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Tag Archives: vision zero

Vision Zero Aids in Decline in Traffic Fatalities?

New York City has cut traffic deaths over the past three years. Since the beginning of the Mayor’s Vision Zero program,  there has been a 23% decline in traffic fatalities. There has been a 14% increase in traffic deaths  across the rest  of the United States. Additionally, since the inception of Vision Zero, New York City doled out 42,385 tickets for drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, which is nearly four times the annual average before Vision Zero began.

 

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

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.

 

 

 

Photo via VisualHunt

More traffic deaths in 2017

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

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

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

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

Right of Way Controversy

Last year, a cab driver attempted to challenge the constitutionality of the Right of Way Law and failed. He pled guilty to violating the Right of Way Law just a few days ago.

The Right of Way Law made striking a pedestrian who has the right of way an unclassified misdemeanor.

On a separate occasion, an NYC judge has dismissed charges against a motorist against the Right of Way Law on the grounds that it violated the defendants 5th and 14th amendment rights.

According to Section 1142 part b, Article 29 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law Laws, a vehicle entering a stop or yield section shall yield the right of way to any pedestrian legal crossing the roadway on which he is driving. A failure to yield to pedestrian in the crosswalk ticket faces 3 points and a minimum fine of $138

Do you think a motorist who accidentally strikes a pedestrian should face criminal charges?

If you receive a summons for a failure to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk, call us at 212-227-9008

Photo via VisualHunt

New Addition to Vision Zero

Evening commuters must now face more dangerous conditions as the days get darker earlier. According to a study conducted by the DMV over the years 2010-2014, an earlier sunset and darkness have been linked to an increase in the total number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles. This problem has occurred on a national level, and, in New York City as well.

According to a traffic analysis conducted by New York City, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. the hourly rate if of fatalities and severe injuries to pedestrians rose to 2.44 in Mid December, compared to the average rate of .84 in August. And, a majority of those pedestrian fatalities or severe injuries came from motorists making turns. So, remember to turn more vigilantly.

The DeBlasio administration took it upon themselves to act on this frightening statistic. The Mayor’s office will announce a new $1.5 million dusk and darkness safety campaign geared towards creating more safety during the hours of darkness. The new safety campaign is an addition to the city’s Vision Zero plan for eliminating injuries and fatalities caused by vehicles. This addition to the Vision Zero program will help aid in keeping pedestrians and motorists safe, and alive.

Interestingly, this is the first time that New York City has adjusted its traffic policy based on a seasonal factor.

Received a traffic violation summons after dark? Make an improper turn, used your cellphone, or get caught speeding and receive a ticket? We can help you fight that ticket! Give us a call at 212-227-9008.

NYPD is Working Overtime to Protect Bike Riders

The weather is getting warmer and New Yorkers are opting for bike riding instead of driving or taking the subway. This week Mayor DeBlasio is cracking down on motorists who drive or idle in stop lanes.

Read below for the full article:

The NYPD is cracking down on road hogs blocking bike lanes.

All 77 Police Department precincts will take part in a week-long crackdown that started Monday specifically targeting motorists blocking bike lanes or idling in no-standing zones. It’s part of a new Bicycle Safe Passage initiative to promote Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of Vision Zero.

“We believe in protecting everyone on our streets,” de Blasio said in a statement. “This targeted initiative will make sure New Yorkers on bikes have clear bike lanes and safe conditions as more and more people take to the streets.”

Launched during Bike Month, the NYPD wants to correct bad behaviors as summer cyclists hit the street.

“We see, as the weather gets better, more cyclists in New York City and we want to make sure they can utilize the bike lanes in a safe manner,” said NYPD Transit Chief Thomas Chan at a press conference Monday.

Since 1990, daily cycling trips in the city have increased by 320 percent, according to a Department of Transportation report released in May.

As more cyclists ride in the city, safe streets advocates have questioned the NYPD’s commitment to Vision Zero.

At March’s Vision Zero Conference, Police Commissioner William Bratton told the crowd that the idea of reaching zero traffic deaths would “probably remain elusive.”

“We are focusing on violations that can endanger our city’s cyclists, and making sure New Yorkers can safely travel on bike lanes throughout the five boroughs,” Bratton said in a statement supporting the initiative.

Chan said that the NYPD has remained dedicated since the mayor launched the initiative in 2014.

“In 2014…we actually reduced the number of traffic deaths by 15 percent and last year, in 2015, we reduced the number by 9 percent,” Chan said. “So we’ve been working towards the goal of reducing the total number of fatalities and injuries that are occurring on the streets of the city of New York.”

The enforcement blitz will run through Friday. Chan said that a focused, week-long window can be more effective than extending crackdowns longer. The NYPD hasn’t ruled out more crackdowns under the initiative, but will wait to see how the results turn out this week.

Photo: AmNY

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.

New Yorkers Blow through Red Lights at Alarming Rates

While Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Vision Zero plan has implemented more than 150 red light cameras and brought in $16.9 Million in revenue from camera tickets, studies reveal that NYC drivers continue to rush past the red light 10 percent of the time.

Still, it’s easy to speed past a red light sometimes. The yellow light changes too quickly, or you find yourself already passing the light before realizing that it has changed.  Regardless of how it happened, red light tickets carry costly fines and can contribute to an increase in the cost of your insurance.  A camera ticket is different from a ticket issued directly by the police officer.  A camera ticket has no points, but a ticket issued by an officer does.

Camera Ticket
If your car is photographed running a red light on camera, you will receive a NOL—Notice of Liability.  You may fight the red light camera charges within 30 days.  If you plead guilty, you will be required to pay a fine of at least $50 (not including surcharges).  You will not receive points for these tickets and they will not be reported to your insurance company.  A red light ticket issued by a police officer is different.

Ticket Issued by a Police Officer
If a police officer issues the red light ticket, then your offense will be categorized as a traffic infraction and your conviction will result in 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 is as follows:

● $190 minimum (plus surcharge) for the first offense (in an 18 month period).
●  $375 minimum (plus surcharge) for the second offense (in an 18 month time period).
● $940 minimum (plus surcharge) for the third offense (in an 18 month time period).

Always remember that if you receive 11 points in an 18 month period your New York driver’s license may be suspended.  Drive carefully and give us a call at
(212) 227-9008 or email michaelblock.law@gmail.com for help with any traffic tickets or moving violations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vision Zero Vigil Takes Over Union Square

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

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

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

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer: What is Vision Zero?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Vision Zero’s First Arrest: Was it Really the Bus Driver’s Fault?

According to an MTA report, the first bus driver arrested under New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, Theresa Gallagher, was found to not be at fault for running over a pedestrian. The bus driver was put in jail for fatally running over a man in a South Bronx intersection last October on East 147th Street. Under Vision Zero, bus drivers, as well as all other drivers, face misdemeanor charges if a pedestrian is seriously injured or killed due to the driver failing to yield right of way. A report from the MTA noted that Gallagher was not at fault due to a faulty streetlight limiting the bus driver’s visibility, which led to the fatal accident involving pedestrian in the early morning darkness. Since Vision Zero has taken effect, 6 bus drivers have been arrested under the law for failure to yield offenses. In addition, New York City’s speed limit has been lowered to 25 mph, which has led to a drastic increase in the amount of speeding tickets issued by the NYPD.

Please contact us immediately at 212-227-9008 if you receive a traffic ticket for failure to yield or if you receive a speeding ticket in New York City.

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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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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.

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.

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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Bus Driver is Filmed While Reading and Driving without his Hands on the Wheel

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so it is fitting that passengers on a shuttle bus in Queens filmed the bus driver while he was reading schedule sheets and using his forearms and wrists to drive the bus. The passenger recorded the driver for about 10 minutes before she got off the bus, and the video clearly shows the bus driver was driving while distracted. The driver is now under investigation by the MTA and could face punishments anywhere from re-training to termination. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero policy, all MTA drivers have been given more training in an effort to end all pedestrian traffic deaths. What do you think the consequences should be for this driver? Is re-training the answer, or is there no place in the MTA drivers who engage in such dangerous behavior?

NYC Speed Cameras Bring In $16.9 Million

There are 57 NYC speed cameras operational in the city, and in just one year they have issued 445,065 tickets and brought the city $16.9 million in revenue. By contrast, NYPD officers have issued 117,767 speeding tickets during the same time and have increased their issuance of speeding tickets and failure to yield tickets by 52%. This increase is due to Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program, which seeks to end all traffic deaths in the city. 83 more speed cameras are going to be operational by the end of the year, bringing the total up to 140. NYC traffic tickets account for about $300 million of city revenue. These traffic tickets often carry points and other hidden fees for drivers, so if you have received a traffic ticket in Manhattan, please contact our office at 212-227-9008.

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

New York City Traffic Lawyer: Basics of Speeding Tickets

The enforcement of speeding ticket violations is an important part of New York City traffic laws, and a conviction can have a drastic impact on your finances. Representation by a New York City traffic attorney can help prevent negative financial and driving record consequences.

Fines
Speeding ticket fines range from $150 to almost $1,300, depending on the severity and circumstances of the violation. Additionally, the court adds on surcharges to the fine, often in amounts over $80 and adds an additional assessment for convictions of 6 or more points. A New York City traffic court lawyer can be crucial in guiding you through the New York City traffic court process, and may be able to assist you so that you are not handing over your hard earned money to the government.

Points and Driver’s License Suspension
Speeding tickets can range from 3 to 11 points on your driver’s license, which, just like speeding ticket fines, depend on the circumstances of the violation. New York State often suspends driver’s licenses at 11 points – in addition, if you are convicted of three speeding violations within 18 months in New York State, your license will be revoked for at least 6 months. This revocation can have an extremely negative impact on your life, especially when it comes to finances. If having a valid driver’s license is necessary for your line of work, having your license suspended for 6 months can cause you to lose your job, and if that is your sole source of income, it will increase the hardships you may face. Additionally, after all convictions, you may face an increase in New York City insurance premiums.

Insurance Rates
If you plead guilty to the violation, points added to your driver’s license will almost always increase your insurance rates. This will have consequences for you: not only will you have to pay the fine (and surcharge) for the speeding ticket, but your premiums will go up and may cost you thousands of extra dollars over the course of a few short years. A New York City ticket attorney can help to steer you down the right path and help to save you money and points in the long run.

These are just a few of the issues that traffic lawyers in New York City handle for their clients. In addition, a traffic attorney can almost always represent you without your appearance in court, which can save you valuable time. If you have questions on how a speeding ticket affects you and your ability to drive here in New York, feel free to contact our office at (212) 227-9008 for assistance.

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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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