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Tag Archives: NYC

For-Hire-Vehicles Out On Long Island?

A new deal would allow for-hire-vehicle companies Uber and Lyf to operate on Long Island. Governor Cuomo did not release the specifics of the deal, but informed the public last week that “we basically have an agreement [on the deal].”  The proposals that were under discussion included requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to obtain specific insurance in order to operate on Long Island. This deal comes after various polls demonstrate an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers seek better transportation opportunities, and Uber and Lyft may provide just that on Long Island.

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.

 

 

 

 

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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.
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Important Drivers Ed Legislation

Should New York follow North Carolina and enact legislation on educating drivers on what to do once a driver is pulled over? Driver Education Courses in states like North Carolina and Illinois must include instruction on the proper behaviors a driver should partake in after being puled over by a police officer. Always remember to give the police officer what he has asked for. Make sure to talk as little as possible and give the officer no reason to remember you.

If you receive a summons for an improper signal, u-turn, speed, cellphone or any other moving violation, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.
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Bus Driver Appreciation

The Law Office of Michael Block appreciates all of the bus drivers out there. Thanks to a recent article in Newsday, people will understand the importance of why bus drivers drive the way they do. The article shows how some Long Island motorists become annoyed at the fact that bus drivers fully stop at stop signs and drive the speed limit. However, bus drivers are not allowed to drive above the speed limit, as they are operating the vehicle with the safety of the children in mind! We wanted to thank all bus drivers for all of the hard work they do.
If you receive a summons for speeding, operating a portable electronic device, or any other moving violation in New York State, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.
Photo via Visualhunt

Vision Zero's Cut of the NYC Budget

$400 million has been allocated to Vision Zero in the 2018 NYC budget. Most of that money will go towards street reconstruction projects, traffic signal improvements, and improved street markings. Vision Zero aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2024. The total budget for the City of New York is at $84.6 billion dollars. Although the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed on city streets increased, the total number of traffic fatalities fell for the third year in a row.

If you receive a summons for an improper turn, or an illegal U-turn, or any other moving violation, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help you. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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TLC Ticket: Unlicensed Vehicle

All  Uber, Lyft, and for-hire vehicle drivers should pay attention to this message. There are specific TLC tickets directly related to for-hire services. For example, there is a summons issued for an “unlicensed vehicle”. One can receive this ticket if one picks up a passenger without proper consent by one’s car service/dispatch. For example, if an Uber driver picks up a passenger who has not sent a notification to the Uber driver’s phone, that driver can receive an unlicensed vehicle summons. The max fine of $10,000 is applied ff the unlicensed vehicle ticket is issued to the owner of a car. Additionally, the driver’s license (of an Uber, Lyft, or taxi cab driver) may be revoked, meaning that their TLC license will be taken away.

For-hire drivers should not pick up a passenger who is not one’s direct customer, even if they say they will pay you extra to take them somewhere.
If you receive a summons for an unlicensed for hire moving violation, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com

 

Photo credit: Dubber via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Uber and the DMV

Uber ended its autonomous car service in San Francisco after it had defied state officials orders telling uber the autonomous service was illegal. In Uber’s hometown of San Francisco, uber was forced to shut down its autonomous car service system. State regulators in California made sure that uber would adhere to state regulations.
Uber still contends that their autonomous cars require human oversight and are not illegal. Do you think that uber should be allowed to have its autonomous cars on the road?
If you receive a moving violation while commuting to or from the city, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help. Call us at 212-227-9008 or email us at Michaelblock.law@gmail.com.
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Have A Safe and Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from the attorneys and staff here at the Law Office of Michael Block. For over 29 years, Michael has helped taxi cab drivers, and New Yorkers win their traffic ticket cases! Drive safe over the holiday break, and be responsible after the Christmas party. If you think you might not be able to drive, don’t drive! Have a relative, friend, cab, or Uber take you home, as it is never worth it.

 

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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?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald:  We have a fleet of 20 drivers.

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

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

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

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

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

Ronald: We are open 24/7.

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

Ronald: We also offer a personal chauffer service.

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

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

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

 

How Does Never Driving Again Sound to You?

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

See below for the full article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: NYTimes

More Women Are Behind the Wheel Driving Cabs in New York City

More and more women are behind the wheel and driving Taxis, Uber and Lyft. With safety not being such a major concern any more, many women are taking on jobs with TLC and e-hailing car services.

Check out the full article here:

More women are behind the wheel – and getting paid.

High crime and dangerous streets have pushed many women out of the industry since the 1970s. But as the city, and services like Uber and Lyft, have beefed up safety measures through new technology, more women are opting into the profession.

Women first became part of New York’s taxi force in the 1940s, according to 2014’s “Taxicab Fact Book.” By the 1970s several thousand women were a part of the city’s yellow taxi fleet, but that figure shrunk to a few hundred by the 1990s, said Allan Fromberg, a spokesman for the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

“There was definitely a mass exit of many female cab drivers in the 1970s due to the wave of crimes,” Fromberg said. “When crime was brought more under control and the city was a significantly safer place, starting in the ’90s, unfortunately women did not come back in those numbers.”

But that’s changing now.

About 349 women were registered as active medallion taxi drivers in 2015, 63 more than 2010, and 1,375 women were working in the for-hire vehicle service industry in the city.

Companies such as Uber and Lyft have made the profession more attractive for women, since they track client information and allow their drivers to make up their own schedule.

“I never thought that I would drive a taxi,” said 53-year-old Bronx resident Adalgisa Sanchez. She started driving with Uber three years ago, after leaving her job as a graphics designer to take care of her daughter. “I didn’t want anybody getting in my car without knowing who they are, and I didn’t want to handle money in my car.”

Uber has about 76,000 women drivers nationwide, about 19% of its fleet. About 30% of Lyft drivers are female.

Women make up about 4% of New York City’s for-hire operators and 1% of medallion drivers.

The flexible scheduling offered by for-hire services has helped make them more attractive for women, especially mothers, compared to working as medallion drivers, who often work set shifts because the vehicle or medallion is shared or rented, according to Bhairavi Desai, founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance.

“Most women (medallion) drivers I’ve known through the years tend to be driver-owned vehicle operators because they own the vehicle and have more control (over their schedules),” Desai said. “In the same way that women could organize their schedules or sense of control being in the DOV model, that’s similar to how people would view the Uber model.”

Taxi drivers had the highest number of deaths due to violence compared to any other occupation from 2006-2013, according to data from Bloomberg News. And the Bureau of Labor has classified the profession as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

But Fromberg said that the statistics reported by the BLS don’t accurately reflect the industry in New York City. “There is no question in my mind that New York City has skewed the national take on the dangers of being a cab driver.”

Melissa Plaut, a 40-year-old yellow cab driver since 2004, found that being a female cabbie was filled with other pressing concerns outside of the realm of danger.

Plaut who is also a student at Hunter College and the author of “Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do With My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab,” said that the biggest hurdle for her and many other female cabbies was breaking from a shift to use a restroom.

“(It’s) hardest thing about being a female cab driver,” Plaut said.

“Having to look for parking every day and using a restroom somewhere gets expensive. Almost all of the guys I knew circumvented that.”

Photo: AmNY/ Melissa Plaut

Melissa Plaut is the author of “Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to Do With My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab.”

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

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

Traffic Ticket Violations Points

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

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

L Train Shutdown or Service Change Talks Have Begun

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

Please read the rest of the article below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC to receive 15 miles of bike lanes this year

Mayor Deblasio announced that there will be 15 miles of protected bike lanes installed in the five boroughs by the end of 2016. These additions are a continued effort of Deblasio’sVision Zero” initiative to reduce traffic deaths.

Check out the rest of the article below:

Bike riders throughout the city can feel a little safer this year.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Transportation announced Thursday that they will install 15 miles of protected bike lanes throughout the five boroughs by the end of the year.

De Blasio said this is three more miles than were built last year and it’s a key component of his “Vision Zero” initiative that aims to reduce traffic deaths.

“Even after the safest year ever recorded on our streets, our Vision Zero efforts will expand the network of protected bike lanes even farther, so we can have safer streets for all our people,” he said in a statement.

A protected bike lane has a barrier from road traffic.

There will be 10 sections of road that will get the bike lanes in four boroughs and one bridge. Manhattan will get the lion’s share of the protected sections in four locations: Amsterdam Avenue between West 72nd and 110th streets; Chrystie Street between Canal and 2nd streets; 6th Avenue between West 8th and West 33rd streets and; 2nd Avenue between East 105 and East 68th streets.

Three sections in Queens will get the lanes: 20th Avenue between 37th Street and Shore Boulevard; Hoyt Avenue North between 27th and 19th streets; and Shore Boulevard between Ditmars Boulevard and Astoria Park South.

A protected lane will also be installed at the Bruckner Boulevard between Hunts Point and Longwood avenues in the Bronx, the Marine Park Connector between Avenue U and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, and the Pulaski Bridge.

US Attorney General’s Daughter Arrested after Failure to Pay Her Uber-T Fare in Brooklyn

The stepdaughter of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch found herself in trouble with the law after failing to pay a cab driver in Brooklyn, police sources said Sunday.

Kia Absalom was taken into police custody and placed in a holding cell at the 69th Precinct stationhouse in Canarsie after she couldn’t cover her $20 fare about 3:30 p.m. last Monday, according to police sources.

Hassan Almaweri drove the cab that Kia Absalom, stepdaughter to U.S. Attoney for New York Loretta Lynch, allegedly couldn’t pay for.

Hassan Almaweri drove the cab that Kia Absalom, stepdaughter to U.S. Attoney for New York Loretta Lynch, allegedly couldn’t pay for.

The cabbie, Hassan Almaweri, 58, said Absalom, 21, told him she thought she’d paid with an app and didn’t have cash.

 

“I asked her to pay me,” Almaweri told the Daily News.

“She said, ‘No, I paid by the app.’”

“What do you mean, the app?” Almaweri says he responded.

 

Almaweri is a taxi driver signed up for UberT — Uber’s taxi hail option, according to a spokesperson for the app. For a $2 fee, riders can use Uber to book a yellow or green cab and then pay with cash or credit, not through the app.

Absalom, whose father, Stephen Hargrove, married Lynch in 2007, said she didn’t have any credit cards on hand but had credit card numbers, which the driver refused to accept, police sources said.

“So I drive her to the police station,” Almaweri said. “I go to the police and say, ‘This lady doesn’t want to pay me.’”

A sergeant who was involved with the dispute said Absalom never made mention of her relationship to Lynch.

After Absalom was placed in a cell, her boyfriend came and paid the fare, the cabbie and police sources said. Police voided the arrest, and Absalom was released without ever being fingerprinted or processed, sources said.

Later that day, a lieutenant at the precinct notified the department of the arrest and an internal review was launched, police sources said.

The cabbie, Hassan Almaweri, 58, said Absalom, 21, told him she thought she’d paid with an app and didn’t have cash.

The cabbie, Hassan Almaweri, 58, said Absalom, 21, told him she thought she’d paid with an app and didn’t have cash.

On Thursday, Absalom’s father, along with FBI agent John Robison, visited the precinct to make sure that Absalom didn’t get preferential treatment and that the incident was handled properly, sources said. They even verified that Absalom’s shoelaces were removed after she was placed in a cell, just like anybody else in custody, sources said.

Lynch was sworn in as attorney general in April.

Article Originally Featured on NY Daily News

*Photo Credit: “Loretta E. Lynch Addresses the CERD Committee” By: United States Geneva’s Photostream/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

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: 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.

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

 

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 

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.

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

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

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.

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.

  1. Pingback

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 Zero Point Parking Violation

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

 Another happy client had a 6 Point Speeding Ticket in Suffolk County, New York reduced to a no-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 82 MPH in a 55 MPH speed zone (that’s 27 MPH over the legal limit).  Our client was driving West Bound on route 27 of Sunrise Highway near Carlton Avenue.

Traffic Ticket Violations Points

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

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

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

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

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

  1. diakanke bah  |  

    I just received a ticket last night for operating a mobile device while driving in new york. I have a new jersey drivers licence and I currently don’t have any points on my license…. I’m looking for a trafficlawyer to help me fight this.

Headphone Tickets in New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC Traffic Tickets: Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving Ticket in New York

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

Penalties

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

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

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

Financial Impact

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

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

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

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Queens Driver Kills Cyclist and is Charged with DWAI-D

Queens Driver Charged with a DWAI-D—Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs After Killing a Cyclist

Article Originally Featured on NBC 4

The driver of a tractor trailer driver has been arrested on a manslaughter charge in connection with an accident in Queens that killed a bicyclist.

Police say 57-year-old Dennis Forceri was making a right turn onto 56th Road at 48th Street in Sunnyside Wednesday morning when he struck 34-year-old Anna Rodriguez, of Ridgewood.

Rodriguez was pronounced dead at Elmhurst General Hospital.

Police say Forceri was taken into custody at the scene. He also faces criminally negligent homicide, DWAI-D–Driving while Ability Impaired by Drugs and other charges.

It wasn’t clear if he had a lawyer.

*Photo Credit: “Ghost Bike” By: Todd/Source: Flickr

Drunk Driver in Brooklyn Files Lawsuit Against Cop Who Shot Him

Drunk-driving parolee files lawsuit against cop who shot him

Article Originally Featured on The New York Post

A drunken parolee whose car careened through Brooklyn, jumping curbs and smashing cars, is suing the cop who shot him to stop the vehicular rampage.

Robert Ortiz of Brooklyn claims Officer James Hasper “without any cause or provocation whatsoever, used unreasonable and excessive force” when he shot Ortiz in the shoulder to end the July 10, 2014 incident, according to a Brooklyn federal court lawsuit.

Ortiz admits he was in violation of his parole, and had “consumed alcohol and marijuana” before getting behind the wheel of a friend’s Chevy Suburban and zipping down Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie.

When police tried to pull him over, he fled, hitting at least three cars in the process, riding the sidewalks and forcing pedestrians to dodge him, court records say. He eventually turned onto a dead-end street and crashed into a fire hydrant.

Ortiz, 39, who has more than two dozen arrests on his rap sheet and was on parole for criminal possession of stolen property, was surrounded by officers but hadn’t gotten out of the car when Hasper approached.

Ortiz was slapped with a variety of charges and is due in court Nov. 10.

The whiny parolee wants unspecified damages and claims Hasper’s actions were “not reasonable under the circumstances.”

If you have received a traffic ticket for a DUI, DWI or any other alcohol and drug related offences, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com to learn more about how we can defend you.

A DUI 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. 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: Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Long Island.

*Photo Credit: “dazzled maniac Jim Morrison drowns out the haunting whimper of a coyote dying on the road by his dreadful death screen into the abyssal sun… HWY 01:23:47” By: Karl-Ludwig Poggeman”/Source: Flicrk

3 Point Speeding Ticket in Orange County Reduced to a 0 Point Parking Violation

3 Point Speeding Ticket in Florida Village Court in Orange County Reduced to a 0 Point Parking Violation

Another happy client had a 3 Point Speeding Ticket in Florida Village Court in Orange County, New York 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 at 3 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 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.

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.

Uber Driver Says: Driving for Uber Lets Me Live My American Dream

Uber Driver Says: Driving for Uber Lets Me Live My American Dream

Article Originally Featured on The New York Post

People are constantly talking about the American dream, but I want to talk a bit about the New York City dream. As a first-generation New Yorker, I was struggling to support a family in this expensive city until I started partnering with Uber. Now, I’m supporting three sons and a wife and am able to pursue my real passion on the side — music.

I was born in the Dominican Republic, and moved to New York City when I was 9 years old. I’m proud to have called The Bronx my home for 25 years. New York is the greatest city in the world but, as everyone knows, it’s not the most affordable.

I drove a yellow taxi for more than 10 years, and it was a constant struggle to make ends meet. I was always stressed about the fact that I couldn’t spend enough time with my family and wondered how I’d pay the bills each month.

I was earning between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. I thought that finding a job that allowed me to earn enough to support my family and give me time to pursue my dream of becoming a singer and spend time with my children would be impossible — until two years ago, when I found Uber.

The difference between driving a yellow taxi and partnering with Uber is like day and night.

With Uber, I make about $60,000 a year — and right now, I’m only working three days a week. Friday nights are incredibly busy for both taxi riders and Uber riders. When I was driving a yellow taxi, the most I could take home on a Friday was about $200 — and I had to work until 4 a.m. With Uber, I can make up to $600.

And last year, there were several instances when I made $7,000 in one month alone. The earning potential along with the flexibility and freedom is incredible.

I certainly don’t miss those grueling 12-hour shifts I was forced to work when I drove a yellow cab. I started off every day owing the medallion owner money. I barely slept. I barely saw my family. I always had a medallion owner breathing down my neck, and I was unable to take a vacation or else I would risk losing my right to lease the vehicle. I had no control over my life or my time.

Partnering with Uber doesn’t just mean more money in my pocket. It means I have time to work with my wife (who is also a singer) on recording our second album together because I can start or stop working whenever I want. We have time to perfect our craft and promote our work.

It also means I take my kids to baseball practice, music classes and school. Anyone who has three boys under the age of 7 knows how much time it takes to ensure they all get quality time with their dad.

Being a positive role model in their life is priceless. My family and I also got the opportunity this summer to visit the Dominican Republic, where I grew up, so I could show my children my roots — and what has grown from them, thanks to Uber.

But the most important benefit of working for Uber — for myself as well as my family — is the peace of mind we’ve gained. We’re no longer stressed about paying the bills and are more focused on spending quality time with one another and doing what we love. We’re happier — after all, we’re living a life we only dreamed of not all that long ago.

And as I’ve learned since becoming an Uber partner, my experience is far from unique — it appears to be par for the course.

Partnering with Uber gives you the chance to create your own earning potential — to stop letting others set limits on your own career. That’s the true New York City dream. I’m living proof.

Samuel Nunez has been an Uber driver-partner for two years. He lives in The Bronx with his wife and three sons.

*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

  1. I’ve heard about the “great” earning potential with Uber, but I find it incredibly hard to believe that an Uber driver can net anything more than $500 a week working three days. Leasing or renting a TLC vehicle is costly and so is gas.

3 Point Disobey Traffic Device and Aggravated Driving Unlicensed in Rockland County

3 Point Disobey Traffic Device and Aggravated Driving Unlicensed in Piermont Justice Court in Rockland County, New York Reduced to 0 Points

Another happy client had 3 points dismissed on a disobey traffic device and no criminal charges for aggravated driving unlicensed!

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

Aggravated Driving Unlicensed carries no points but is considered a misdemeanor criminal offense.  If you are pulled over by a police officer for a traffic violation, such as speeding, and the police officer realizes that your license is suspended or revoked, you can be charged for aggravated driving unlicensed.   In our client’s case, we were able to reduce the misdemeanor to a no-point traffic violation.  As a result, our client has no points and no criminal record!

If you are ticketed for disobeying a traffic device or have an aggravated unlicensed violation, we can fight for you.  Call for free legal advice at (212) 227-9008 or email us at MichaelBlock.law@gmail.com.  A  Disobey Traffic Device 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 work for the best possible outcome.

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

TLC Lawyer: TLC Illegally Took Away Taxi Cars and Ubers

Illegal car seizures violated drivers’ constitutional rights: judge

Original Article Featured on The New York Post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 Point Speeding Ticket in Southampton Town Court

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Cellphone Tickets Have More than Doubled!

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

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

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

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

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

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Client Profile: Meet Oumare Toure

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

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

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

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A New Look for Yellow Cabs to Compete with Uber

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

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

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

New York Lawyer: Traffic Ticket After a Car Accident

Traffic Ticket Issued After a Car Accident

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

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

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

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

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

New York City Lawyer: Disobeying a Traffic Control Device

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

What is it?

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

What should I do?

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

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

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

NYC Red Light Traffic Ticket

NYC Red Light Traffic Ticket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Reduce Points on Your License

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Everything You Should Know About DUI and DWI

Drinking and driving can be a dangerous and costly combination.  In New York, about 90,000 DWI-related arrests are made every year.  The 4 common drug and alcohol related offences are:

  1. DWI—Driving While Intoxicated

A driver is usually stopped and charged with a DWI when they give an officer probable cause, such as swerving, to 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%.

  1. DWAI—Driving While Ability Impaired

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.  Individuals charged with a DWI sometimes get their charges reduced to DWAI.  Their attorney might work with a District Attorney to settle for this lesser charge.  The success of being offered a DWAI depends on the facts and circumstances of the case and whether or not this is a repeated offense.  A conviction will lead to a 90 day license suspension and fines.

  1. ADWI—Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

The ADWI can be given to any driver with a BAC of .18% or greater.  This type of charge can lead to fines, license suspension, and even jail time.  The ADWI can sometimes be reduced to a DWI depending on the driver’s case.  Although the initial ADWI is considered a misdemeanor, any repeated ADWI is considered a felony.

  1. DWAI-D—Driving While Ability Impaired-Drugs

A driver can be charged with a DWAI-D if they drive after consuming illegal or prescription drugs.  Usually a chemical test, which requires a blood or urine sample, is administered after an accident occurs to determine the presence of drugs in the driver’s body.

If you have received a traffic ticket for a DUI, DWI or any other alcohol and drug related offences, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 or email us at michaelblock.law@gmail.com to learn more about how we can defend you.

*Photo Credit: “Beer Bottle – DUI” By: New York Lawyers/Source: Flickr

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6 Things to Know When You Receive a Cellphone Ticket

  1. Why you received the Cellphone Ticket.

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

  1. Gathering the Evidence

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

  1. License Points

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

  1. The Cost

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

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

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

  1. We’re here to Help

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

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

Traffic Ticket Lawyer NYC: Young Driver – Distracted Driving Survey

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

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

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

Survey Answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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NYC Traffic Ticket Lawyer: Commercial Trucking Violations

When New York commercial truck drivers violate New York commercial truck driving laws, they run the risk of incurring heavy fines and penalties along with the possibility of losing their jobs as commercial truck drivers. It is the driver’s responsibility to handle a traffic ticket if it is written out in the driver’s individual name, even if the trucking company tells the driver that the company will take care of the traffic ticket.

Common Commercial Trucking Violations

Some of the common commercial trucking violations that New York traffic lawyers fight are: off truck routes, overloaded axles, and missing DOT stamps. When a commercial truck is pulled over, it is often the case that multiple traffic tickets are issued at once for these infractions.

Off Truck Routes

With almost 1,000 miles worth of designated roadway, New York City has one of the most complex truck route systems in the nation. Off Truck Route tickets carry 2 points, and hiring a traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket and may help you. There are specific routes that commercial truck drivers must follow. For example, A 53 foot-trailer is allowed to travel through New York City to reach routes on Long Island must use a specific route that includes taking the Throgs Neck Bridge to the Long Island Expressway (I-495) East. The DOT publishes a full color, double-sided map featuring New York City’s comprehensive Truck Route network as well as useful information like route signage and weight limits and dimensions and that map can be found here.

Overloaded Axles

Federally mandated maximum weights for the National System of Interstate and Defense Highway Systems are as follows: 80,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, 20,000 pound single axle weight, and 34,000 pound tandem axle weight. A bridge weight formula is applied to commercial vehicles in determining their compliance with federal weight limits. Also, axle spacing is an important consideration that must be taken into account when looking at federal weight compliance. It is important to note that having overloaded consecutive axles is one of the common commercial trucking violations and can have fines reaching more than $7,000. These fines, with the addition of the driver losing his Commercial Driver’s License put truck drivers in a precarious position and in need of an experienced traffic ticket attorney.

Medical Certificate

New federal regulations require that every commercial driver’s license holder must certify to the type of commercial driving they currently perform. These new requirements will affect everyone who has, or is applying for a Commercial Driver License. If you have a commercial driver’s license, whether it is a Class A, B, or C or a CDL permit, you must certify the type of driving that you do anytime you perform a license transaction. You will be required to choose only one driving type out of the four options of Non-Excepted Interstate (NI), Non-Expected Intrastate (NA), Expected Interstate (EI), and lastly Expected Intrastate (EA). You can download and print a DMV brochure about medical certification here.

Roadside Inspection

Roadside inspections have been put into place in order to promote highway safety and reduce commercial vehicle crashes. New York State Police are the primary participants of the roadside inspections. When a vehicle has been stopped for a safety inspection, the driver must comply with the inspector’s instructions and the procedure established by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to inspect the driver and vehicle. Inspectors will look for a proper Commercial Driver License, medical certificate (if required), duty book, and other parts of the vehicle like fully functioning brakes and lighting. If any serious defects are discovered, the vehicle will be placed out-of-service until the proper repairs have been made. However, if the vehicle is in use prior to the completion of the necessary repairs, then a penalty of $1,000-$5,000 may be assessed.  In addition to the roadside inspection, every vehicle requires periodic inspection that must be performed at least once every 12 months.

If you are a truck driver and receive a commercial trucking violation such as overloaded axels or off truck routes in New York State, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 to learn more about how we can help assist you and defend your traffic ticket.

Uber Statistics Are In!

Uber has recently revealed the highly anticipated information on its drivers servicing New York City. Uber has released the exact ride numbers for the past 2 months in an attempt to rebuff Mayor Bill Deblasio following the City Council’s vote on a potential new cap for ride share companies. Uber released this information in a 56-page Excel document that details the number of pickups and active drivers currently on the road with the Uber app turned on for the last couple of months, all broken down by hour. Rides are also broken down into sections of New York City, like below 59th street in the city’s central business district. On July 19th, there were 3,198 Uber drivers active during the full 24 hours of that day. An interesting fact from the data revealed that the month of June saw 3,492,389 Uber pickups in New York City. Another fact to look at is that Uber’s busiest times are almost always late at night, with some days nearing 150 requests a minute between 9pm – 12am. What do you think of these statistics?

City Council to Hold Vote on Uber Cap Next Week

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

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

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

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

 

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Vision Zero Vigil Takes Over Union Square

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

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

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

Can we ever know how many Uber and Lyft cars are really out there?

Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft are concealing data regarding the number of vehicles on the streets in San Francisco. These ridesharing companies avoid giving out any information because of their ongoing battles with each other, the city, and taxi driver unions, as well as the fact that both companies do not wish to give out any information to the public. Withholding the number of ride-for-hire cars creates great difficulties for city planners who must attempt to estimate how many cars are actually out on the streets. Lyft’s national accounts manager says that the company’s end goal is to reduce car ownership, but gave no specifics on their goals for the total number of Lyft drivers. How many ride-for-hire cars do you think are in New York City?

City Seeks to Limit New For-Hire Cars

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

Bus Drivers Cause Massive Delays with Vision Zero Protest

MTA buses caused massive delays in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx as part of a protest of the Vision Zero law that makes it a crime to kill or seriously injure a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Union officials instructed bus drivers that the best way to comply with the law was to not enter any crosswalks if there were pedestrians present – as a result, traffic came to an almost complete stop between 7am and 9am. A union leader was quoted as saying, ““The point of today’s outreach is to educate and instruct drivers how to operate under the de Blasio administration’s Right of Way. They should not move their buses until the crosswalk is completely free of pedestrians.” Spokespeople for the bus drivers’ union claim that the city, not the bus drivers, create the dangerous situations that pedestrians often find themselves in because of the huge blind spots on city buses and the fact that both drivers making turns and pedestrians crossing the street are given green lights at the same time.

But if the point of the protest was to garner sympathy or support, it likely missed the mark. Many people were angry and upset because of the delays and placed the blame squarely on the bus drivers.

We want to know: do you think the bus drivers are being treated unfairly by Vision Zero laws? Was there a better way for them to get their point across?

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10% of all Uber Rides Happen in China

While it might seem like Uber has taken over New York City, especially since Uber cars now outnumber Yellow taxi cabs, it has just been reported that 10% of all Uber business takes place in China. That works out to 100,000 rides a day in China, compared to the roughly 34,000 rides a day Uber makes in NYC. Still, Yellow taxi cabs make much more rides per day than either of those numbers combined, with a whopping 485,000 rides a day in NYC.

What do you think of these numbers? Are they surprising? Do you expect the number of Uber rides to keep increasing?

Nearly 4,000 Drivers Banned for Life after DWI Convictions

Since adopting harsher penalties for drunk drivers three years ago, New York State has permanently revoked nearly 4,000 drivers’ licenses for serial offenders. Since late 2012, New York has been suspending licenses of those with 3 DWI convictions over the past 25 years – this led to the suspension of over 7,500 licenses. Drivers with 3 DWI convictions over the past 25 years in addition to other serious violations, such as causing a fatal accident or receiving 20 points on their licenses, may also face a permanent driving ban.

A driver’s license suspension means that the person cannot legally drive during the period of the suspension, while a revocation means that the person’s driving privileges have been cancelled and they will have to reapply for a license at the end of the revocation period.

If you are charged with drunk driving or receive any traffic tickets in New York, please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 so that we can start working on your case and fight to help you avoid losing your driving privileges.

Record Number of Fines Issued for Illegal Airport Pickups

Over the past two years, the number of tickets issued by the TLC to taxi drivers for illegal airport tickets has skyrocketed by 150%. The TLC issued 431 illegal pick up tickets in April 2015, compared to 171 issued in April 2013. The yellow cab industry claims that the spike in tickets is due to Uber and other ride-sharing apps that are making illegal pickups, while the TLC claims that the increase came about because they have added many more patrols to the airports to combat the illegal pickups.

If you are a taxi driver and have been issued an illegal airport pick up ticket, please contact us as soon as possible at 212-227-9008 to see how we can help you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Broken Windows” Gets More Weapons off the Street

On Sunday, Brooklyn police officers approached a group of 5 men who were drinking alcohol in public, a practice that is part of the “Broken Windows” style of policing that targets low-level offenses in the hopes of curbing more major crimes. In this instance, “Broken Windows” did its job as two of the men attempted to get rid of a knife and a firearm as the officers asked for their IDs. Both men were charged with possession of an illegal weapon, and the gun and the knife were both taken off the streets.

Some members of City Council claim that “Broken Windows” should be done away with because it clogs up the city’s judicial system, but Mayor de Blasio stands behind the policy and recent polls show that the majority of New Yorkers approve of this kind of quality-of-life policing.

What is your take on “Broken Windows?”

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

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

NYC Traffic Tickets

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

Distracted Driving and Cell Phone Tickets

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

Vision Zero

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

Other Crackdowns

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

How a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help

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

Uber Drivers Turning Cars into Yellow Taxi Cabs

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

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

Probe Finds Mixed Results for Vision Zero

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

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

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

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

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

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

Broken Windows has Support Amongst New Yorkers

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

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

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Harlem Youth Fatally Struck by Livery Cab

A Harlem boy was fatally struck by a livery cab on Wednesday after school. No charges have been filed as of yet, as it has not been determined whether the driver failed to yield the right of way while the boy crossed the street. A school crossing guard claimed that the boy ran across the street while the car had the green light. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero policy, drivers involved in incidents where failure to yield the right of way results in the death or injury of pedestrians can face criminal charges.

Our condolences go out to the boy’s family during this difficult time.

NYDOHMH Report Shows That Motor Vehicles are a Leading Cause of Death for NYC Children

A new report from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that over 400 NYC children were killed as a result of motor vehicle injuries between 2002 and 2013, a statistic that reinforces the goal of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program. In fact, motor vehicles were the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 12 in NYC. City officials claim that Vision Zero will work to lower the amount of motor vehicle related deaths among children, as well as all pedestrians in NYC, because of the focus on pedestrian safety. That includes strict enforcement of speeding and failure to yield offenses, as well as lowering speed limits and creating more pedestrian-safe crossings.

What are your thoughts on this surprising statistic?

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

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

When Drivers Use Cell Phones

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

What Drivers Do on Cell Phones

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

Not Just Automobiles

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

Fines and Penalties

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

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

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“Broken Windows” Policing Reduced Crime, Lowered Prison Population

Police Commissioner Bratton’s “Broken Windows” approach to policing, which aims to crackdown on low-level criminal offenses such as public intoxication and riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, has recently come under attack by the City Council. Members of the council claim that these low-level criminal offenses clog the court system and are pushing for such offenses to be de-criminalized. In response, Bratton produced a report that shows a 36% drop in major felonies since 1994 when he took over as commissioner and pushed this “Broken Windows” approach. The report also showed that there has been a significant drop in the prison population in the past 20 years.

Bratton pointed to a recent quality-of-life stop as a perfect reason why “Broken Windows” works: a man was stopped by two officers for riding his bicycle on a sidewalk. During the course of the stop, it was discovered that the man had a warrant out for his arrest, and more importantly, was illegally carrying a firearm. “That quality-of-life bicycle stop was essential in getting a gun off the street and getting basically a career criminal once again put back in the system,” said Bratton. Mayor de Blasio is standing behind Commissioner Bratton in this regard and supporting “Broken Windows,” though there are signs that Hillary Clinton supports the reversal of such policies nationwide, many of which were put in place during her husband’s tenure as President.

If you receive a summons for a low-level crime such as public intoxication or public littering, or if you a receive a traffic ticket in New York, please contact us at 212-227-9008 to find out how we may help you and keep your record clean.

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

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

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

NYC Cell Phone Tickets Skyrocket since Last Year

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

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Judge Freezes NYC Taxi Medallions, Denies Seizure Request

A Manhattan judge has put a freeze on 87 medallions and taxi cabs owned by Gene Friedman, the “Taxi Kingpin,” but denied the seizure attempt made by CitiBank to collect on outstanding debt – for now.

Friedman owes CitiBank $31.5 million, and he used the taxi cab medallions as collateral when borrowing the money. The judge ordered Friedman to settle his debt with CitiBank by April 30, otherwise he would grant the seizure request. Friedman claims that he has been unable to pay back the loans due to the financial stress that Uber has put on the NYC taxi industry, and also because of the tightening of the bank’s lending practices.

Will Friedman be able to pay CitiBank what he owes in the next month? Or will Uber put the “Taxi Kingpin” out of business?

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Self-Driving Car on its Way to New York City

On Sunday, auto technology company Delphi launched its self-driving car on a cross-country trip from the Golden Gate Bridge to midtown Manhattan. The trip will last 8 days and will culminate with the car’s presentation at the New York Auto Show.

The car, even though it is driving itself, is has carrying several passengers, including someone behind the driver’s seat at all times in order to comply with state laws. The passengers rotate in and out of the driver’s seat during the 8 hours spent on the road every day, while an engineer monitors the car’s data. The person in the driver seat is there to take over if necessary to avoid collisions, but the car is loaded with software and sensors in order to let it make “human-like decisions such as exiting and entering highway traffic, navigating city streets, or parking.”

Self-driving cars were always seen as a thing of the future, but apparently that future is much closer than we imagined. It’s possible that a self-driving car can eliminate problems like DWI or certain traffic accidents, as well as reduce the amount of traffic in cities and interstates that is caused by driver error. But there are always risks that come with automation – if there is an equipment malfunction, the person in the driver’s seat must be aware enough to take control of the car to avoid a serious situation.

What are your thoughts on the self-driving car? Is it a dream come true? Or are there unforeseen circumstances of putting too much responsibility on technology, especially when it comes to something as serious as driving?

More Uber Cars than Yellow Taxis in New York City

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

Uber Forces "Taxi Kingpin" into Debt

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

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

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

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New York City Speeding Tickets on the Rise

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

Transit Unions Cry Foul Over New Failure to Yield Law

As part of Mayor DeBlasio’s push to end all traffic deaths in New York City, a new failure to yield law makes it a
criminal offense if a driver injures or kills a pedestrian who has the right of way. At least three city bus drivers
have been arrested for violating the law since it went into effect in August, but transportation unions believe that
bus drivers are being unfairly attacked and are now supporting an amendment that would exclude them from the law.
What do you think: should this law be amended to protect city bus drivers, or should bus drivers be held to the same
standard as other city drivers?

For the full article, please visit:
Mayor DeBlasio’s Traffic Law Vilifies Bus Drivers, Union Says

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