve driving records?

Alan Schlesinger: Yes. We offer a 6-hour New York Point Insurance Reduction Course (Defensive Driving). It can help drivers reduce points on their record received from New York traffic violations by up to 4 points and save up to 10% on their insurance for a three year period. Register for the course online at our website. http://bestpricedrivingschools.com/Course/index.php/register?awc_id=NjM1

Michael Block, New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Do you offer private driving lessons for non-truck drivers as well? If so, where do you offer these lessons?

Alan Schlesinger: Yes, I offer private driving lessons, I am a certified driving instructor and I have single and package lessons available. I can set up appointments to be taken to road test sights at the student’s local DMV and I have an extremely high success rate for passing road tests on the first try. I allow my students to arrive and practice in a personal car that they are used to, to ensure comfort. I am able to travel to Manhattan, the five boroughs, Westchester County, New Jersey, and Long Island.

Alan takes pride in helping trucking companies improve their high way safety driving records and company enforcement of driving safety regulations. He is extremely patient and is dedicated to helping students pass their road tests on the first try.

For more information or to schedule your driving lessons please visit his website http://abbottsafety.com/  and contact him at (704) 996-1082 or APS5555@verizon.net. For Truck driving safety information call him at: (914) 607-2997 or email him at Alan@AbottSafety.com.

 

 

 

 

We Stand with Gay Americans

The Law Office of Michael Block stands with Gay Americans.

Check out the full article below:

Some of June’s gay pride celebrations happened last weekend, but many are still ahead. The one in Louisville, Ky., is among them. There’s a parade scheduled for Friday.

That’s your state, Mitch McConnell. You should go.

If you’re not comfortable marching, mingle on the sidelines. If parades aren’t your thing, make an appearance at one of the other pride events in Kentucky in coming days.

Just show up. And by doing so, show that the absence of “gay” or “L.G.B.T.” in your statements immediately following the Orlando massacre — and in the statements of so many other prominent Republicans — isn’t because you place us and our concerns behind some thick pane of glass with a Do Not Touch sign that stays up even when blood and tears pool beneath it.

For more than 48 hours, Paul Ryan also seemed to avoid any mention of the kind of nightclub that the Orlando gunman chose and one of the reasons its revelers were marked for death.

On Tuesday morning that silence finally ended, as Ryan told journalists in Washington that he wanted to “be clear.”

“Members of the L.G.B.T. community were the targets,” he said. “They were simply attacked for who they are.”

He thus joined his 2012 running mate, Mitt Romney, who sent out a tweet midday Monday offering “a special prayer for the L.G.B.T. community that was the focus of this attack.”

Ryan also joined Donald Trump, who mentioned L.G.B.T. Americans repeatedly in his formal remarks on Monday afternoon, expressing “solidarity with the members of Orlando’s L.G.B.T. community” and asserting that the gunman wanted “to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.”

But more conspicuous than what Romney and Trump said was what so many other Republicans didn’t.

Bemoaning the carnage, they justly condemned the Islamic State and violent extremists. They rightly paid tribute to “first responders.”

But this specificity didn’t extend to the lives and loves of the people killed. Even Rick Scott, the Republican governor of Florida, initially sidestepped the subject, failing to emphasize that many of them spent their final terrified minutes in a place where they had sought precisely the comfort and belonging that they didn’t always feel on the other side of its walls.

We still have much to learn about the exact mix of the gunman’s motives. There are reports that he cased other locations. His unhinged diatribesapparently extended to women, blacks and Jews as well as gays.

His past behavior and his call to 911 demonstrated an overarching hatred of America, with its celebration of diversity and individual liberty. The revelers in Pulse epitomized that liberty, and what happened to them is part of a bigger story and a bigger struggle that affect all Americans.

But that doesn’t preclude an acknowledgment of their sexual orientations, and it doesn’t excuse any reluctance to discuss that.

Roman Catholic leaders, too, shied away. Statements by the bishop of Orlando and by the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said nothing about a gay nightclub or gays.

Such omissions so troubled the Rev. James Martin, a best-selling Jesuit author, that he posted a video commentary about them on Facebook on Monday afternoon. Twenty-four hours later, it had been viewed about 700,000 times.

“If the murders had happened, God forbid, in a church of a particular Christian denomination, Catholic leaders would decry the murders and then naturally express their solidarity with members of that denomination,” he said in the video, adding that for the most part, “this was not done for the grieving L.G.B.T. community.”

He told me on Tuesday that there were exceptions, including Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., who wrote a blog post in which he conceded that religion, including Catholicism, “often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people,” and that this contempt can lead to violence. Lynch stressed that the Orlando victims “were all made in the image and likeness of God.”

“We teach that,” Lynch wrote. “We should believe that. We must stand for that.”

“We” includes leaders of both parties. If Ted Cruz can mourn Orlando as an attack on gay people — which, in fact, he did — then every other Republican can, too.

This is one of those moments, in the wake of terror, when we find the most apt and evocative ways to underscore our oneness and renounce our fear. When we make grand gestures. When we make pointed ones.

So Majority Leader McConnell, pick your rally. Speaker Ryan, accompany him. Governor Scott, attend the funerals of gay victims. Other Republicans and Democrats, recognize L.G.B.T. Americans with both your words and your presence at gay pride celebrations.

You want to show our enemies what America stands for? Then stand with us.

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

A 4 Point Speeding Ticket Reduced to Not Guilty and 0 Points

Speeding tickets are fairly common in New York and range in cost as well as license points depending on how fast you were going over the speed limit. Our client received a 4 point speeding ticket because they were driving 19 MPH over 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 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

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.

Self Driving Big Rigs Might be the Future of Commercial Driving

As technology continues to advance rapidly so has the production and creation of driver-less trucks and cars. Engineers say that first type of driver-less vehicle to be commercially viable will be big-rig trucks. These self-driving trucks will allow truck drivers to rest while the truck itself continues the journey, saving time and money and maybe even decreasing the number of accidents involving trucks. As this new technology progresses the truck driving industry worries about job loss and small towns that thrive off of it. With advancement comes change, and we are going to see this change within the next few years with the introduction of driver-less vehicles onto commercial roads.

What are your thoughts on these new driver-less trucks?

Read the rest of the article below:

SAN FRANCISCO — Imagine you are driving on a highway late at night when a big-rig truck closes in behind you. You relax because it is keeping a safe distance and seems to be obeying the speed limit. Now imagine that truck is driving itself.

Despite Silicon Valley’s enthusiasm for self-driving cars, it could be years before there are many of them on the road. But autonomous 18-wheelers? One start-up is betting that is a different matter.

Otto, led by 15 former Google engineers, including major figures from the search company’s self-driving car and maps projects, is aiming at the long-haul freeway driving that is the bread and butter of the commercial trucking industry.

The engineers think that automating trucks rather than passenger vehicles could be more palatable financially and to regulators. Nationally, trucks drive 5.6 percent of all vehicle miles and are responsible for 9.5 percent of highway fatalities, according to Department of Transportation data.

Adding self-driving technology — at least as it stands now — into regular passenger cars could make them absurdly expensive for anyone without the cash of a Silicon Valley mogul. Until recently, the laser sensor used on the Google car project cost $75,000.

Those costs are coming down, but it will be some time before they have a realistic price for consumers. But a new, big tractor-trailer truck can easily cost more than $150,000, so the added cost of robotic features could make more sense.

In addition, it could make trucking more efficient, allowing, for example, a human driver to rest in the sleeper cabin while the truck takes the wheel.

Still, automating commercial driving is controversial and — potentially — a job killer.

There are more than three million truck drivers in the United States, according to the American Trucking Associations, and about one in every 15 workers in the country is employed in the trucking business.

There is concern that if commercial trucking is completely automated, it would be economically devastating for small towns in America that thrive from supporting the long-haul trucking industry.

“The removal of truckers from freeways will have an effect on today’s towns similar to the effects the freeways themselves had on towns decades ago that had sprung up around bypassed stretches of early highways,” wrote Scott Santens, an independent researcher, in a blog post last year.

Autonomous vehicles have in recent years become one of the tech industry’s favorite projects. Uber sees them as a way to stop dealing with its pesky drivers. Tesla, along with other car manufacturers, sees autonomous technology as an important safety feature to help human drivers.

Even Apple is thought to be working on some sort of self-driving car tech.

Google, in particular, has aggressively advocated and developed autonomous vehicle tech, and its self-driving cars are regularly seen on Bay Area roads. The company also announced a deal earlier this month with Fiat Chrysler to install its technology in a fleet of minivans.

Since the Google car and map veterans, Anthony Levandowski and Lior Ron, founded Otto in January, the company has expanded to 41 employees and has been test-driving three Volvo trucks, logging in more than 10,000 miles.

Over the weekend, Otto tested a self-driving truck in Nevada.

Mr. Levandowski achieved some celebrity in 2004 while he was an industrial engineering graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. He designed a self-driving motorcycle, stabilized by a gyroscope, that was entered in the Pentagon’s first autonomous vehicle contest. Later, his start-up, 510 Systems, was acquired by Google when it began its self-driving car project.

He said that he had decided to leave Google because he was eager to commercialize a self-driving vehicle as quickly as possible.

“Google is very focused on doing what they’re doing and I felt that it was time to see something come to market and I really liked the idea of bringing trucks to market,” he said.

Mr. Ron, Otto’s co-founder, is also a veteran Google software engineer. With a background in Israeli Army intelligence, he was originally the lead engineer for Google Maps.

He also worked in the company’s Motorola mobile phone business for three years and then in its secretive robotics research effort.

But start-up life isn’t like working for Google on its bucolic Silicon Valley campus.

Otto has set up shop in a rickety auto garage, close to a freeway entrance in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood. But the new office has enough space to house the firm’s three new Volvo trucks, which have been equipped with cameras, radars, and spinning laser sensors known as Lidar.

It is basically the same sensor array used on prototype vehicles being developed by Google, Nissan, Baidu and others. But Mr. Levandowski said that costly commercial trucks gave his designers more freedom to add high-quality sensors.

Otto will offer its technology as an upgrade that a long-haul truck owner could purchase, or perhaps as a service a trucking operator could subscribe to.

“Initially there will be certain roads that we know we can drive more safely,” Mr. Levandowski said. “On those roads we’ll tell the driver, ‘You’re welcome to go take your nap or your break right now.’ If that’s 500 miles, that’s 10 hours, so he gets his full rest.”

The co-founders declined to reveal how much has been invested in the new company so far. They also would say only that they intend to “demonstrate commercial viability soon.”

Even as their technology progresses, Otto still faces a regulatory maze and plenty of competition.

A Silicon Valley start-up called Peloton is focusing on truck convoys for fuel efficiency. Last year, Daimler Trucks North America demonstrated a selfdriving truck in Nevada. Volvo and other truck manufacturers have alsoheld autonomous freeway driving demonstrations in Europe.

California motor vehicle regulations prohibit Otto’s vision of a truck traveling on the freeway with only a sleeping driver in the cab, for example. But many states would permit that technical advance.

“Right now, if you want to drive across Texas with nobody at the wheel, you’re 100 percent legal,” said Mr. Levandowski, who as a Google engineer, helped write draft legislation that permitted self-driving vehicles, which later became law in Nevada.

The company is initially aiming for the owner-operators market — truck drivers who own their own rigs and would be able to increase their productivity by sleeping during long-haul trips and dispensing with the need for a second driver.

“It will take a very long time to transition three million people,” Mr. Levandowski said, referring to the number of truck drivers in the United States. “However, it’s also the nature of progress. There used to be elevator operators in New York City and there are not anymore.”

 

That Selfie Can Wait! Don't Get Distracted on Prom Night

Distracted Driving during Prom Season is on the rise. We live in the age of the selfie, live video documentation and the constant fear of exclusion. And of course teens are on these social media apps even more on prom night. There’s nothing wrong with showing how much of a good time you’re having and showing off your ensembles. But there is an issue with doing it while driving! This becomes an even bigger problem if there is alcohol involved. According to research conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory and the Institute of Advanced Motorist the reaction time of a driver is slowed by 38% while using their smartphone, as opposed to the 12% of someone who has been drinking. When you’re distracted by your phone you could be looking away from the road for long periods of time and not even realize it. Sending a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, taking a selfie or creating a video takes even longer.

If your child is driving with their date or friends to prom or after prom activities make sure you talk to them about safe driving. Prom is no excuse to be on the phone while behind the wheel; if there is an absolute need to talk on the phone then pull over or give the passenger the phone to talk. And no matter how much fun they’re having singing along to music or how great they look there no need to Snapchat while driving or take pictures for Instagram. In 60 % of crashes nationwide, teen drivers were either chatting or looking at passengers in their vehicles or talking or texting on a cell phone seconds before collisions occurred, according to the study that analyzed five years’ worth of in-vehicle video data from nearly 1,700 crashes involving 16- to 19-year-olds. This is really a disturbing fact to read about but catastrophic if it happens to your family. Let this serve as reminder that looking down at a phone for even a second can be deadly.

According to the Pew Research Center 1 in 3 teens say they have texted while driving. A new study from AT&T, polling more than 2,000 people who use smartphones and drive at least once a day, shows nearly 4-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net, while a surprisingly 1-in-10 take it even further and video chat. Snapchat and Instagram are the main networks being used while driving. One of the reasons teen are on their phones 24/7 is because of the fear of exclusion. They’re always afraid they’ll miss some big social media moment or “the perfect opportunity to post”.

New York has a very strict law concerning cell phones and portable electronic devices – a conviction for a cell phone ticket can lead to heavy fines and a penalty of 5 points, the same as passing a stopped school bus or reckless driving. And if coupled with a DWI/DUI the ramifications could be even worse and lead to a license suspension. There are also potential increases in Insurance premiums following a conviction.

If your teen has received a summons for distracted driving in New York, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 or michaelblock.law@gmail.com . This type of summons should be handled right away and as an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer, I can fight for you.

Cops on Long Island Give Out Hundreds of Summonses in April

Suffolk County had a distracted driver initiative last month and issued almost 1,000 citations for various distracted driving infractions.

Read the article below:

You know who you are: Drivers who got busted last month in Suffolk County for texting or cellphone chatting, instead of paying full attention to the road.

As part of a monthlong distracted driver initiative, held in conjunction with state and local police, county police officers issued more than 930 citations in April for distracted driving — a 117 percent increase over the same time last year, according to Suffolk County police.

Correspondingly, county police responded to 11.75 percent fewer crashes — 3,320 of them — than in April 2015, police said in a news release issued Thursday.

During the crackdown, State Police on Long Island issued 810 citations, with 470 of them tickets for cellphone use, 314 of them for texting, and 26 for move-over law infractions, the release said.

There’s a “strong correlation” between such distracted driving violations and the number of motor vehicle crashes, police said.

Funding for the initiative, which was statewide, came from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

DWI and Prom Night- Don't Let it Be Your Child

Prom night should always be thought of and remembered as a great night in a teen’s life. Most of us can reminisce about our prom night; what we wore, who accompanied us and what music was played.  And as a parent we want the same for our children. No parent should be thinking about their child receiving a summons, being involved in a car accident or being arrested. Alcohol is involved in almost 1/3 of teenage car accident fatalities on prom night.

Traditionally most teens (or their parents) shell out money to rent a limo or have some sort of chauffeur, but now-a-days most kids rent a luxury car and drive themselves. Nothing is wrong with that, but because of this new prom norm, more attention needs to be paid to teen drinking and driving.  Teens face a lot of peer pressure when it comes to drinking. They should always know that there are alternatives to getting behind the wheel or in the car with someone who has been drinking. If they do decide to break the law and drink and drive there are serious consequences. The penalties of drinking and driving may include the loss of driving privileges, a criminal record and a fine. The penalty fine for a DWI is a minimum of $500.

90% of teens believe their peers are more likely to drink and drive on prom night.Teens already expect that there will be drinking and driving. It is the responsibility of parents to have honest talks with them about the dangers and present alternatives to them.  Let your teen know that if something goes wrong or their ride has begun to drink that you will be able to pick them up or arrange to bring them home. Make sure they are aware of Uber, Lyft and local car services. Too many teens lose their lives each year to underage drinking. Every year 5,000 people under age 21 die in alcohol related crashes

If you or someone you know received a DWI/DUI then please contact an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Attorney immediately! A new driver should not be receiving points on their license. Contact me at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail  to fight a DWI or any other traffic violations.

.

Uber is attempting to make your Commute Easier with $5 Carpools

Uber is editing their carpooling system. They are offering $5 rates during a pilot program for using UberPOOL, but there are a few catches.

Check out the full article below:

Uber will now offer flat $5 carpool rides in Manhattan during peak hours, but there are plenty of catches.

Commuters must be picked up and dropped off in Manhattan below 110th Street and they’re going to have to walk to get to their driver. The deal is part of a new pilot program that will reshape UberPOOL service to more closely resemble that of a local bus: instead of heading to a customer’s specific location, UberPOOL drivers will be picking up and dropping off customers along corners of their route.

The e-hailing app hopes that this will help streamline UberPOOL routes to provide cheaper and more efficient peak service, according to a blog post the company published on Sunday. It’s the first time the company is implementing the concept.

“By making it easier and more affordable to carpool, we’re working toward our goal of getting more people into fewer cars,” read the blog. “Corner pickups and drop-offs make driving routes more direct, so you’ll save time and arrive at your destination faster.”

The service will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. To take advantage of the deal, commuters need to download latest version of the Uber app. Select “POOL” and Uber will direct commuters to the nearest corner to be picked up. Riders will be dropped off at a corner near their destination.

Uber did not specify an end date for the pilot.

Photo: AMNY

  1. Pingback

This Social Media App Could Kill Your Kids

Technology is constantly evolving and new forms of social media are being created every day. Snapchat is the newest and most popular social network; just about everyone has it on their phone or knows someone who actively uses it. It’s a combination of a video and photo app complete with the ability to add and write captions, filters and even a speedometer filter. Users, who are largely made up of teens are living in the super connected age; they never want to miss a thing, so they’re always logged on. This means snapping while in school, out with friends and even in the car. The biggest problem with this app is that users are “snapping” while behind the wheel.

According to Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students against Destructive Driving (SADD) a survey that was taken of 11th and 12th graders across the country proved that teens are using snapchat more than any other form of social media when driving. Out of all other possible digital distractions, Snapchat ranked highest at 38%. There are an alarming number of car accidents and fatalities being caused by users that were snapping while driving. The speedometer filter is also a major factor in users snapping while driving. There have been reports of teens in car accidents who were snapping while their speeds were maxing over 100 MPH.

snap and drive

It’s important that parents have conversations about distracted driving and the consequences of using Snapchat and other social media apps while driving.  With Snapchat’s growing popularity and constant updates making it even more enticing to use whenever and where ever; teens need to know that it’s okay to put the phone down. In New York, lawmakers are pushing for Text and Driving/Distracted Driving tickets to be treated like DWIs. A conviction may result in license suspension. Snapchat’s core users are under the age of 24 and new drivers cannot afford a five point ticket (Improper use of Portable Electronic Device).

Make sure you speak to your children about their phone usage while behind the wheel. Remind them that it is against the law, can cost them (or you the parent) money, points on their record or even worse, their life. If you or someone in your family has received a summons for using an electronic device while driving, please do not hesitate to contact me. Young drivers should not have any infractions on their records, and as an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Attorney I can fight for them. Contact me at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

 

Photo: NY Times 

5 Point Cell Phone Ticket in Yonkers Reduced to 0 Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Reckless Driving or Dangerous Driving in New York City- What it Means To You

Examples of Reckless Driving are swerving out of your lane because you’re using your legs to steer, bobbing and weaving through traffic and in an extreme case, doing car stunts. Reckless Driving accounts for 40% of people killed in car crashes in New York City. Whenever you drive in an unsafe manor that puts you or any other motorist in danger it can be considered Reckless or Dangerous Driving. It’s very easy to be stopped for reckless driving in New York City. How often do we see motorists get impatient because someone else is driving too slowly? They whip around them or quickly jump into another lane, cutting someone else off. As a New York Traffic Ticket Attorney, I’ve represented motorists on many of these summonses.

VTL 1212 defines Reckless Driving as driving or using any motor vehicle, motorcycle or any other vehicle propelled by any other power other than muscular power or any appliance or accessory thereof in a manner which unreasonably endangers users of the public highway. Reckless driving is prohibited.  A conviction for Reckless Driving in New York is a misdemeanor. Fines can reach $300. You also will receive 5 points on your driving record.

It is within the Police Officer’s discretion whether to issue a summons for Reckless Driving or Dangerous Driving.  

The officer will issue a yellow summons for Dangerous Driving and the hearing will be at an NYC Traffic Violations Bureau. A conviction carries two (2) points and a minimum fine of $138. Traffic Violations Bureau will hear these cases.

If you receive a Reckless Driving summons, the officer will issue a pink ticket. The summons is returnable to New York City Summons Parts. They are located at 346 Broadway (NYC), 120 Schermerhorn Street (Brooklyn), 125-01 Queens Blvd (Queens), 215 East 161st Street (Bronx) and 26 Central Ave (Staten Island).

In New York, Reckless driving is a misdemeanor and this offense will go on your record. There also could be possible jail time; 30 days for the first offense, 90 days for the second and 130 for a third offense.

Since Dangerous and Reckless Driving appear to be the same violation, the ticket you receive is really dependent on the police officer and the situation. It’s important to obey all traffic rules whenever you’re behind the wheel. If you have received a summons for Reckless or Dangerous Driving it’s imperative that you retain an experienced New York Traffic Ticket Attorney. These are serious violations and should be handled immediately.  You can contact me by phone at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

Looking for a Career Change? Try the Commercial Automotive Industry

I’ve had the privilege to know and do business with Roman Gold for over 10 years.  He owns a successful CDL Driving school in Brooklyn and Spring Valley, New York. If you or someone you know is interested in a Commercial Driver occupation I strongly recommend going to CDL Auto Club, Inc. Roman and CDL Auto Club, Inc. have been a great resource to my clients over the years , so I asked him to share a little bit about his school, CDL Auto Club, Inc.

New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Tell us a little bit about CDL Auto Club, Inc.

Roman Gold: At the CDL Auto Club Inc. we offer convenient automotive training to fit your needs. In business since 1991 we have helped thousands of people pass their road test. At the CDL Auto Club Inc. we specialize in driving lessons and refresher courses, commercial driving license (CDL) training, 5 hour pre-licensing classes and own a variety of vehicles to help you pass your road test. When you learn how to drive with us, we will provide the same vehicle you were trained on to take your road test, especially if you on trained on a tractor trailer or a bus.

New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Why is making a career switch to being a Commercial Vehicle Operator a good idea?

Roman Gold: The commercial driver occupation represents a good employment opportunity. The Job Growth Forecasts indicate that there will be readily available jobs for drivers for the foreseeable future. Entry-level drivers enjoyed starting compensation levels around $35,000 per year. Many transportation companies offer benefits such as insurance, retirement plans, paid vacations and safety bonuses. Drivers that are successful as employees can become owner-operators and own their own businesses, which is how many of today’s large trucking companies began. Everyone has heard of outsourcing, where jobs are shipped overseas. That simply cannot be done with Commercial drivers.

New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Why should someone who is interested in obtaining their CDL license choose CDL Auto Club, Inc.?

Roman Gold: Delivering your success is the foundation of our service. When selecting a driving school, you need to have confidence that your instructor is always doing what’s right for you…and not what may be convenient for them. All of our instructors work for the CDL Auto Club Inc. No services are outsourced. Your success is important to us. Most of our business comes from referrals from existing students. In a matter of weeks, you can be trained and placed in a new career as a professional Commercial Vehicle Operator, placing you on the fastest road to success in the new economy.

New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Does CDL Auto Club, Inc. offer any other services?

Roman Gold: We also offer 6 hour defensive driving courses for anyone who would like to reduce up to four (4) active points on their driver’s license. This course can be useful in removing points received within the last 18 months.

New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: That would be very helpful for my clients who have received summonses that carried points.

New York Traffic Ticket Attorney: Where can interested students take classes and how can they get in contact with you?

Roman Gold: There are two locations to choose from 2749 Stillwell Avenue 2nd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11224, or 16 N Main St, Spring Valley, NY 10977.  Please visit http://www.driverseducationbrooklyn.com/ for more information or call 718-266- 2555 with any questions.

 

 

 

Don’t Get Stuck In The Middle, How To Avoid Spillback in New York City

Gridlock is major part of New York City traffic. There are thousands of cars on the streets and sometimes when attempting to make it through an intersection a car gets stuck in the middle. In smaller cities getting stuck in the middle of an intersection isn’t that big of a deal, because there are fewer cars on the road. In Manhattan Spillback or “blocking the box” can cause major gridlock. It also can cost you a fine & two points on your license.

If you see a sign like the one posted in the picture above, please make sure you do not enter the intersection unless you are sure that you will make it completely across. So far this year through the month of March, New York City Police have issued 949 summonses for Spillback with in the five boroughs. Last month in March alone, there were 295 summonses issued. As a New York City Traffic Ticket Attorney I often represent clients for this summons.

Spillback or Blocking the Box is defined by VTL 1175 as when vehicular traffic is stopped on the opposite side of an intersection, no person shall drive a vehicle into such intersection. Except, when making a turn unless there is adequate space on the opposite side of the intersection to accommodate the vehicle he/and or she is driving, notwithstanding the indication of a traffic control signal which would permit him to proceed. The penalty for Spillback in New York is a minimum fine of $138. If you receive a summons you will also receive two (2) points on your license.

If you are driving in Manhattan and you have a green light, but there are cars stopped in front of you on the other side of the intersection, that should be a warning sign to slow down. If there are cars stopped on the other side of the intersection but the rear end of the last car is still in “the box” that is a clear sign to stop! Traffic lights typically are not that long, so there’s always a chance that the light will change while you approaching or driving through it.

Many of us are always in a rush, but if you want to avoid getting a summons, slow down when crossing a crowded intersection. If you have recently received a summons for Spillback let an experienced New York City Traffic Ticket Attorney fight for you. Contact my office immediately at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

New York Attempts To Crack Down on Texting and Driving With The Textalyzer

Texting and driving is a growing issue, especially among young drivers. In an effort to catch drivers who were pulled over or in an accident due to texting New York Lawmakers are pushing for a Textalyzer. This device would be able to confirm if the driver was texting prior to the accident.

Read more on the Textalyzer below:

Over the last seven years, most states have banned texting by drivers, and public service campaigns have tried an array of tactics — “It can wait,” among them — to persuade people to put down their phones when they are behind the wheel.

Yet the problem, by just about any measure, appears to be getting worse. Americans confess in surveys that they are still texting while driving, as well as using Facebook and Snapchat and taking selfies. Road fatalities, which had fallen for years, are now rising sharply, up roughly 8 percent in 2015 over the previous year, according to preliminary estimates.

That is partly because people are driving more, but Mark Rosekind, the chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said distracted driving was “only increasing, unfortunately.”

“Radical change requires radical ideas,” he said in a speech last month, referring broadly to the need to improve road safety.

So to try to change a distinctly modern behavior, legislators and public health experts are reaching back to an old strategy: They want to treat distracted driving like drunken driving.

Harvard’s School of Public Health, for example, is developing a new push based on the effective designated driver campaign it orchestrated in the United States beginning in the late 1980s. Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, has helped found a new group this year,Partnership for Distraction-Free Driving, which is circulating a petition to pressure social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to discourage multitasking by drivers, in the same way that Ms. Lightner pushed beer and liquor companies to discourage drunken driving.

The most provocative idea, from lawmakers in New York, is to give police officers a new device that is the digital equivalent of the Breathalyzer — a roadside test called the Textalyzer.

It would work like this: An officer arriving at the scene of a crash could ask for the phones of any drivers involved and use the Textalyzer to tap into the operating system to check for recent activity.

The technology could determine whether a driver had used the phone to text, email or do anything else that is forbidden under New York’s hands-free driving laws, which prohibit drivers from holding phones to their ear. Failure to hand over a phone could lead to the suspension of a driver’s license, similar to the consequences for refusing a Breathalyzer.

The proposed legislation faces hurdles to becoming a law, including privacy concerns. But Félix W. Ortiz, a Democratic assemblyman who was a sponsor of the bipartisan Textalyzer bill, said it would not give the police access to the contents of any emails or texts. It would simply give them a way to catch multitasking drivers, he said.

“We need something on the books where people’s behavior can change,” said Mr. Ortiz, who pushed for the state’s 2001 ban on hand-held devices by drivers. If the Textalyzer bill becomes law, he said, “people are going to be more afraid to put their hands on the cellphone.”

If it were to pass in New York, the first state to propose such an idea, it could well spread in the same way that the hands-free rules did after New York adopted them.

Ms. Lightner said the intensifying efforts around distracted driving “are the equivalent of the early ’80s” in drunken driving, when pressure led to tougher laws and campaigns emphasizing corporate responsibility.

Distracted driving “is not being treated as seriously as drunk driving, and it needs to be,” she said.

“It’s dangerous, devastating, crippling, and it’s a killer, and still socially acceptable,” she added.

The safety administration plans to release the final fatality numbers as early as Thursday but previously announced that the numbers appeared to be up sharply.

Jay Winsten, an associate dean and the director of the Center for Health Communication at Harvard’s School of Public Health, said, “We’re losing the battle against distracted driving.”

Dr. Winsten is developing a distracted-driving campaign based on designated-driver efforts that were ultimately backed by major television networks and promoted by presidents, sports leagues and corporations.

He said the new campaign would urge drivers to be more attentive, rather than scold them for multitasking, and would encourage parents to set a better example for their children.

The campaign, though still in development, has already garnered support from YouTube, which has agreed to recruit stars on the website to create original content involving the message. Dr. Winsten said he had also been in talks with AT&T, Nascar, a major automaker and potential Hollywood partners.

Dr. Winsten said the new campaign could be a kind of carrot to encourage better behavior by drivers, but he added that a stick was also needed.

While the Textalyzer raises potential privacy concerns, it might help enforce texting bans that have so far proved ineffective, he said.

“Right now, we have a reed, not a stick,” Dr. Winsten said, adding that the Textalyzer would “make enforcement that much more credible.”

Now, the police can obtain a warrant for cellphone records, but the process takes time and resources, limiting the likelihood of investigation, Mr. Ortiz said. But those protections are there for good reason, according to privacy advocates, who oppose the New York bill.

“It really invites police to seize phones without justification or warrant,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

A unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that the police could not search a cellphone without a warrant, even after an arrest, suggesting an uphill fight on the New York legislation.

But the bill’s authors say they have based the Textalyzer concept on the same “implied consent” legal theory that allows the police to use the Breathalyzer: When drivers obtain a license, they are consenting in advance to a Breathalyzer, or else they will risk the suspension of their license.

Matt Slater, the chief of staff for State Senator Terrence Murphy of New York, a Republican and a sponsor of the bill, said the constitutional concerns could and should be solved. “It’s monumental if we can get this done,” he said.

Mr. Slater said he hoped it could happen this session, which ends in June, but, he added, it may take several tries and may require broader public support.

“We’re facing the same hurdles we faced with drunk driving,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure safety and civil liberties are equally protected.”

Fourteen states prohibit the use of hand-held devices by drivers, and 46 ban texting, with penalties ranging from a $25 fine in South Carolina to $200 fines elsewhere, and even points assessed against the driver’s license.

A handful of states have strengthened their original bans, including New York, which in 2014 adopted tougher sanctions that include a 120-day suspension of a permit or a license suspension for drivers under 21, while a second offense calls for a full-year suspension.

Deborah Hersman, the president of the nonprofit National Safety Council and a former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said she liked the Textalyzer idea because it would give the police an important tool and would help gather statistics on the number of crashes caused by distraction.

She said the Textalyzer-Breathalyzer comparison was apt because looking at and using a phone can be as dangerous as driving drunk.

“Why are we making a distinction between a substance you consume and one that consumes you?” Ms. Hersman said.

The Textalyzer legislation has been called Evan’s Law for Evan Lieberman, who was asleep in the back of a car on June 16, 2011, when the vehicle, driven by a friend, lost control.

Mr. Lieberman, 19, died from his injuries, and his father, Ben Lieberman, spent months trying to gain access to phone records, which ultimately showed that the driver had been texting.

Ben Lieberman became an advocate for driving safety, and in December, looking to develop the Textalyzer concept, he approached the mobile forensics company Cellebrite, which was involved in helping the government find a way into a locked iPhone, and which works with police departments around the country.

Jim Grady, the chief executive of Cellebrite U.S.A., said that the Textalyzer software had not been fully built because it was not clear what a final law might require, but that it would not be too technologically challenging.

“I hope it will have the same effect as the Breathalyzer,” he said.

Gov. Cuomo Announces "No Empty Chair" Safe-Driving Initiative for Teens

Governor Cuomo announces the “No Empty Chair” Initiative for teens during prom and graduation season. These are milestones to be celebrated in every high school students’ life but it’s important that they arrive alive!

Check out the full article below:

A weeklong safe-driving initiative aimed at teenagers during their prom and graduation season gets under way Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office said.

The “No Empty Chair” teen driving safety education and enforcement campaign launches Monday with law enforcement statewide focusing on drivers who speed in school zones.

Each day this week law enforcement will target specific infractions, while also enforcing all other vehicle and traffic laws, according to a news release from Cuomo’s office.

The target days are as follows:

** Monday: Speeding in school zones.

** Tuesday: Seat belts and child restraints.

** Wednesday: Cellphone use and texting.

** Thursday: Operation Safe Stop, which promotes school bus safety.

** Friday: Underage drinking and impaired driving.

The idea is to raise awareness of highway dangers during prom and graduation season by combining the efforts of state and local law enforcement with those of school administrators, local traffic safety partners, and other community stakeholders, officials said.

Raising awareness means saving lives and helps to ensure there are no empty chairs at prom and graduation this season, officials said.

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee started the initiative on Friday, at West Genesee High School in Camillus with several speakers and a mother who lost her teenage son in a crash.

“Nearly every year, communities across New York state experience the tragic deaths of high school students in traffic crashes,” Department of Motor Vehicles executive deputy commissioner Terri Egan said in a statement. “We want to eliminate crashes, especially during prom and graduation season, and make sure every teen is in their seat on graduation day.”

Egan said a part of the initiative’s goal is to keep police officers from making “that dreaded knock on the door to parents waiting for their teens to return home.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.

The Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research said between 2012 and 2014 11 percent to 13 percent of all motor-vehicle fatalities in New York occurred in crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 20.

Drivers ages 16 and 17 involved in fatal and personal injury crashes in New York were more likely to be driving with passengers than drivers in all other fatal and personal injury crashes — 43 percent versus 29 percent in 2014.

Photo: Getty Images

Are You Stopping in Hempstead, Long Island?

STOP! Slowing down to 5 miles per hour and rolling through an intersection and tapping the brakes does not constitute a complete stop. When you see a stop sign, by law you must come to a full and complete stop.

VTL 1172a states that except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. Or in the event that there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of the approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.

In the town of Hempstead, New York plenty of people are being pulled over for not completely stopping at Stop Signs. Don’t let this be you! Even when there are no cars present you still must adhere to the law because a pedestrian could be attempting to cross the street. I know when it seems like the coast is clear, it may seem like an okay idea to just breeze past a stop sign. But it only takes a few seconds to come to a complete stop and could save a life and save you money.  Hempstead is home to one of the most dangerous routes for pedestrians in the region.  Route 24, also known as Hempstead Turnpike is tied for most pedestrian deaths in 2012-2014. A way to reduce the number of killed and or injured pedestrians on Long Island is to be mindful and adhere to Stop Signs. It’s also important to stop at Stop Signs because they help regulate traffic flows. If there were no Stop Signs, then the roads would be a constant gridlock of traffic.

If you receive a summons for Failing to Stop at a Stop sign, you would be facing a fine. For first time offenders, you would be fined $150 and have to pay an $88 surcharge. You would also receive 3 points on your license and in rare circumstances; you could face up to 15 days in jail. Hearings are held at 16 Cooper Street in Hempstead, NY or in local Village Court.  We can represent you without you having to be present.

If you have received a summons for Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign in Hempstead or Nassau County contact your Hempstead Traffic Ticket Attorney  right away! You can call me at 212-227-9008 or email me at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

NY Traffic Lawyer Warns Brooklyn Drivers about an anticipated 11,500* more Failure to Yield to Pedestrians Tickets in Brooklyn, NY coming in 2016.

One of the most commonly cited violations related to pedestrian and driver encounters in Brooklyn, New York is the Failure to Yield to Pedestrian violation.  The failure to yield to pedestrian ticket is a 3 point violation. There have been 1,931 summons issued this year alone for Failing to Yield to A Pedestrian in Brooklyn.

You can receive a Failure to Yield Summons if you do any of the following:

  • If you do not yield to pedestrians walking in a crosswalk
  • If you pass another car that is already yielding to pedestrians, you can be ticketed.
  • If you do not give pedestrians the right of way at a traffic control device such as a Stop, Yield, or Traffic Light, even if you have the green light.

As a traffic court lawyer, I want you to be aware of these things.

In addition to Failing to Yield to Pedestrian being a major moving violation that results in a fine, it could also result in serious injury or death. Every year more than 15,000 pedestrians are injured by drivers in New York City.  The Right of Way Law which is part of Mayor Deblasio’s Vision Zero plan helps protect pedestrians on dangerous city streets. The law makes it a possible misdemeanor crime when a driver fails to yield and kills or injures a person walking in the crosswalk with the right of way. If a driver fails to yield but doesn’t cause an injury, the driver may be fined up to $188; if the driver causes physical injury or death, the driver may be fined up to $338 and in theory be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail, though this is highly unlikely for the first offense.

When driving, it’s important to recognize when a pedestrian is likely to cross.  When making a right turn, you may have the green light but the pedestrian is also prompted to walk by traffic control signs.

Generally, the Failure to Yield to Pedestrian ticket is given under the police officer’s discretion.  If a police officer feels that you are driving recklessly or putting the safety of pedestrians at risk, you may be given a summons. If you are given a summons you will be required to report to one of the five traffic violations courts in Brooklyn:  Traffic Violations Bureau Brooklyn North, Traffic Violations Bureau Brooklyn South, Kings County Supreme Court, Kings County Criminal Court and Red Hook Community Justice Center.

If you’ve received a Failure to Yield to Pedestrian ticket anywhere in Brooklyn, we can help you fight it. Email your Brooklyn Traffic Lawyer at michaelblock.law@gmail.com or call 212-227-9008 for free legal advice.

*numbers based on monthly average from first two months of 2016.

Car Crashes are the Leading Cause of Death for 4- year olds. Keep Them in Seatbelts

Did you know that every year about 33,000 people are killed in car crashes? One way to lower that number is to always wear a seat belt while driving or riding in a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) car crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 4 and every age 11 through 27 in the U.S. Wearing a seat belt should be second nature as soon as you get in a vehicle. It is the number one way to reduce risk of death.

In addition to seat belts saving lives, it’s the law. New York was the first state to pass a law requiring vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt in 1984. Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times in the state of New York.

Seat belts absorb the force of an impact in a traffic crash and reduces your risk of being killed or injured. It holds you securely to help prevent you from striking hard objects inside the vehicle while being tossed around . People have said that wearing a sea tbelt is uncomfortable or not necessary for going short distances, but imagine being seriously injured in an accident or killed. A few minutes of “discomfort” are worth it, if it means saving a life.

Every child under the age of 16 in a vehicle must wear a seat belt. If under age eight, he or she must be properly secured in a federally-approved child safety seat that is attached to a vehicle by a safety belt or universal child restraint anchorage system. The safety seat should never be in the front and should always be properly secured.  You also should have children under age three in a rear facing safety seat. There are four types of child safety seats that should be used:

  • Infant seats- for infants weighing approximately 22 pounds or less
  • Convertible child safety seats- for infants or toddlers that weigh approximately 40 pounds or less
  • Booster seats- for children who have out grown the other car seat options or are four to eight years old, weigh 40 to 80 pounds ad are less than 4 feet, 9 inches in height.

If you are pulled over for not wearing a seat belt or have passengers who aren’t buckled up you can be fined up to $138. Adult passengers can also receive tickets and be fined up to $138, that ticket has no points.  If the passenger is under 16 years of age then the driver will be held responsible and receive the ticket. The driver will be fined a minimum of $138 for passengers under 16 not wearing a seat belt. The tickets will carry three points. The officer can issue a summons for each individual not wearing a seat belt. I have had clients with 3 or 4 tickets from one stop. That means facing 9 -12 points. It is essential that everyone in the front and back seat are wearing their seat belts properly.  Keep in mind, anyone in the front seat is required to wear a seat belt, but any passengers over the age of 16 in the backseat aren’t required to be buckled up. But as an adult driver be sure to set the example for passengers who are children. Make sure they are wearing their seat belts the correct way and make sure they know you are always buckled up.

If you have recently received a ticket in New York for not wearing or improper use of a safety belt then please contact my office right away. As a New York Traffic Ticket Attorney, I can fight for you. You can call me at (212) 227-9008 or email me at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

 

Catch the Train of Many Colors to the Mets' Opening Day

On Friday, April 8, the vintage “Train of Many Colors,” consisting of 11 cars built between 1948 and 1964, will leave 34th Street-Hudson Yards at 11:30 a.m. and make express stops to Flushing-Main Street for the Mets home opener at 1:30 p.m. against the Philadelphia Phillies. The varying colors on those cars mark different eras in subway history.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said riders to all Yankees game should use the Yankee Stadium station, which serves the B, D and 4 lines, which is right in front of the stadium at the corner of 161st Street and River Avenue.

The subway’s Mets-Willets Point station, served by the 7 train, is in front of Citi Field on Roosevelt Avenue near 126th Street.

After weeknight and weekend games, New York City Transit provides special super-express 7 trains timed to depart after the last out.

After leaving the game, these trains make only six stops — 61st Street-Woodside, Queensboro Plaza, Court Square, 42nd Street-Grand Central, 5th Avenue-Bryant Park, and Times Square-42nd Street

The Long Island Rail Road provides direct service to the Mets-Willets Point station all season long via the Port Washington Branch, about 19 minutes from Penn Station. Citi Field is about 17 minutes from Great Neck and 27 minutes from Port Washington.

Fans traveling from Long Island on other branches can reach Citi Field by changing to Port Washington Branch trains at Woodside, about a five-minute ride from the stadium. Regularly scheduled Port Washington Branch trains will make stops at the Mets-Willets Point Station throughout the regular season for all games, and the LIRR will operate extra trains for each weekend game.

Check out the full article from NY Daily News

 

 

Get your Metro cards ready! Some NYC Streets to shut down on Earth Day.

On Earth day parts of Manhattan will be closed to vehicular traffic. This act is part of the #CarFreeNYC initiative and the goal is to reduce New York’s carbon footprint. It also will give New Yorkers the chance to take advantage of all the various forms of mass transportation available in the city.

Check out the AMNY article below for more information:

Parts of Manhattan will be shut down to car traffic on Earth Day to help lower New York’s carbon foot print and a city councilman wants the Big Apple drivers to ditch their rides to join in the effort.

Councilman Yndanis Rodriguez said the #carfreeNY initiative would go a long way for reducing New York’s carbon footprint and lowering the number road accidents.

Too many people are riding in cars by themselves instead of taking advantage of the various mass transits options available, according to the councilman who chairs the transportation committee.

“We have a responsibility to our environment, to our residents and to ourselves to have a frank conversation about the inefficiencies of car use,” he said at a news conference at NYU’s Kimmel Center Wednesday.

As part of the initiative, Broadway between the Flatiron Building and Union Square, Wadsworth Avenue from 173rd to 177th streets and the roads surrounding Washington Square Park will all be shut down April 22. Rodriguez hopes New York drivers will take up the pledge and find alternative ways of traveling, including carpooling, subways and buses.

He acknowledged that some communities, like southeast Queens, Staten Island and the Rockaways are “transit deserts” but said that the initiative will help highlight their plight and push the city to take more action.

“It clearly speaks to the need for investment in mass transit in these communities as imperative to social mobility, especially for the many New Yorkers who are unable to afford a car in this expensive city,” he said.

 

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

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

1. I was using my GPS

2. I was just checking the time

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

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

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

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

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

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

 7. I was stopped at a red light.

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

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

What you should know about the TLC Critical Driver's Program

If you are a cab or livery driver in New York City, then you are familiar with the TLC’s Critical Driver’s Program. The Critical Driver’s Program is a TLC program that charges additional penalties to a Driver who accumulates a certain number of Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) points on his or her state driver’s license within a certain amount of time due to traffic violations.

If a cab driver accumulates six or more points, but fewer than ten points within 15 months, the TLC will suspend their Taxicab license for 30 days. If a driver accumulates 10 or more points on their license in a 15-month period the TLC will revoke their Taxicab license. This is not to be confused with a DMV suspension.

Drivers are usually given the opportunity to have their points reduced by voluntarily taking ca Defensive Driving course. Before suspending or revoking a Driver’s taxicab license, the Commission will, for purposes of the Critical Driver’s Program deduct three points from the total points. But keep in mind, the point reduction will only count towards points accumulated by the licensee as a result of the conviction for violations that occurred within the 15 months prior to completing the course.

It’s important for all taxicab drivers to be aware of this program. While you may not be subjected to a DMV suspension or revocation, you could lose your job. If you find yourself in this situation you should seek counsel immediately. You can contact us via phone at 212-227-9008 or via email at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

  1. 101277 268552Aw, this was a really good post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and precise effort to make an superb write-up?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and undoubtedly not appear to get 1 thing done. 620849

  2. Pingback

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

If you are going out in New York to celebrate please be careful! Always take public transportation or any taxi and car service available.

DO NOT get behind the wheel.

Too many people lose their driving privileges or worse, kill or hurt themselves or others because they drove drunk.

Don’t forget to wear your green and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Watch Out Uber, Yellow Cabs May Be Making a Comeback!

Thanks to this mobile app, taxis and black cars may be back on top. Karhoo, a London based mobile app works like a search engine for taxis and black cars and plans to have 30,000 cars at launch. Karhoo is set to launch in New York City within the next six weeks.

Karhoo-Feature-Image1-e1451935298981

Check out the full article below:

Karhoo — a new mobile app that works like a search engine for taxis and black cars — says it will be bigger than Uber when it launches in the Big Apple next month.

The deep-pocketed startup has cut a deal to add 66,000 cabs across 60 US cities, casting itself as a high-tech savior for old-school cab companies that are pitted against Uber in a battle for survival.

London-based Karhoo said it aims to go live in New York within the next six weeks, when its users will instantly have access to 14,000 yellow and green taxis as well as 17,000 other licensed and regulated cars, according to the company.

Those numbers would dwarf the Gotham ranks of Uber cars, which last year numbered 16,000 by some estimates.

“We’ll have more than 30,000 cars out of the gate, and that puts us in a very strong position,” Karhoo founder and Chief Executive Daniel Ishag told The Post.

The fleet-by-fleet growth strategy — as opposed to Uber’s driver-by-driver approach — is poised to put 1 million cars on Karhoo’s platform worldwide by the end of 2016, Ishag says.

Other cities launching in the coming months include London, Singapore, Chicago and San Francisco.

In New York, the three-year deal with Verifone, a mobile transaction middleman, includes yellow cabs that have also gone live on the Way2ride and Curb mobile apps. Black car companies being added to Karhoo’s platform include Carmel, Dial 7, Elite and La Puma.

“I love the whole concept,” says Berj Haroutunian, CEO of Vital, which operates 300 black cars in the metro area. “It goes through us in central dispatch,” instead of directly to drivers like Uber does.

Karhoo’s search engine finds and ranks traditional taxis and car services according to real-time proximity, like Uber. Drawing on a wide variety of cab dispatchers, it can also sort by name and price, much like travel sites find and rank flights and hotels.

The app charges a commission of about 10 percent a ride, while Uber charges between 25 and 30 percent.

Karhoo has raised upwards of $250 million to fund its expansion, sources said. Ishag anticipates the total will reach $1 billion over the next 12 to 18 months.

Karhoo’s ambition to serve as a “universal platform” for the patchwork of legacy taxi companies could make the difference, says Matthew Daus, a former commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

“Uber never would have gotten any traction if all these cab companies were on the same platform,” Daus said.

An app promising immediate access to cars without surge pricing is a powerful idea, he added.

“If they do the advertising correctly and get the word out it’s going to be what Coke is to Pepsi,” he said.

  1. Pingback

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

City Seeks to Limit New For-Hire Cars

Last Tuesday, New York City officials introduced a proposal to limit the number of new for-hire vehicles like the ones employed by Uber. Uber had previously announced its goal to add 10,000 new drivers for the city by the end of this year. The new proposal, however, will limit the amount of drivers that companies like Uber can add to the streets. One reason behind the proposal is the assumption that the 25,000+ vehicles that Uber has already added to the streets of Manhattan since 2011 have caused a rise and worsening in the traffic congestion of the area. The proposal is backed by a study examining the affected traffic, noise, air quality, and public health of NYC. The study is currently undertaken by the Taxi and Limousine Commission which regulates the taxi and car service industry of New York City. Uber has opposed the proposal claiming that the legislation would “stifle innovation”.