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The dangers of distracted driving are clear. The proliferation of smart phones and other devices make it easy to stay connected while driving. However, there are almost daily reminders of the lethal consequences of distracted driving when a driver is talking on a phone or worse – texting while driving.
In New York, the use of a moble phone without a hands-free device or texting while driving is a “primary offense” allowing law enforcement to initiate a traffic stop if the driver is seen violating this new law. If found “guilty”, the driver faces a fine of up to $150.00 and three points on their driver’s license.
A recent state-wide offensive against these violations was conducted from July, 2011 to February, 2012. Law enforcement issued over 118,000 tickets for combined texting while driving and illegal cell phone use. Governor Andrew Cuomo is a major proponent against distracted driving:
“These tickets should send a resounding message to all drivers: keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I thank the state police and local law enforcement for their dedication to ensuring the safety of the people of the state of New York.”
While it may seem easy to text or respond to an e-mail while driving on the highway, drivers should think twice as the deadly results of such action are all too common. If a message is that important – pull over and respond. Don’t risk your life or that of others by becoming distracted and another statistic.
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Tagged Andrew Cuomo, Distracted driving, Handsfree, Law, Mobile phone, New York, ny driving law, rochester attorney, Science and Technology, speeding tickets, Texting while driving, william shramek
All is not lost if you have a speeding ticket in the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). I just obtained a good result (relatively speaking) for a client at the Rochester TVB. As I’ve posted before, cases in the TVB do not give an opportunity to plea bargain. You must plead not guilty and proceed to a trial before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). In the majority of cases, the officer appears to testify about the facts of the stop and violation. Typically a finding of guilty to the original speed is issued by the ALJ.
However, the key to a possible reduction is the actual speed cited on the ticket. For example, an 86/65 mph speeding ticket is a six point violation and will result in a NY DMV “Driver Assessment Fee” of an additional $100.00/year for three years. But, an 85/65 mph is only a four point violation without any DMV assessment.
For client who fall within this type of speeding ticket – where a one to two mile an hour reduction will make a difference- I will cross-examine the officer on the margin of error for the device used to measure the speed cited. Of course, there are other areas of cross-examination as well.
If you have a traffic matter in the TVB, contact me at 585.752.7523 for a free consultation.
As I have written before, my Traffic Law practice takes me to Stafford Town Court on a regular basis. Stafford, New York’s geographic location makes it a prime location for speeding tickets as it covers the Thruway (I-90) between Batavia and LeRoy.
That said, the Court’s procedure for hearings on traffic matters has changed over the past year. In the past, Stafford town court was one of the few courts where the officer who wrote the ticket actually prosecuted the violation. Most town courts will have an assistant district attorney who does this. In Stafford, it was not uncommon to have 10-15 New York State Troopers appear at once to prosecute their individual cases.
The new procedure has stream-lined the process. Usually, each ticket will be screened for any possible reduction by counsel for the NY troopers and the individual will be advised, prior to the hearing, what the possible reduction (if any) will be. The main factors considered include the driving history of the defendant, speed cited, and other factors including the facts surrounding the stop.
If the offer is not accepted, the case will be set for a bench trial and the officer will have to appear to testify.
If you have received a traffic or speeding ticket in Stafford Town Court, contact me for a free consultation at 585.752.7523.
William J. Shramek, Esq.
Well after many months, I’m back! My site had been hijacked by some type of hacker. I’ll try to repost some older entries and keep commenting on new developments in New York traffic law.