Taxi Insider Newspaper 2010

Traffic Stops: How should you behave if you are stopped by the police?

Be polite. Even if you believe that you didn’t do anything wrong, do not argue with the officer. If you are courteous, there is a possibility that he will let you go. In the alternative, he may not remember you or the details of the traffic stop at court.

The calendar of the Traffic Violations Bureau is very heavy. Many officers have 20-30 Cases on the calendar at any given period. Think about it. Ninety minutes, thirty cases, three minutes a case. If you really annoyed the officer when he stopped you, he will fight very hard to have you convicted of the violation. Bottom line, be polite.

New location for Speed Enforcement

Last week I was driving to Harrison on I-95 and guess what I saw? There was an RMP on the Bronx-Westchester border and the officer was set up to monitor southbound speeding vehicles.

Be careful when driving down I-95 from Westchester where the speed limit is 55 mph. When you cross the border into the Bronx, the speed limit changes to 50 mph. The office was waiting just past the 50 mph speed sign.

What is the law as it relates to red light summonses, a violation of Section 1111d, of the Vehicle and Traffic Law?

If you drive through a crosswalk, stop line, or building line and the traffic light is green or yellow, you have not violated the law and should not receive a ticket.

On the other hand, if you cross the demarcations while the light is red, and you get caught and convicted, you will receive 3 points and the monetary penalties in NYC can be severe.

Range of Fine Surcharge
st offense $150 to $450 $80
nd offense within 18 months* $300 to $750 $80
rd offense within 18 months* $750 to $1500 $80

The above fine schedule applies in jurisdictions with a population of one million or more people – Buffalo, Rochester, Western Suffolk County and New York City.

If you are convicted of a red light ticket outside of NYC, Rochester, Buffalo and Western Suffolk County, the fines are substantially less.

Range of Fine NYC Surcharge Jail
st offense $75 to $450 $85 15 Days
nd offense within 18 months* $150 to $375 $85 45 days
rd offense within 18 months* $375 to $675 $85 90 days

*The eighteen month period relates to the date of receipt of summons.

*While judges in jurisdictions of less than one million people have the power to incarcerate motorists for disobeying a red light, this type of punishment is rarely given for traffic infractions.

  1. Beware of the four heavily ticketed locations on East 37 th Street between Second and Lexington Avenues.
    As you drive westbound on 37 th Street approaching 2 nd Avenue, there are signs on the northeast and southeast corners stating that all vehicles must turn left, Monday through Friday 7-10 A.M except buses. It is hard to see these signs if you are driving in the middle lane with trucks and buses on each side.
  2. As you drive southbound on 2 nd avenue, there are signs posted at 37 th Street, that state no turns 7-10 A.M. Monday through Friday except buses. The officers wait in groups on 37 th Street about 50-100 feet west of 2 nd Avenue. They are present almost everyday, so don’t travel on 37 th Street between 2 nd and 3 rd Avenues, Monday-Friday between the hours of 7-10 AM unless you are coming out of the Midtown Tunnel.
  3. The next hot spot is westbound on 37 th Street and 3 rd Avenue. There are signs, pavement markings and lights governing the intersection. 37 th Street is 4 lanes. The cars in the left two lanes MUST go straight. The right lane MUST go right and the lane next to the right lane can go either way. When the traffic light exhibits two green arrows pointing straight, the vehicles in the left 2 lanes can proceed. At this time there is a right turn red arrow for the right lane. You must wait until the arrow turns green. The vehicles in the lane next to the right turn lane can go straight or wait for the green arrow signal to turn right. The officers wait on the east side of third avenue.
  4. The next location where officers write many summonses is 37 th Street and Lexington Avenue. There are signs governing westbound traffic on 37 th Street approaching Lexington Avenue. The signs state no turns Monday through Friday 10 AM to 6 PM. The officers wait on the east side of Lexington.

I hope this information is helpful.

In order to receive a discount in legal fees, please mention that you are a medallion or black car driver.

Drive safely and have a good day.

Karen A. Friedman has represented motorists for over 30 years. Call 212-213-2145 or 845-266-4400 or contact us for a free consultation.