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Tag Archives: New York

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

How Self-Driving Cars Can Aid The Elderly

Nearly 16 million adults over the age of 65 live in areas with poor access to public transportation. This has prompted many of our senior citizens to ask how will I go to my doctor’s appointments or even the grocery store? The elderly face the question of whether or not they can safely operate a motor vehicle from point A to Point B. Some of the senior citizens point to the self-driving car, which could greatly relinquish those driving fears.

If you receive a summons for a speeding violation, 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

Self-Driving Uber Crash

Although Uber, and many have demonstrated the capabilities of self-driving cars, a crash earlier this month has demonstrated the negatives of fully autonomous cars. The car accident took place in Tempe, Arizona, and the Tempe Police Department later proved that the Uber car was not at fault for the accident. However, Uber temporarily shut down its self-driving cars in San Francisco and Pittsburgh as a precautionary measure.

If you receive a summons for a speeding violation, 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

L Train Shutdown Intro

L Train Shutdown Info

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

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

 

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.

Brooklyn Man Charged with Killing his Friend in DWI crash

I can not stress this enough, please talk to your children about driving drunk. This crash happened very close to my home and I have children who are the same age as these young men involved. Males aged 18-26 are the most expensive to insure because they are the most dangerous drivers. We must make sure our kids know that if they’ve been drinking they need to have a designated driver, or take an Uber or a cab home. This is a travesty! Don’t let it happen you!

For the full article read below:

A Nassau jury on Thursday found a Brooklyn man who didn’t attend his own trial guilty of killing his friend in a high-speed, drunken-driving parkway crash on Thanksgiving in 2014.

Bilal Hassan, 24, now faces up to 25 years in prison for the wreck that prosecutors said happened after he drove while highly intoxicated and at 133 miles an hour.

The crash ended the life of Malih Takkouche, 24, of Brooklyn, as the friends headed home from a nightclub.

Authorities said the early-morning holiday wreck happened after Hassan sped past a state trooper’s car while driving with a revoked license and without an ignition interlock device he had been ordered to use after a previous drunken-driving conviction.

State troopers found Hassan’s crushed and burning Infiniti Q50 in a ravine near ramps for the Meadowbrook State Parkway and Southern State Parkway, with both occupants heavily entrapped.

“A 24-year-old man is not going back to his family, so there are no winners today, only justice,” prosecutor Michael Bushwack said of Takkouche, while reacting to Thursday’s verdict.

Takkouche had been studying nursing at Kingsborough Community College and was on the honor roll, an attorney for his family said.

Jurors found Hassan guilty of all counts against him, which included aggravated vehicular homicide and manslaughter charges.

Prosecutors had told jurors that tests had shown Hassan’s blood-alcohol content had been 0.16 percent, or twice the legal threshold for intoxication.

 They said Hassan lost control of the Infiniti while trying to exit the Meadowbrook before the car hit a big tree head-on.

Authorities also said Takkouche spent the last moments of his life bracing for a deadly impact — suffering injuries that included multiple arm fractures — as if he’d had his arms up in front of himself.

“They are very satisfied that he’s held accountable by this verdict, but of course no verdict can bring back their son, their brother,” said Gregory Grizopoulos, an attorney for Takkouche’s relatives, who he said are planning a lawsuit.

Before the verdict, defense attorney Christopher Devane told Nassau County Judge Philip Grella that his client, who was in a cell elsewhere in the courthouse, didn’t respond when he told him the jurors had made their minds up.

Officials have said Hassan, an inmate at Nassau’s jail, has publicly declared that he doesn’t recognize the court’s authority.

“This is one-way justice,” Hassan’s father said after the verdict, while adding that he was sorry for the victim’s death.

Devane said he would file an appeal and declined to further comment.

The judge set Hassan’s sentencing for Aug. 4.

Photo: Newsday

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.

 

 

 

 

Two People Die After a Crash on the LIE

Earlier this week two young people were killed on the Long Island Expressway in Old Westbury. They had just been involved in a car crash and were in the HOV lane where they were fatally struck.

Read below for the full article and for tips on how to stay safe if you ever in a similar situation:

Two people were killed and two others injured after the car they were traveling in crashed, then was struck by an SUV as it sat in the HOV lane of the Long Island Expressway during a teeming rainstorm Monday night in Old Westbury, police said.

The crash took place just minutes after the initial accident on the westbound expressway between exits 40 and 39, at about 11 p.m., said Nassau Det. Sgt. James Skopek, of the Nassau Homicide Squad, which investigates traffic fatalities.

Nassau police Tuesday would not identify the SUV driver, who they said was not going to be charged criminally. But law enforcement sources identified him as an off-duty NYPD highway patrol officer. When contacted by phone, he had no comment.

The car that was struck, a BMW, with four young people inside, had crashed into a guardrail, careened across the lanes of traffic, struck the median and came to a stop in the HOV lane, Skopek said.

The four people in the BMW then got out of the car, Skopek said, and then the SUV driver, in a 2016 GMC Yukon, struck the two victims who died and the BMW. The two other victims were hospitalized with minor injuries.

The Yukon driver, 33, had minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment, police said.

It was not immediately clear what role the weather might have played in the accidents. The investigation into the cause of both crashes is continuing.

But Skopek described the conditions as “terrible, terrible weather, the rain, limited lighting, very dark in that part of the expressway.”

Skopek said “some of the lights may have not been illuminated. Is that a regular thing or is the weather condition that caused that, I don’t know.”

He added: “It was bad last night. It was nasty.”

Skopek stressed there was no apparent criminality.

“We conferenced this with the district attorney’s office,” said Skopek. “There was a rep from the district attorney’s office there. There is no indication at this time that there was any criminality at all — nothing.”

The BMW driver, a 20-year-old man from Queens, was thrown over the median and was found in the far eastbound side of the expressway and pronounced dead at the scene, Skopek said.

An 18-year-old upstate woman, who was a BMW passenger, was transported to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, where police said she was pronounced dead.

The two surviving BMW passengers, an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, Skopek said. One is from Brooklyn and the other is from Queens, he said.

Police said the identities of the victims have been withheld pending notifications of next of kin. The vehicles were impounded for safety checks, police said.

“It’s a tragic, tragic accident for these two young people and our hearts go out to the families,” said Skopek, who asked any witness to the crashes to contact police.

The crash closed the eastbound lanes of the LIE until 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and the westbound lanes until 5:15 a.m.

Skopek advised anyone in an accident to stay inside their vehicle, to try to move to a safe place and put on their hazard lights.

With John Valenti and Anthony M. DeStefano

Safety tips

Here’s what to do if your vehicle becomes disabled in a high-traffic area:

-Turn on your vehicle’s hazard lights.

-If possible, safely move your vehicle off the road away from traffic.

-Stay inside your vehicle once it is off the road and make all passengers stay inside, too.    Keep doors locked.

-If you’re unable to get off the roadway, get out of the vehicle and stand in a safe place  about 60 feet away from the rear of it. That way the traffic sees you before they see your  car.

-Don a reflective vest, raise the vehicle’s hood, tie a white cloth to a door handle or use      reflective triangles or flares.

-Set triangles or flares up behind the disabled car to alert approaching motorists.

-New York’s “move over” law requires motorists to move away at least one lane from fire,    road repair and other emergency vehicles when safe.

-The stats: 67 pedestrians were killed on Interstates in New York from 2010 to 2015; about  one-third of those deaths can be attributed to vehicle breakdowns. The equivalent figure    for the nation is 2,449.

Source: AAA New York, New York State law

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.

Suffolk County Roads are Dangerous and Police are Issuing More Summonses for Speeding

Suffolk County has one of the most dangerous streets in downstate New York. And with recent deaths caused by speeding, Suffolk County Police have increased their presence and are issuing more summonses.  Summonses for speeding received in Islip, New York contain 3 to 11 points. In addition the fine, theirs is an $88 NYS surcharge and a $100 annual driver assessment fee.

Retaining an Islip Traffic Ticket Attorney to fight a speeding ticket can help reduce the number of points on your driving record or waive the charges altogether depending on your case. For example, if an officer says that a driver was speeding on Smith Ave or Raymond Street, an experienced Islip Traffic Ticket Attorney can defend you.

Be aware, the higher the speeding violation, the more points you will receive. An easy way to calculate how many points your ticket is worth is to subtract the speed you were going, from the actual speed limit. For example, if you are pulled over for going 60 mph in a 40mph zone, just subtract 60 from 40. That leaves you with 20, and puts you in the 4 point ticket category.

Violation Points
Driving 1-10 MPH over the speed limit 3 points
Driving 11-20 MPH over the speed limit 4 points
Driving 21-30 MPH over the speed limit 6 points
Driving 31-40 MPH over the speed limit 8 points
Driving over 40 MPH over speed limit 11 points

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

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

Nassau County Woman arrested for DWAI with Young Children in the Car

A Nassau County woman was arrested for DWAI/ Drugs;Driving While Ability Impaired by a Drug other than alcohol, with her children in the car. You never should NEVER drive while taking medicines that were prescribed to you. Prescription pills can impair your driving the same way that drinking and driving can. Pay attention to the caution labels on your pills!

Check out the full article below:

Nassau County police arrested a Long Island woman Monday for driving her two young children around while she was allegedly impaired on prescription drugs —  then crashing her car into another vehicle.

The incident happened around 1:40 p.m. in Merrick.

Kathryn Naccari, 37, was driving a 2013 Honda Accord southbound on Babylon Road and making a left turn onto Merrick Road  when she crashed into a 2010 GMC Arcade that was traveling east on Merrick Road, police said.

Naccari’s 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son were secured in car seats at the time of the accident, according to police.

The driver of the second vehicle, a 62-year-old woman, suffered back injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Naccari and her children were unharmed, and the kids were released to a family member at the scene.

Naccari was charged with DWAI drugs, two counts of aggravated DWI-with a child passenger less than 16 and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

She will be arraigned on Tuesday in First District Court in Hempstead.

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

Just Some Thoughts from a Traffic Ticket Attorney: NY Mets

Will the NY Mets end my personal drought of 30 championship-less years?

They look great “on paper” but that often doesn’t translate into success on the field. They should feature great young starting pitchers, an awesome closer and a good, but not great offense.

I don’t fear the Cubs or Nationals but I think the main threat will come from the Giants, Pirates and the always-present Cardinals.

Let’s Go Mets!

Speeding Man in Long Island had License Suspended 88 Times

If the first 88 times you don’t succeed…

Suffolk police busted a Pennsylvania man speeding through the Long Island Expressway on Sunday afternoon, after the driver was zooming at 86 mph.

When cops pulled over the speed demon, he gave the officers his Pennsylvania license, in an attempt to hide his litany of driving misdeeds, officers said.

Police learned that Eric Dunbar, 43, racked up 88 suspensions on his New York State license on 25 different occasions after trying to dodge traffic tickets, records showed.

Dunbar, of Tafton, Pa., amassed a series of license suspensions through multiple charges per ticket, Suffolk police told the Daily News.

He was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speeding and unlawfully having more than one unexpired driver’s license.

He is expected to be arraigned at the First District Court in Central Islip on Monday.

 

Article Originally Featured on the NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “Speed of Sound” By: Ana Paticia Almeida/Source: Flickr

 

Drunken Female Real Estate Agent Stole Yellow Cab in Manhattan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Originally Featured on the New York Post

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

A New York Woman Says Her Body is a Brewery, and Beats Drunk Driving Charges

A New York judge has dismissed a drunk driving charge against a woman who took steps to prove her body works as a brewery, using excess intestinal yeast to turn ordinary food into alcohol, resulting in breathalyzer readouts that generally would indicate life-threatening intoxication.

The excuse may sound bogus, but The Buffalo News reports elected Hamburg town Judge Walter Rooth found the woman’s claim compelling after she spent $7,000 working with a specialist to show her body sometimes meets the legal definition of drunkenness without actual alcohol intake.

“I would say it is not safe to drive a car if you are in an auto brewery syndrome flare,” Dr. Anup Kanodia of Ohio, an auto-brewery syndrome expert who monitored and tested the woman, told the News. “But it’s a brand new disease and we’re still trying to understand it.”

Kanodia told the paper, which did not name the woman, that he believes between 50 and 100 people have been diagnosed with the disorder, and that it’s likely upward of 95 percent of sufferers don’t know they have the condition.

Rooth dismissed the charges Dec. 9, but his decision has been slow to attract news coverage. The local prosecutor’s office plans to appeal Rooth’s decision, The News reports.

Spokespeople for the judge and the head of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office’s drunk driving division did not immediately return U.S. News requests for comment.

Flare-ups of Auto-Brewery Syndrome evidently are triggered in part by diets high in carbohydrates. Kanodia said he advised the woman to eat differently, alleviating her symptoms.

Though not widely known, the syndrome is beginning to attract media attention, with sufferers reporting bouts of goofiness after eating french fries and false accusations of alcoholism.

The BBC reported earlier this year that the condition may be connected to long-term antibiotic use and in at least two other cases appears to have been treated successfully with anti-fungal drugs and reduced consumption of carbohydrates and sugar.

The New York woman who shed — at least temporarily — her drunk driving charge is a 35-year-old teacher. Last year, she was arrested after a 911 tipster reported she was weaving. She reportedly was found driving on a flat tire with “glassy-bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.” She said she had three cocktails, but a breathalyzer found her blood alcohol content was .33 percent.

“Her tire was flat, and she felt she was close enough to home that she could drive the rest of the way,” the woman’s attorney, Joseph Marusak, told The News. “She can register a blood alcohol content that would have you or I falling down drunk, but she can function.”

Article Originally Featured on US News

Photo Credit: “Breath Test” by Oregon Department of Transportation/Source: Flickr

Uber May Expand to Upstate NY: Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse

Lawmakers returning to Albany for the usual debates over taxes and spending will also take on an issue even more basic to many New Yorkers — the options for getting home from the train station, the airport or a long night out on the town.

Uber is hoping lawmakers approve statewide regulations during the 2016 legislative session that will allow the app-based ride-hailing service to expand into upstate cities including Buffalo, Albany, Rochester and Syracuse.

The service is now legally permitted to operate only in the immediate New York City area. The company, whose smartphone-based service allows users to quickly order car service, has expanded rapidly throughout the country in recent years. Josh Mohrer, Uber’s New York general manager, said rules allowing Uber to operate have been passed in 27 states.

“People really want this, being able to push a button and get a ride,” he said. “Buffalo is now the largest American city by population that doesn’t have Uber. My goal is to go where we’re not.”

The company has assembled a large coalition of local mayors, drunken driving activists, state lawmakers and even clergy who support the expansion. Aside from a new transportation alternative, Uber promises to create thousands of flexible driving jobs throughout upstate.

But the taxi companies aren’t giving up without a fight. The industry warns that Uber’s expansion will threaten the jobs of dispatch operators and other back-room employees who aren’t necessary for Uber’s web-based business model. They’ve also questioned the effectiveness of background checks on Uber drivers and said the company’s vehicles are required to be accessible for the disabled.

Bill Yuhnke, president of Buffalo’s Liberty Yellow Cab, said Uber doesn’t want to abide by the same rules — taxes, fare regulations, insurance — that have long applied to the taxi industry. He noted his company has long offered an app that allows riders to order a car.

“It’s not a level playing field. If they played by the same rules I wouldn’t have any problem,” he said, noting that Uber sets its own fares while taxi fares are closely regulated. “You can’t be half pregnant. You’re either a taxi or not. We’ve been doing this for years. We have standards in place.”

Lawmakers are expected to consider various options that would allow Uber — and rival Lyft — to expand throughout the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in October that he is in favor of a statewide licensing system.

“You can’t do Uber city by city,” he said.

Syracuse-area resident Donna Keeping hopes to be one of Uber’s first upstate drivers. The 61-year-old already has a job at a hospital but said driving for Uber part-time could help her cover college tuition for her children. Uber drivers are responsible for maintaining their own vehicles but get to set their own hours, an idea that appeals to Keeping.

“I haven’t found the right scenario for work,” she said. “I’m social. I love to drive. I’m ready to roll as soon I can.”

New York City taxi driver Ayman Ahmed said Uber may be a good fit for people looking for part-time work, but not for full-time taxi drivers. Ahmed left the taxi business to drive for Uber for six weeks, only to find it a disappointment. He said it doesn’t pay as well as driving a cab.

“Uber hires anyone. It might work if you need a few hours. But this is the only job I have,” he said. “I have rent, kids, a wife.”

Article Originally Featured on NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)” By Mark Warner/Source: Flickr

NYC Traffic Ticket Lawyer | How to Avoid Traffic this Christmas

A record-breaking 100 million Americans are expected to travel over the four-day Christmas holiday period, and Christmas Eve will be the worst day to travel in New York City.

The lowest gas prices since 2009 and a stronger economy are fueling the surge of people traveling 50 miles or more during the holiday, according to AAA.

The worst day to drive in New York City over the holidays will be Thursday, according to data from the smartphone app Waze.

The company relies on crowdsourced information from drivers, and is used by 1.9 million motorists in New York City, as well as 50 million people nationally. It also shares information from the NYPD on road closures for major events.

On top of congestion on Christmas Eve, there is a 42% increase in car crashes, and an almost 30% boost in hazard reports in New York City compared with an average from the two weeks before the holidays and after, the company’s data shows.

Hazards locally include potholes, vehicles stopped on the road, construction, and objects on the road such as a tree branch or fallen sign.

Nationally, the worst day to travel during the week of Christmas is Wednesday, Waze says. Drivers typically hit the roads for holiday travel around 11 a.m. Congestion peaks that afternoon between 3 and 6 p.m. as more motorists leave work for holiday travel.

Sunday — the end of the holiday weekend — is also a nightmare on the roads, with a combination of heavy traffic congestion, traffic crashes, and other police alerts.

If drivers can take Monday off from work, it’s a much smoother day to drive home.

Flyers can also expect New York City metropolitan area airports to be mobbed. Between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1, almost 6 million passengers will fly through the JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports.

JFK will see 2.5 million flyers, and 1.6 million people will travel through LaGuardia. Another 1.7 million will fly to or from Newark.

Airfares are down 6%, an average of $174 a flight roundtrip compared with last year, according to AAA. Hotel and car rental prices are up, however.

More than 90% of Americans who take trips will drive, or more than 91 million people. AAA says they expect almost a million drivers will be stranded and call the association for help, due to flat tires, dead batteries, and motorists locked out of their cars.

Another 5.8 million people will fly, and 3.5 million travelers will take buses, trains, and cruises.

Article Originally Featured on AM New York

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

 

NY Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Crackdown on Drunk Driving Starts Today

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — State troopers and law enforcement across the state will be taking part in this year’s national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which begins Friday and runs through New Year’s Day.

Motorists will notice more patrols along highways and sobriety checkpoints during the campaign, state police said. Those are paid for by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.

Troopers will be using marked and unmarked vehicles to curb distracted driving, seat belt violations and people violating the Move Over Law.

“Traffic safety will be a top priority this holiday season,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said. “If you’re celebrating, please do so responsibly. Don’t drink and drive, and if you are drinking, designate a sober driver or plan ahead for a ride home.”

Last year troopers issued more than 49,000 tickets during the crackdown. That included 17,000 tickets for speeding, 1,700 for distracted driving and about 700 for Move Over Law violations.

State police said more than 700 people were arrested for DWI and 13 people were killed in car accidents.

The state police offered the following advice to motorists during the holidays:

–Plan a safe way home before the celebrating begins
–Before drinking, designate a sober driver
–If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation
–Use your community’s sober ride program
–If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact police
–If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements

Article Originally Featured on Syracuse.com

Photo Credit: “Breath Test” by Oregon Department of Transportation/Source: Flickr

NYC Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Cell phone use increases in drivers despite risk and law enforcement

Every year thousands of Americans die in accidents caused by distracted driving.

And while a new survey found that most people know texting and checking email behind the wheel is dangerous, a growing number do it anyway.

Steff Demaya engaged with a cellphone on the road, and now she is learning how to walk all over again.

“That’s where they cut it,” she said.

Her leg was injured and later amputated after she crashed her car. She admitted that she was distracted, and reaching for her ringing cell phone.

“I reached down to grab it on the floor board, just that quick,” she said.

Even though many drivers recognize how distracting cell phones can be behind the wheel, and support measures to crackdown on using them, new data shows that the problem is only getting worse.

“If you know this to be distracting, why are you doing it? These additional activities are troubling,” said Chris Mullen director of technology research at State Farm.

A new State Farm survey found the number of people texting while driving has remained relatively stable since 2009, but it found that more than twice as many drivers surf the internet. Reading emails and checking social media accounts while driving are also up.

A Colorado man has created a device that could stop the problem. It’s called The Groove, it’s a small box that plugs into almost any modern car.

The Groove blocks the driver’s phone from sending or receiving data. Phone calls will go through, but no texts, emails, or social media. The system won’t deliver them until the car is turned off.

It also means that mobile networks need to cooperate, something that, despite years of successful testing and demonstrations hasn’t happened.

“You cannot imagine how frustrating it’s been. And I can’t watch the public service announcements because we’re standing on something that can stop that. It’s hard to watch them and know that you’re in the middle of something and you want it to be out there,” Scott Tibbitts said. “Being a parent, I cannot imagine getting a phone call that says there’s been an accident.”

While mobile companies may be hesitant to work with the device, its creators said it works with any phone and any car made after 1996.

Groove does not require an app.

While 98 percent of drivers surveyed believe that texting while driving is dangerous, 66 percent admit to doing it.

Article Originally Featured on CBS New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

*Article Originally Featured on The New York Times

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

NY Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Following Too Closely (Tailgating) Ticket

following too closely

In New York, the Following Too Closely summons, also known as tailgating, is 4 points a fine of at least $138 for a first offense.  The police officer uses his or her judgment to deem when another vehicle is driving too closely to the vehicle ahead of them.  Following too closely is considered a dangerous offense because any sudden changes on the road could cause an accident.

New York VTL § 1129 states that a motorist not follow another vehicle more closely than what is “reasonable and prudent.” To determine how far to follow another vehicle, the motorist must take into consideration the speed, traffic, and condition of the highway. There are special rules for truckers: they must, when following another truck or passenger vehicle, leave enough space so that a passing vehicle can enter and occupy the space without danger.

If you received a summons for following too closely or any other traffic ticket, we can fight for you.  With more than 29 years of experience, Michael Block has successfully defended motorists throughout New York.  Call (212) 227-9008 or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com for free legal advice.

NYC Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Meet Delancey Car Service

Delancey Car Services - New York, NY, United States

We have worked closely with Delancey Car Service for about 10 years.  Many of their drivers bring their tickets to Michael when they need a trusted lawyer to defend their traffic tickets.

Delancey has been in service since 1991.  The owner, Rafael, tells us that their fleet started out small with only 5 cars but has grown exponentially over the years.  They now have about 200 drivers.

Over the years, their technology has also changed.  While many of their clients still call in to request a cab, some of their clients make a reservation online. Their website also makes it possible for clients to pay and specify specific needs or requirements that they may have.  They are currently working on a mobile app that should be available within a year.

Delancey strives for professionalism and offering the best service to their customers.  You can reach them at (212) 228-3301 or visit their website at delanceynyc.com for more information.

*If you know of a cab company that would like to be featured, call us at (212) 227-9008 or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com with your request.

New Technology and Apps Shaping the Way We Hail a Cab

Hailing a cab in the city is officially high-tech, and these are the apps that are currently being ushered.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a yearlong pilot program to let New Yorkers hail one of the city’s more than 13,000 yellow cabs from their smartphones, the first time anything other than street hails will be allowed. Similar programs have existed in cities around the world and across the United States.

Most of the apps follow the same general format: The app will use your phone’s GPS to find you or you enter an address; you then tell it to ping nearby cabbies; and then a driver in the area who gets the request will come pick you up. Most of the apps allow live GPS tracking of the driver, as well as automatic payments (in addition to cash).

The drivers need to have the cabbie version of the apps activated for them to work.

“It’s the TLC’s job to represent passengers, and when new technology comes along, we want to make sure it’s available to them,” TLC Commissioner David Yassky said when the program was approved. “New York City is known for embracing innovation, and we’ve certainly done that today.”

Traditional caller and dispatch cab companies have also had to make some changes throughout the years.  Rafael, owner of Delancey Car Service for over 30 years, informed us that they have had to incorporate new technologies as.  Their current website allows clients to schedule a cab pick-up or drop-off.  On the site they’re also able to pay and specify specific needs or requirements that a cab company may have.  They are currently working on a mobile app that should be available within a year.

Here are four of the apps that will launch or have already launched:

  • Hailo

One of the biggest international cab-hailing apps, Hailo has enormous footprints in London, Toronto, Tokyo, Ireland and other locations. It was started by three London cabbies and three entrepreneurs, and launched in the United States in October in Boston, followed by Chicago in November.

Founder Jay Bregman said the city took a “huge step in the right direction” by allowing smartphone hails.

“The market is really inefficient; people find it difficult to get a taxi,” he said. “We create efficiency. . . . We want to bring the tech we know to help solve some of the fundamental problems.”

Technology: iOS apps you need right now

 He added: “It’s really just the natural evolution of a hail.”

Price: Riders pay $1.50 per hail, more during rush hour

Features: After hailing a cab, you can watch the cab’s progress throughout the city in real time; users can enable automatic payments so they can jump out of the cab when they reach their destination.

Platforms: iPhone, Android

 

  • Uber

Uber has become the best-known name in the country for its car services, and has launched in dozens of cities including Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles. Its app has already been active for livery cabs in New York for some time, but faced trouble when it launched a hailing program for yellow cabs in September, which it shut down after about a month.

Still, Uber’s reach is undeniable, and its already massive foothold in the city gives it a leg up on competitors.

“Only Uber has a proven record in New York City, successfully connecting drivers and riders thousands of times and delivering more money for drivers,” spokesman Stu Loeser said.

Price: Unconfirmed, but in the ballpark of $1.50 to $2.50 per hail

Features: Has an existing infrastructure in the city with its livery cab service, so if no yellow cabs are available, users can easily get a sedan, town car or SUV; users can keep credit card info on file.

Platforms: iPhone, Android, Web app and SMS

 

  • TaxiMagic

One of the oldest apps in the car-hailing space, TaxiMagic this month is marking its four-year anniversary. Some 25,000 cars in 51 U.S. cities are on its network, including San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and more, making it one of the largest such apps in the country. It has long had its eye on the city, but only now has the chance to swoop in.

“This is just going to be a huge opportunity. New York is the most iconic taxi market in the entire world,” said TaxiMagic spokesman Matt Carrington. “This has become such a hot start-up space with a lot of momentum; we’re just really excited to be able to move in and show off our capabilities.”

TaxiMagic already serves New York with its sister app SedanMagic, which, like Uber, gives it a built-in familiarity with the market.

Technology: Android apps you need now

Price: Unconfirmed, but about $1.50 to $2.50 per hail

Features: Users can submit requests to pre-schedule rides; live GPS taxi-tracking; users can keep credit card info on file.

Platforms: iPhone, Android, Web app, SMS

 

  • GetTaxi

 

A popular international service, GetTaxi is an Israeli-based cab-hailing app that operates in more than dozen cities worldwide, including Moscow, London and a handful of cities in Israel. After launching in February 2010, the app quickly grew, and now it used once every second during peak times.

GetTaxi initially expressed interest in New York City in June, when it submitted a proposal to the TLC to become the city’s official taxi app. Though that ultimately fell through, the app’s chief executive has said the app is ready to be one of the first apps to participate in the program.

Price: Unconfirmed

Features: Estimated time of arrival and distance show in the app in real time; passengers can rate drivers and track previous rides; users can keep credit card info on file.

Platforms: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry

Original Article Featured on Newsday (has been modified for accuracy and a company feature for Delancey Car Service)

*Photo Credit: “An UBER application is shown as cars drive by in Washington, DC. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)” By Mark Warner/Source: Flickr

Suffolk Legislature Approves Payment Plans for Parking Tickets and Traffic Tickets

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — The Suffolk County Legislature has passed a bill creating a payment plan for parking and traffic fines.

The bill, sponsored by Legislator Kara Hahn, D-Setauket, was introduced after lawmakers heard one woman’s nightmare story about how she could not afford to pay a $350 ticket. After a few months, her driver’s license was suspended and she could not get to work, the woman said. And with late fees, the woman was being eventually ordered to pay nearly $500.

“Not everyone out there can come up with $350 right now,” Hahn told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “It just makes sense to allow them to have four months, six months, a year.

“It’s a vicious cycle, and people who live paycheck to paycheck can’t afford it,” Hahn added.

The plan will be available for parking tickets and moving-violation tickets that have been reduced after a hearing.

Article Originally Featured on CBS New York

*Photo Credit: “No Parking Sign in New York” By: Mrs. Gemstone

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: The F.D.R. Drive is Revamped

A few months after moving into Gracie Mansion, Mayor Bill de Blasio approached his transportation commissioner with a question: How do we fix the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive?

An undulating, unloved route along the East River, the F.D.R. Drive has long been known for potholes, slowdowns and backups. “I certainly experienced it constantly,” Mr. de Blasio, who commutes to City Hall from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, said on Monday. “It just wasn’t in an acceptable state of repair for the greatest city in the world.”

Now the mayor, along with 150,000 other travelers who take the road each day, is set to enjoy a smoother ride. An $8.5 million revamp of the drive from 125th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge will be completed this week, with city officials billing the achievement as the road’s first end-to-end resurfacing since its completion in 1966.

Mr. de Blasio, at a ceremony on Monday, stood on the safe side of a guardrail as traffic zipped along the drive, rustling his orange windbreaker.

“This was always a bad road in terms of potholes, bumps, etc.,” the mayor said, although he noted that his personal “road from hell” remained the Cross Bronx Expressway, “which is still burned into my memory.”

A onetime Ford Escape enthusiast, now driven around by a police detail, the mayor said he recalled his motoring days fondly. He was also asked if his own travels had helped make the F.D.R. Drive a priority in a new citywide repaving effort.

“I’ve certainly experienced it,” the mayor said. “But, again, we’ve heard complaints about this one for a long, long time.”

Several former aides backed up the mayor’s remarks, recalling that Mr. de Blasio, a heavy BlackBerry user, was so intimately acquainted with the drive’s foibles that he knew the exact points on the route where cellphone signals would cut out.

Often, as he conducted conversations while driving, Mr. de Blasio would interrupt whomever was on the other end of the line to warn that his signal was about to go dead. Moments later, it would.

The F.D.R. Drive, a 9.5-mile route that transitions into the Harlem River Drive above the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, was constructed in piecemeal segments, and jurisdiction over its curves is shared by the city and the state.

The revamp, which began in July and was completed ahead of schedule, was the first attempt to resurface the entire length of the road at once, said Polly Trottenberg, the New York City transportation commissioner. City officials said they planned to resurface major routes in each of the city’s boroughs over several years.

Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat who spent much of his early tenure emphasizing a liberal ideology, has been keen of late to refocus on the nuts-and-bolts management side of his job.

On Monday, flanked by Transportation Department workers, the mayor described road repairs as “exactly what government should be focused on,” and noted that Staten Island residents in particular had asked him to focus on fixing streets.

The mayor also described some of his personal contributions to the process.

“I like to give Polly reports from where I am around the city of what I’m seeing, and I certainly call her when I hit the bump in the road,” Mr. de Blasio said. “I tell her exactly where it is, so she can follow up.”

 

Article Originally Featured on The New York Times

*Photo Credit: FDR Drive –  New York City, New York/Source: Flickr

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Town, Village or County Court

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

TVB—Traffic Violations Bureau

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

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

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: How Bad are NY Drivers?

It’s difficult to be a driver in New York or New Jersey (or anywhere else in the Mid-Atlantic region, really) and not hold a certain level of contempt for one’s fellow automotive traveler/commuter.

There are only so many times you can have your tail light smashed by a truck on the Jersey Turnpike, spend hours in dense, accident-created traffic on the Cross Bronx, or narrowly avoid getting side-swiped on the FDR before the thought enters your mind: “These must be the worst drivers in the country.”

Well, at least it’s not Montana.

Montana drivers ranked as the No. 1 worst drivers in the country for the second year in a row, according to data compiled by CarInsuranceComparisson.com.

Big Sky Country ranked No. 1 in fatalities per 100 million miles driven, No. 6 in careless driving (measured by fatalities of pedestrians and cyclists per 100,000 people), No. 8 failing to obey traffic laws, No. 13 in drunken driving and No. 20 in speeding, which is particularly impressive when you consider much of the state’s roads have 80 mph speed limits (although it’s worth noting that the state had no daytime speed limits not too long ago).

New York drivers, on the other hand, were ranked the 28th worst, or 23rd best, if you’re a glass-half-full kinda person. New York shares the 28 spot with neighboring Connecticut as well as Wisconsin. 

Apparently taxi cabs and Uber cars haven’t been pulling their weigh this year, as New York has the 15th highest rate of drunken driving for 2015 after ranking 17th in 2014 and 28th in 2013.

Connecticut drivers were actually more likely to drive drunk than New Yorkers, as the Nutmeg State ranked 4th in drunken driving in 2015 after ranking 11th and 7th in 2014 and 2013, respectively.

The safest place to drive in the tri-state area is New Jersey, which has the 7th best drivers, according to the report.

Low fatality and speeding rates as well as drivers who follow traffic laws are what give the Garden State its favorable rating, though New Jersey ranks 25th in drunken driving and 21st in careless driving. 

Behind Montana in the race for worst drivers in America are South Carolina and New Mexico tied for second, Texas at fourth and Lousiana rounding out the top five.

Minnesota ranked as the state with the best drivers, followed by Ohio, Vermont, Iowa, Nebraska, Virginia and, of course, New Jersey.

Car Insurance Comparison credited frequency of careless driving (i.e. talking and texting on cell phones) and speeding as the most indicative of overall rank.

Article Originally Published on NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “Outbound Lincoln” By: Joe Shlabotnik/Source: Flickr

U.S. Drivers may be Dying Because of Cellphone Use While Driving

The number of deaths from traffic accidents in the United States jumped 8.1 percent in the first half of 2015, suggesting smartphones and other driving distractions could be making America’s roadways more dangerous, officials said Tuesday.

Preliminary government statistics, released during a Thanksgiving holiday week known for heavy traffic congestion, showed deaths rising to 16,225 in the January-June period at a rate more than double an increase in overall driving spawned by falling gasoline prices and a growing economy.

“The increase in smartphones in our hands is so significant, there’s no question that has to play some role. But we don’t have enough information yet to determine how big a role,” said Mark Rosekind, who heads the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal government’s auto safety watchdog.

The jump in 2015 fatalities follows a decline in annual traffic deaths to 32,675 last year, for a record low of 1.07 deaths per million vehicle miles traveled, according to NHTSA statistics. The 2014 data included 21,022 passenger vehicle deaths, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1975.

The increase in the first half of 2015 was the biggest six-month jump in traffic deaths reported since 1977, according to statistics. But officials cautioned that semi-annual results can be subject to major revisions and noted that a comparable 7.9 percent increase in early 2012 led to a 4 percent rise for that year as a whole.

Officials said it was too early to identify contributing factors. But Rosekind told reporters that officials are looking at likely causes including distracted driving and the possibility that lower gas prices have encouraged more driving among “risky drivers” such as teenagers.

Rosekind also criticized an absence of effective state laws that prohibit drivers from using hand-held smartphones or require the use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets.

The auto safety agency expects to unveil a program next year to focus $500 million in federal safety grants on human factors that are responsible for 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes.

Article Originally Published on The New York Post

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

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Unsafe Lane Change Ticket

One of the most common moving violations we see in our office is the Unsafe Lane Change Summons.  If a police officer feels that you changed lanes unsafely, you may be given an unsafe lane change ticket.

NY VTL 1128(a) requires drivers to remain in one lane and changing from that lane is not permitted unless the driver ascertained that moving lanes could be completed safely.

VTL 1128(b) directs that passing other vehicles or making a left turn from a center lane can only be done if executed in a safe manner.

VTL 1128 (c) & (d) directs motorists to carefully obey signs and hazardous road markings and not cross these special lane markings.

While the unsafe lane change laws seem straightforward and reasonable, it’s possible to change lanes without checking your blind spot or signaling your intent to change lanes thus making it unsafe.  In addition, failure to obey road markings or signs, while changing lanes, could result in an unsafe lane change ticket.

It’s also important to remember the Move Over Law which requires drivers to change lanes if an emergency vehicle is on the shoulder of the road.  Improperly passing an emergency vehicle could also result in an Unsafe Lane Change Summons.

The best way to avoid being ticketed for an Unsafe Lane Change violation is to:

  • Look to make sure that there is enough space to change lanes.
  • Be sure to signal your intent to change lanes.
  • Check all mirrors to ensure that the lanes are clear and a lane change is safe.
  • Check your blind spot.
  • Move slowly to the next lane.

The Unsafe Lane Change Ticket is 3 points.  Receiving 11 or more points on your license in an 18 month period could lead to the suspension of your license.

If you’ve received an Unsafe Lane Change ticket, or any other moving violation in New York, call 212-227-9008 or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com for free legal advice on how we can defend your traffic ticket.

*Photo Credit: “Get Out!” By: Michael Gil/Source: Flickr 

Should NYC Have "Text Stops"

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

Lyft Increases its Presence in NYC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

For drivers, the competition can mean new options.

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

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

Article Originally Published on The Wall Street Journal

*Photo Credit: “LYFT” By: Alfredo Mendez

Cellphone ticket dismissed in Manhattan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York allows first ever digital insurance app with Geico

ALBANY – Some New York drivers will now be able to keep their proof of insurance on their smartphones.

The Cuomo administration announced that GEICO has become the first insurance company in New York allowed to provide customers with electronic identification cards for their smartphones and electronic devices. The e-card will be available to New York customers on the GEICO app starting Tuesday.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles changed its regulations in April to allow insurers to issue e-cards. The e-cards can be used when registering vehicles and during traffic stops.

*Photo Credit: “Get Out!” By: Michael Gil/Source: Flickr 

Seat Belt Tickets and Child Safety Restraint Tickets

Seat Belt and Child Safety Restraint Tickets

New York State requires the driver and all passengers to wear seatbelts in the car.  Fines for seat belt violations for adults (over the age of 16) are $50 plus surcharge with no points. Child safety violations, on the other hand, cost $100 along with 3 violation points.  All children under the age of 4 are required to be in a child safety seat.  All children under the age of 8 (until their 8th birthday) are required to use a child safety restraint.

Child safety seats or restraint systems are determined by the child’s age, height and weight.  When selecting a child safety seat or restraint system, be sure that it meets the statutory requirements.

  • Infant Seats—required for infants weighing approximately 22 pounds or less, and are 25 inches in length. This seat is placed in the back seat with the child facing the rear of the vehicle.
  • Convertible Child Safety Seats—for infants and toddlers weighing about 40 pounds or less. The child should face the rear of the vehicle.  With convertible seats, you can arrange the seat so the child faces forward (once they can no longer face the rear comfortably).
  • Booster Seats—are required for children who are 4 to 8 years old and have outgrown the toddler and convertible seats. These seats are perfect for children weighing between 40 and 80 pounds.
  • Built-in child seats—though child seats come standard in some vehicle models and fold away on standard car seats, these are not intended for use with infants.

Any child safety restraint violation will result in a fine and 3 points if convicted. For more information and tips on child safety seats and restraints, click here.

If you’ve received a seat-belt ticket or child safety restraint ticket, we’re here to help.  Call (212) 227-9008 for free legal advice or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com for more information about how we can defend your traffic violations.

*Photo Credit: “Child Care Safety PSA April 18, 2012 1” By Steven Depolo/Source: Flickr

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: 6 Point Speeding Ticket in Nassau Reduced

Another happy client had a 6 Point speeding ticket reduced to a 3 Point Failure to Yield Violation in Nassau County Traffic Violations Agency.

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 6 point speeding ticket because they were driving 81 MPH in a 55 MPH speed zone (that’s 26 MPH over the legal 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.

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

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

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

4 Point Speeding Ticket in Westchester Reduced to 0 Point Parking Violation

Another happy client had a speeding ticket reduced to a 0 point parking violation in Bedford Town Court.

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 85 MPH in a 65 MPH speed zone (that’s 20 MPH over the legal 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Originally Posted on The Huffington Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients.  If you are charged with reckless driving, let us help you!  Email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Originally Featured on Pix 11

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

4 Point Speeding Ticket in Nassau County Reduced!

Another happy client had 2 tickets reduced: a 4 Point Speeding Ticket in Nassau County Traffic Violations Agency and an Obstructed Vision Violation reduced to a single 2 Point Disobey Device ticket.

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 50 MPH in a 30 MPH speed zone (that’s 20 MPH over the legal 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.

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

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

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

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

If only he had been talking with his lawyer.

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

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

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

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

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

Article Originally Featured on New York Daily News

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

DWI Charges Reduced to 0 Point Non-Criminal Offense in Queens

Another happy client had a DWI—Driving While Intoxicated in Queens Criminal Court Reduced to a 0 Point DWAI—Driving While Ability Impaired.  Our client was stopped and charged with a DWI when they gave the police officer probable cause to stop them and test their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) using a breathalyzer test.

Any driver over the age of 21 can be charged with a DWI if their BAC or blood alcohol content is .08 % or greater.  Underage drivers can be charged if their BAC is .02 % and commercial/motor drivers can be charged if their BAC is at least .04%.

Our client’s charge was reduced to a DWAI offense.  The DWAI offense is the lowest offense for alcohol and drug related charges.  This is the only alcohol related charge that is merely a traffic violation (not a criminal offense).  Thus, our client will not have a criminal record or license points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bronx Reckless Driving Reduced to 0 Point Violation

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

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

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

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

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients.  If you are charged with reckless driving, let us help you!  Email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Originally Featured on ABC7 NY

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

Carpooling with UberPool Leads to Love Connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article Originally Posted on The New York Post

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

6 Point Speeding Ticket in Chesterfield in Essex County Reduced by Half

Another happy client had a 6 Point Speeding Ticket in Chesterfield Town Court, New York reduced to 3 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 6 point speeding ticket because they were driving 90 MPH in a 65 MPH speed zone (that’s 25 MPH over the legal 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.

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

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

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

Speeding Tickets Increase after Mayor's Vision Zero Plan

The amount of speeding tickets written by NYC Cops increased 103% a few days after the 25 MPH limit was in effect. (The unposted speed limit changed from 30 MPH to 25 MPH as part of the mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan to reduce traffic deaths.)

Be aware that the 25 mph limit is default for all streets and parkways when there is no speed sign posted.  Highways like the FDR, West Side Highway and Riverside Drive will still have higher limits.  Conversely, schools zones still have lower speed limits.

The 25 mph limit does not apply to the following streets and parkways: Webster Avenue and Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx; Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Terrace on Staten Island; Fort Hamilton Parkway and Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn; and Utopia Parkway and Bell and Springfield boulevards in Queens.

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

*Photo Credit: “Warp Speed at 25” By: Andrew Choy/Source: Flickr

  1. Great information as I was unaware the speed limit had been reduced! Driving 30 MPH was difficult, 25 MPH close to impossible but the potential financial pain will force me to do it!

Cop Driving in Deadly Staten Island Crash Had BAC Three Times Legal Limit

The New Jersey police officer, who hit a tractor-trailer head-on on a Staten Island highway last month, killing a fellow officer and a friend and critically injuring a third cop, had a blood alcohol content of .24 percent, three times the legal limit, law enforcement sources say.

Authorities had obtained a warrant to test Pedro Abad Jr.’s blood-alcohol content following the March 20 wrong-way crash on the West Shore Expressway.

The NYPD, who’s investigating the crash, had no comment on the toxicology results. A message was left with the Linden police officers’ union, and Abad’s lawyer had no comment, saying only his client was in the process of hiring a new attorney.

Abad, 27, was driving his fellow officers and friend on the wrong side of the expressway on the way back from a strip club when his vehicle slammed into the tractor-trailer, authorities said.

Hours before the crash, Abad had posted a photo on his Instagram page of three shot glasses filled with what he identified as “Jack Daniels Fire on the house.” Authorities said at the time it was “too premature” to speculate on what caused the accident.

Public records show Abad has been involved in eight accidents since 2005 and has two arrests for drunken driving in the last four years.

Abad was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash, which killed fellow Linden officer Frank Viggiano and friend Joseph Rodriguez.

Patrik Kudlac, another Linden cop riding in Abad’s Honda, was also hospitalized in critical condition after the crash.

The Union County prosecutor’s office has said it would hand off the probe into the driving record and employment history of Abad to avoid the perception of any conflicts of interest. The state attorney general’s office said the investigation will be handled by the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.

Article Originally Posted on NBC New York

*Photo Credit: “NYPD Tron” By: Lee/Source: Flickr

A 70-Year-Old Woman in Brooklyn was fatally struck By MTA Bus Driver after His Failure to Yield

A longtime Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver was arrested on Tuesday after his bus hit a 70-year-old woman who was crossing the street in Brooklyn, killing her just a block from the shelter where she lived, the authorities said.

After the bus struck the woman, the driver continued on to a nearby depot, and by the time investigators determined through surveillance video which bus was involved in the crash, a second driver had picked it up from the depot and begun a new route, an authority spokeswoman, Amanda Kwan, said.

The driver, Paul Roper, 48, who has been a city bus driver for 15 years, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, a felony; failure to yield to a pedestrian, a misdemeanor; and failure to exercise due care, a traffic violation. The authority suspended him without pay.

The woman, Carol Bell, was walking north on Sackman Street and trying to cross Fulton Street in the Broadway Junction section of Brooklyn around 6:15 a.m. when a southbound bus turned left onto Fulton, the police said.

She had just waved hello to a grocery store owner, as she did almost every morning on her way from the Magnolia House Women’s Shelter to a methadone treatment program. Ms. Bell had been homeless off and on since the mid-1990s, her daughter said.

Surveillance video published by NBC New York showed her waiting cautiously on the side of the street for cars to pass, and then moving across the street with the aid of her walker. There was no painted crosswalk at the intersection, but the charges indicate Ms. Bell still had the right of way.

The bus stopped briefly after hitting her, and then drove off to the East New York Depot, several blocks away, near the intersection of Jamaica Avenue and Broadway, the police said. The bus, which was not in service, had been returning to the depot from the B15 bus route at the time of the crash, Ms. Kwan said.

Photos from the scene showed a crumpled walker lying in the street.

The authorities initially could not find Mr. Roper on Tuesday morning. Ms. Kwan said the bus was towed back to the depot after its rooftop number was seen on surveillance video and investigators pulled it over along the B15 route, with a fresh driver at its wheel.

The crash, coming several days after three trick-or-treaters were killed by a car that jumped a curb in the Bronx, drew renewed promises from Mayor Bill de Blasio about the city’s commitment to its Vision Zero plan to end traffic deaths. Residents who live near the scene of Tuesday’s crash said speeding buses are a constant problem.

One of the charges Mr. Roper faces — failure to yield — was at the center of a clash this year between the mayor and the city’s major bus drivers’ union. A new traffic-safety law made failing to yield a misdemeanor in some cases, and enforcement of the law had prompted protests by drivers. But on Tuesday, the union, Transport Workers Union Local 100, was restrained in its response to the charges against Mr. Roper, saying only that the crash was a “terrible tragedy.”

Mr. de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the Vision Zero initiative had already helped to reduce fatalities.

“We’re very committed to it, and every time we lose someone, we say, you know, this is something that we need to keep reiterating to people — the care they need to take with driving, and why all these standards matter, why that lower speed limit matters,” Mr. de Blasio said.

In 1998, Ms. Bell’s daughter, Lisa Bell, got an apartment, where she lived with her mother until she lost the lease around 2007.

“She was a very caring person; she never let me go hungry. She had a heart of gold,” Lisa Bell, 51, said, adding, “We had a rough life.”

A man who identified himself as Mr. Roper’s brother said he spoke briefly with him on Tuesday. “He didn’t see nothing,” said the brother, who declined to give his name.

Lisa Bell said she was not upset at the bus driver, but wanted him to understand how she felt.

“I know it wasn’t intentional,” she said. “It was an accident he didn’t stop. He was scared. It happens every day. But I need him to know he took my mom’s life, and that’s my best friend.”

Article Originally Posted By The New York Times

*Photo Credit:

A 5 Point Reckless Driving Violation in NYC was Dismissed

A 5 Point Reckless Driving Violation in NYC was dismissed!

Another happy client had a 5 Point Reckless Driving Violation dismissed in NYC Criminal Court.  Our client received a Reckless Driving Summons while Driving Northbound on FDR Drive at East 161st Street.

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

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

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

We always fight for the most favorable outcome and are always glad to have great results for our clients.  If you are charged with reckless driving, let us help you!  Email us at michaelblocklawyer.com or call (212) 227-9008 to learn how we can defend you.

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

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Long Island Woman Faces DWI and Leandra's Law Charges

A Long Island woman faces a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated after she was involved in an accident while her 3-year-old son rode along as a passenger, police said Sunday.

Cristi Rivas was driving a 2007 Mercedes Benz SUV south in Wheatley Heights Saturday evening when she rear-ended a car driven by Khizar Kharam, Suffolk County investigators said.

Rivas, 38, of Dix Hills, and Kharam, 63, sustained minor injuries and were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, police said. Rivas’ toddler also was taken to the hospital for evaluation, but didn’t appear to be injured.

Rivas was charged with aggravated DWI because her passenger was less than 15 years old, a violation of Leandra’s Law. She was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Her son was released to a family member, police said.

There was no information as to whether Rivas had a lawyer who could comment on the charges.

Article Originally Posted on NBC New York

*Photo Credit: “Drunk Driving Among US College Students Still at an Alarming Rate” By: James Palinsad/Source: Flickr

5 Point Cellphone in Nassau Reduced to 0 Point Violation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look Out for Trick-or-Treater's Safety this Halloween

According to the organization, Safe Kids USA, children are more than twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night, than at any other time of the year.

This Halloween, be very careful when driving at night, especially in residential areas.  Exercise caution as trick-or-treaters are running about.  Look for children darting in between parked cars.  Be extra careful when entering or exiting alleyways and driveways.  Watch for children in dark clothing during the later hours of the night.  Be sure to stay off of your cellphones and avoid any distractions.  Nothing is scarier than putting children’s safety at risk.  Be alert and stay safe this Halloween.

*Photo Credit: “Halloween on Harrison Court” By: Kevin Dooley/Source: Flickr

Failure to Yield to Pedestrian Ticket

One of the most commonly cited violations related to pedestrian and driver encounters in New York is the Failure to Yield to Pedestrian violation.  The failure to yield to pedestrian ticket is a 3 point violation

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

  • If you drive past a crosswalk without yielding to pedestrians you can be issued a summons, regardless of whether or not there are traffic control signs (such as a STOP or YIELD).
  • 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.
  • If you do not yield to cars coming from the opposite direction while turning

There is Justification for Failure to Yield Summons if:

  • A pedestrian jumps or runs from the sidewalk in an unexpected manner which does not give the driver a chance to yield.
  • A pedestrian violates traffic control signals (such as walking into the road when drivers have the green light or right of way)

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.  Remember that pedestrians always have the right of way at an intersection, regardless of whether or not there is a crosswalk.

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’ve received a failure to yield to pedestrian ticket, we can help you fight it.  Our advice is to not engage police officers in conversation because anything you say will be recorded in the officer’s notes and can be held against you in court.  If you’ve received a ticket, email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com or call 212-227-9008 for free legal advice.

*Photo Credit: “Space Coast FL” By: Rusty Clark – hotfunkyradio.com/Source: Flickr

  1. Failed to yield pedestrian violation. . what are your fees for the fighting this type of ticket?

    Is the same price if you win or lose?

    Regards,
    Lup

  2. Vyacheslav Dorfman  |  

    Received a failure to yield to pedestrian ticket today. It was a very busy intersection and i had oncoming traffic coming at me. I crossed the intersection making a left turn without getting in the way of anyone crossing the street, however there probably were people also crossing the street or stepping off the curb. This is a very busy and wide street (Flatbush Av and Fulton St) in Brooklyn. The police officer stopped me at the next light and pulled me over. I am not 100% sure what fine this carries but i believe there are 3pts. that go along with this summons. I am considering hiring a lawyer for this. Please let me know what options and/or chances i have. I can be reached at stevenyc7@gmail.com or on my cell at 718-813-0063. This was in Brooklyn.

  3. Arlene  |  

    I have court tomorrow for such an offense. I am not sure what to do. I pleaded not pguilty

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Cars’ Voice-Activated Systems Distract Drivers, Study Finds

When driving, don’t talk to your car — or your phone.

That’s the underlying message of new neuroscience published Thursday that raises new questions about the safety of voice-activated technology in many new cars. The technology, heralded by many automakers, allows consumers to interact with their phones and their cars by issuing voice commands, rather than pushing buttons on the dashboard or phone.

But the research shows that the technology can be a powerful distraction, and a lingering one. The research found that the most complicated voice-activated systems can take a motorist’s mind off the road for as long as 27 seconds after he or she stops interacting with the system. Even less complex systems can leave the driver distracted for 15 seconds after a motorist disengages, the research shows.

These problems occur too with voice-activated systems from Apple, Google and Microsoft, according to the study.

Uber drivers typically have 15 seconds to tap a phone to accept a fare.

This lingering distraction reflects the time required for drivers to reorient themselves to the road after interacting with their cars’ voice-activated technology, according to the study’s lead scientist, David Strayer, a neuroscientist at the University of Utah. He said that using this technology required the same kind of brain power as “balancing a checkbook while driving.”

“When you hang up, you have to figure out where you are, how fast you’re going, where other vehicles are,” he said.

His research was funded by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a nonprofit research group. The group’s chief executive, Peter Kissinger, said, “The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers.”

The research highlights a growing gap between the spread and use of multitasking technology by drivers and the science that shows that the technology poses serious risks. Texting while driving, an activity that is almost universally condemned as dangerous, is becoming more commonplace, not less so, according to surveys in recent years by the AAA Foundation.

Carmakers have said that their voice-activated systems provide a safer alternative to manipulating phones with hands that should be on the wheel.

Some safety advocates have argued that carmakers, and some technology companies that offer apps specifically to be used by drivers, are sending a misguided message to drivers that voice-activated technology is safe and therefore acceptable. The safety advocates say that carmakers have a financial incentive to push these systems because they can be sold as profitable add-ons to new cars.

In the latest research from Dr. Strayer, one of the field’s most established scientists, he compared the mental energy required by drivers to use more than 10 different voice-activated systems. The most distracting, he found, belonged to the Mazda 6, followed by Microsoft’s Cortana system, and cars from Hyundai, Chrysler, Nissan and Volkswagen. Apple’s Siri system also created a “high distraction,” the research found. The system in the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick LaCrosse created “moderate distraction,” it found.

Dr. Strayer said that when drivers disengage from the systems, the mental workload drops off in tiers, with the heaviest distraction passing after six seconds, then ebbing further after three more seconds, then again a few seconds later.

He said the challenges appeared more severe for drivers over the age of 50. The study included 257 drivers, ages 21 to 70, using 2015 model cars. An additional 65 drivers tested phone systems from Microsoft, Apple and Google.

Article Originally Featured on The New York Times

*Photo Credit: “2011 Audi A6 – NRMA Drivers Seat” By: The NRMA/Source: Flickr

6 Point Speeding Ticket in Suffolk County Reduced to a 0 Point Parking Violation

Another happy client had a 6 Point Speeding Ticket in Suffolk County at Suffolk County Traffic Violations Agency reduced to a 0 point Parking Violation!

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 6 point speeding ticket because they were driving 55 MPH in a 30 MPH speed zone (that’s 25 MPH over the legal limit).

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

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

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

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

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

New York Ranks 30th in Country for DUI Strictness

A new study examined the strictest and most lenient states in the country for DUI, and New York State came in at number 30. This is due to the fact that first and second time DUI (or DWAI, Driving While Ability Impaired) offenses do not require a minimum of jail time. After the second offense, any DUIs are considered felony crimes. This differs from other states in the country like Arizona where the minimum jail sentence for a first time DUI offense is 10 days. In New York, a DUI conviction will be reflected on your criminal record and your driver’s license is likely to be suspended.

The study claims that 10,000 Americans die due to DUI and DWI incidents – in 2012, 31% of all traffic fatalities were caused by DUI and DWI.

If you are arrested for DUI, DWAI, or DWI in New York, please call us immediately at 212-227-9008 so we may begin working on your defense.