New NY Law Requires Taxi Seat Belt Use—Or Face Big Fines
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New NY Law Requires Taxi Seat Belt Use—Or Face Big Fines

After years of wending its way to Albany, a new traffic law requiring cab drivers and other commercial drivers to wear seat belts was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on October 24.

NYC Vision Zero Violations - For Cab Drivers

The law, initiated under Mayor DeBlasio’s NYC Vision Zero program, brings seat belt laws for taxi drivers and their passengers in line with existing laws for private drivers. The Vision Zero program develops rules, legislation, and communications strategies to improve traffic safety with the goal of reducing fatalities and serious injuries to zero.

The new law requires that “no person shall operate a taxi or livery unless such person is restrained by a safety belt approved by the commissioner. No person sixteen years of age or over shall be a passenger in the front seat of a taxi or livery unless such person is restrained by a safety belt approved by the commissioner.”

Closing a Legislative Loophole for New York Traffic Tickets

Previously, by a quirk of definition, taxis were defined as mass transit, a category that includes buses and subways, which are exempt from seat belt requirements. While laws for private drivers and passengers have been on the books since the 1980s, taxis have been excluded despite periodic attempts to change the law. With the implementation of Vision Zero in NYC, lawmakers have become much more amenable to passing legislation designed to increase passenger safety.

“Seat belts save lives and ... this is a common sense approach to expanding their use,” Taxi and Limousine Commission chairwoman Meera Joshi said. “We’ve had a lot of success using high-tech to solve customer-service and safety challenges, but sometimes, going ‘back to the future’ to a lower-tech solution like seat belts is the answer you need.”

New York City Traffic Ticket Fines Will Be Imposed

Parents and guardians of children under the age of 16 who are not properly restrained with seat belts will received the fine. In taxis and liveries, drivers are not responsible for passengers that do not comply with the law, although, as drivers, they now have to wear seat belts themselves.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance has expressed reservations about the new law due to an already competitive environment with other for-hire services like Uber and Lyft. Executive Director Bhairavi Desai raised concerns that seat belts restrain drivers too much—interfering with helping passengers and processing cash payments—and might slow down service. He acknowledged the new law will take some time for drivers to get used to, despite fears they will be targeted by law enforcement.

Passengers over the age of 16 riding in the back seat are not required to wear seat belts. The Taxi and Limousine Commission notes that 65% of passengers injured in cab crashes were not wearing seat belts.

The new law goes into effect in November 2017. Violators will face tickets of up to $100 for each violation.

FIND OUT HOW TO FIGHT YOUR NEW YORK TRAFFIC TICKET!

CALL WAXMAN & BEER

212-269-3988

With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts,  our team of local NYC traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time.  We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums

Michael Beer
Tips about NYC’s "Vision Zero" 25-Miles-Per-Hour Speed Limit
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Tips about NYC’s "Vision Zero" 25-Miles-Per-Hour Speed Limit

NYC’s Vision Zero Impact:

In 2014, the DeBlasio administration rolled out the Vision Zero Action Plan for New York City. Vision Zero takes an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to reducing pedestrian traffic injuries and deaths through public dialogue & education, law enforcement, street design, and legislation. In particular, fines and penalties are increasing, other penalties have become more severe, and the likelihood of receiving a traffic citation has increased dramatically.

NYC has a traffic ticket conviction rate of about 60% and higher. Although the odds are not favorable, they do indicate that you can get a ticket dismissed. A New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer who specializes in Vision Zero Tickets, such as New York Speeding Tickets, NYC Turning Violation Tickets, failure to yield to pedestrian tickets in New York will be an ideal advocate.

Experienced NY Traffic Attorneys know the law and procedures, and, most importantly, how the traffic court system in New York can be made to work in your favor.

Drivers can represent themselves, but dismissals are often achieved over technical details that drivers might never know or understand. If you want to speak with a 5 star rated NYC Traffic Lawyer right away, reach out to Waxman & Beer in Cedarhurst, NY at 212-269-3988.

Impact of High Traffic Enforcement

Drivers need to be aware of the increased enforcement and the costs associated with conviction on a traffic charge. The Vision Zero program has lowered the speed limit across the city, increased the number of slow zones, and installed hundreds of traffic and red light cameras, all providing more opportunities to issue traffic violations.

For 2016, 60% of all traffic citations were Vision Zero hazardous driving violations. The numbers are compelling. The NYPD issued:

  • Over 137,000 speeding tickets, a 78% increase since 2011
  • 42,000 tickets for failure to yield in a crosswalk, a 243% increase since 2011
  • 1,900 tickets and 39 arrests for drivers that hit a pedestrian or cyclist in violation of Right of Way laws

Success At a High Cost

Vision Zero has seen promising numbers in the reduction in pedestrian injury and death. In its recent report, the DeBlasio administration boasts significant success in stepping up enforcement.

The chart below illustrates the marked increase in summonses issued since the inception of the program.

The level of aggressive enforcement has created a greater need for a New York City traffic attorney to represent drivers in hearings to ensure they are treated fairly under the new program. The complexities of these costs are not always evident, and drivers issued citations need to be aware of their rights before pleading guilty to a New York traffic ticket.

The Rising Cost of New York City Traffic Violations

For an experienced traffic lawyer in NYC, these numbers are not surprising. The volume of drivers seeking a New York traffic attorney has increased, and for drivers who need to fight a speeding ticket in NYC, the stakes are high.

Speeding Tickets in New York City

Under Article 30, Section 1180-1 of the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Laws, the fine for speeding violations starts from the first mile over the speed limit.

Speeding Tickets in New York City Graph Note: NYC TVB does not impose jail time. Data Source: NYS VTL, Article 30 §1180-1

Speeding Tickets in New York City Graph

Note: NYC TVB does not impose jail time.

Data Source: NYS VTL, Article 30 §1180-1

The Vision Zero program is seeking ways to increase these fines.

Failure to Yield

As part of the Vision Zero program, the New York City Administrative Code was amended to include Local Law No. 29 of 2014 entitled “Right of Way.” Under this law, drivers convicted of failing to yield to pedestrians or cyclists are subjected to a fine up to $100. If the pedestrian or cyclist is injured, the fine increases to $250, in addition to any other fees or penalties for committing a misdemeanor.

With the 234% rise in tickets written for failure to yield, drivers are in need of an NYC traffic lawyer more often if they need to fight a traffic violation.

Help with NYC Tickets for Improper Turns

New York City Vehicle & Traffic Law, Article 28, codifies a number of improper and illegal turns for which drivers can be cited under the Vision Zero initiative. Improper turns are one the most often cited traffic violations in New York City, particularly Manhattan.

  • Failing to remain on the edge of the road

  • Turning when prohibited by a sign or marked lane

  • Making a prohibited u-turn

  • Unsafe turns

  • Lane changes

  • Failing to signal a turn

Fines and penalties for improper turns vary between $0 and $150, plus applicable fees or surcharges. The 40% increase in citations for these violations make it increasingly harder to fight a traffic citation without an NYC traffic attorney.

"How many points on license will I get in New York for a ticket?"

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employs a Points System that tracks high-risk drivers. Based on the severity of a traffic violation, the DMV assigns points to a license, which remain for years. If at any time a driver accumulates 11 points within an 18-month period, he or she may receive a license suspension. A New York City traffic attorney may be able to help reduce these penalties.

Select Violations and Associated Points

Data Source: NYS DMV, About the NYS Driver Point System

Data Source: NYS DMV, About the NYS Driver Point System

Guide to the Mandatory Fees for New York Traffic Violations

The DMV uses a Driver Assessment Responsibility program, a fee-based system intended to encourage safe driving and discourage chronic violations of traffic rules,. Depending on the nature of a driving-related offense and/or the number of points on a license accumulated, an annual fee is assessed for a period of three years. The DAR is in addition to any other fee, fine, or penalty the driver may be assessed by law.

Data Source: NYS DMV, Pay Responsibility Driver Assessment

New York State Traffic Violation Surcharge

As a final deterrent, New York State assesses a court surcharge for every traffic violation conviction. If a driver does not contest the ticket or fails to get the ticket dismissed, an automatic surcharge of $88 per violation is assessed for New York City violators and $93 elsewhere in the state.

Insurance and Points from Traffic Violations and Convictions in New York

The last stroke against drivers found guilty or who plead guilty to a traffic violation means that auto insurance premiums may go up. Under New York Insurance Law, Section 2335, insurers are allowed to increase premiums for drivers that accumulate convictions on their license. Increases will vary by insurer.

Enforcement and Defense Strategies

For drivers, fighting a speeding ticket in NYC has become more difficult than ever. The laws are changing, enforcement and penalties increased, and understanding the rules of the court system have become challenges better suited for a local traffic lawyer in New York than a private citizen.

Got a Traffic Ticket in NYC, Now What?

FIND OUT HOW TO FIGHT YOUR NEW YORK TRAFFIC TICKET!

CALL WAXMAN & BEER

212-269-3988

With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts,  our team of local NYC traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time.  We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums

 

 

Michael Beer
How to get a speeding ticket reduced in NY and NYC

HOW TO GET A SPEEDING TICKET REDUCED IN NY AND NYC

Getting a traffic ticket is never pleasant. When the violation is speeding, the fines and other penalties can be substantial and long-lasting. Various studies show that New York consistently ranks near the top of the list for speeding enforcement.

In New York State, two different venues handle speeding tickets. In New York City, non-criminal traffic violations are handled by the Traffic Violation Bureau (TVB), a division of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Everywhere else in the state, citations are handled by the local court system. This distinction is important, because unlike the court system, the TVB operates under different legal rules. A New York City Traffic attorney understands the differences between these two systems and can help you fight a traffic violation.
 

When to hire a traffic lawyer for speeding ticket

NYC has a speeding conviction rate of about 60% and higher. Although the odds are not favorable, they do indicate that you can get a ticket dismissed. A traffic attorney in New York who specializes in speeding tickets is an ideal advocate. They know the law and procedures, and, most importantly, how the system can be made to work in your favor. Drivers can represent themselves, but dismissals are often achieved over technical details that drivers might never know or understand. If you want to speak with a NYC Traffic Lawyer right away, reach out to Waxman & Beer in Cedarhurst, NY at 212-269-3988.

6 Tips for Fighting a traffic ticket in NYC or NY

1. Know what to wear to court for a speeding ticket

If you decide to go to court or a TVB hearing, make a good first impression by dressing appropriately. You don’t have to go full formal, but you will demonstrate that you are taking the process seriously. Here's what experts say men and women should wear to court.

What men should wear to traffic court in NYC

Men should wear a suit or business casual attire. Specifically wear shoes with socks. Long pants and a belt with a tucked in button down shirt is preferable. If you have a blazer or suit jacket, you may want to wear that as well. If you have a tie, that is helpful. If you have glasses, ask your lawyer if you should wear them.

The idea is to look professional and that you are respecting the court by not showing up in a t-shirt and shorts. If you don't look like you're taking the traffic court seriously, there is little reason for the judge to take your case seriously.

What women should wear to traffic court in NYC

According to experts, women should wear shoes, a dress, work appropriate skirt or long pants. Wearing a blouse, sweater or casual dress shirt is also acceptable. If you have a pair of glasses, ask your New York City traffic lawyer if it would make sense for you to wear them to court.

You want to look like you know how to show respect to the traffic court system and the judge's courtroom.

2. Be patient and prepared to wait in Traffic court if you don't have a traffic lawyer

You don’t have a real appointment, you have a date. Hearings are done first-come, first-serve, and you have no idea how long other cases will take. You show up on the date, sign in, and wait. And wait. And wait. Getting frustrated and impatient will make you less likely to think clearly, and you might miss something important during your hearing. 

Hiring a traffic lawyer can help you to jump to the head of the line during your day in traffic court. This is one of the main benefits to hiring Traffic Lawyers for NYC traffic tickets.

3. Show up for your traffic ticket hearing

The court system and TVB handle thousands of cases a year. The system is computerized. They will know if you return a response on time, if you showed up or not for a hearing, and if you followed the rules. Ignoring the process will result in a) likely being found guilty and b) more fines and penalties. For expert guidance, seeking out an NYC traffic ticket lawyer could help you avoid unnecessary mistakes with the process.

4. Be prepared to present the facts and that your lawyer knows all the details of your case

You will only have a few minutes to make your case. Keep it simple, and keep it about the law. Do your research on traffic law. Traffic court is about legal claims, not fairness ones. The judges have heard it all. Hearings can be stressful and confusing. Many drivers find that having a traffic lawyer in NYC who knows the nuances of the law is incredibly helpful.

5. Don't be rude, there are benefits to acting professional in traffic court

No one has ever gotten a ticket reduced or dismissed by being rude, angry, or belligerent. In a very real sense, you are asking for a break from the law. You won’t get a break if you insult or annoy the people you are asking for a break. Important tip: never accuse police officers of lying. They either are mistaken or misremembering.

6. How to negotiate your traffic ticket when possible
 

Outside the TVB system, you have an opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor before your hearing. Do it. The prosecutor knows what’s possible, what will get you out quickest, and what the likely outcome of your case will be. Better yet, an NYC traffic lawyer with experience knows the players involved and often the best way to approach a negotiation to fight a traffic violation. 

Unless you are positive you have a legal case for dismissal, consider taking the plea bargain from the prosecutor. At the end of the day, it is probably more important to get the points reduced on your license than the fee. Accept it, don’t speed again, and move on.

What are the fines and points that can come with a New York Speeding Ticket?

The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, Article 30, Section 1180-1 outlines the calculation of speeding fines:

How to Calculate Speeding Ticket Fines for New York State and NYC Waxman and Beer Traffic Attorneys in New York Note: NYC TVB does not impose jail time. Data Source: NYS VTL, Article 30 §1180-1

How to Calculate Speeding Ticket Fines for New York State and NYC
Waxman and Beer Traffic Attorneys in New York
Note: NYC TVB does not impose jail time.

Data Source: NYS VTL, Article 30 §1180-1

How to calculate points from a speeding ticket in New York

The DMV uses a Points System to track high-risk drivers. If a driver accumulates 11 points at any time within an 18-month period, he or she may receive a license suspension or even revocation. Violations can also cause your insurance premium to rise. A traffic lawyer in the NYC system can be a valuable asset in trying to reduce these points in ways an individual might not understand is impossible.

The DMV Point System for NYS

DMV Point System for Speeding tickets in NYC NYS NY Waxman and Beer Traffic Attorneys in New York.png Data Source: NYS DMV, About the NYS Driver Point System

DMV Point System for Speeding tickets in NYC NYS NY
Waxman and Beer Traffic Attorneys in New York.png

Data Source: NYS DMV, About the NYS Driver Point System

If a driver accumulates 6 or more points in an 18-month window a Driver Assessment Responsibility (DAR) fee is assessed. For 6 points, the annual fee is $100 for three years. For every point over 6, the fee increases $25 per point.

Finally, you will also be charged with a court surcharge of either $88 or $93 per violation, depending on the location.

Frankly, unless you have no defense whatsoever, you have nothing to lose by pleading not guilty and contesting the ticket.

Why it is worth hiring a lawyer for speeding ticket

With substantial fines and penalties involved with speeding convictions today, the investment in a traffic attorney might save money and protect you from losing your license. New York traffic attorneys work with the court system and the TVB everyday. They know the process, the judges, and what might achieve a dismissal and what won’t. You could save on fines and lower points on your license. In the long-term, you might be able to avoid an ongoing penalty fee from the DMV and keep your insurance premiums from being raised.


FIND OUT HOW TO FIGHT YOUR NEW YORK TRAFFIC TICKET!


CALL WAXMAN & BEER
212-269-3988


With our 60 years of combined experience working with the New York Legal System and Most NY Traffic Courts,  our team of local traffic lawyers will defend your tickets saving you money and time.  We will aggressively contest your violations and seek to reduce your sentence, lower fines, and avoid getting points in order to prevent suspension or revocation of your license as well as increased insurance premiums