Speeding Tickets in New York
Burden of Proof for Speeding Tickets in New York
Discovery for Speeding Violations in New York
Fighting a Speeding Ticket in New York
New York Speeding Misc. Issues
New York Speeding Penalties and Reciprocity
Speeding is whenever a car is traveling faster that is reasonably safe under the current road conditions. Generally, this is an absolute limit—the speed that is posted on the sign. But, sometimes it is presumed. This is like on a country road that has no speed limit sign or on a snowy winter day. The presumed speed limit is whatever is generally considered safe under those conditions.
You can be convicted of speeding if:
(1) The driver who is the defendant was actually the individual who was driving the car. Additionally, the driver accused was in fact driving the vehicle that was seen to be driving over the allowed speed limit. For example, that the officer pulled over the correct car and not one that looked similar but was going the proper speed.
(2) The driver was going the speed that the officer claims they were. This would require that the radar or laser equipment was properly functioning, maintained and that the officer was trained in using this type of equipment.
(3) The driver was driving over the speed limit.
After being ticketed you can plead guilty and pay the fine, or plead not guilty and fight the ticket. The information on how to do this is on the back of the ticket. The state must prove that the driver has satisfied all three elements of speeding. The driver may try to raise a defense to speeding. Common defenses include: person ticketed was not the actual driver, vehicle alleged was not the actual vehicle that was speeding, the event occurred out of jurisdiction of the officer who gave the ticket, the driver was not driving at the speed limit which law enforcement officer said they were driving, the reading was inaccurate due to the laser/ radar gun being shot at the wrong vehicle, the laser or Radar equipment was not properly maintained, the reading was inaccurate due to an obstruction or interference, or the law enforcement officer was either inexperienced or untrained in their application of the laser or radar system.
Fines for a speeding ticket may increase in a construction zone or in a school zone. But, the fines and penalties are the same for everyone that is on the road. There is no special privileges or harsher penalties based on occupation. However, the amount of the fine that is to be paid by the driver will depend on how fast the driver was going at the time they were stopped by the police.
If you are ticketed you may want to consider contacting a lawyer. There are lawyers who are experienced in these matters and can help get the penalties reduced or eliminated.
There are two different kinds of speed limits in New York State. They are absolute speed limits and presumed speed limits. It is important to note that while the names of the speed limits may be different the result of a violation is the same. There is no different ticket for an absolute violation or a presumed violation—you will get the same ticket, and the same fine, either way.
Absolute Speed Limits in New York
Absolute speed limits are the speed that is posted on the speed limit sign. As the name would imply this speed limit is very firm with no flexibility whatsoever. If a driver is driving over the posted speed limit this would be a strict liability offence that will result in a speeding ticket.
Strict liability offense means that, even if it was by accident, the driver will be held liable for the speeding violation. There is no element of a speeding ticket that requiring that the driver know they were speeding or that the driver was speeding on purpose. Essentially, that if a driver was driving along and was going one mile per hour over the posted speed limit they are in violation of the law and can get a speeding ticket.
However, there are a few reasons or defenses that can be made once a speeding ticket has been issued to the driver. These defenses are far from being considered a guarantee, they simply mean that the court may lessen the speeding ticket or eliminate it after the court proceedings.
The information on the hearing can be found on the back of the ticket. Always read the back of the ticket carefully. Here, it will inform the driver who they can raise these defense. There are lawyers who can go to these hearings and help with the defense of the speeding ticket. However, it is not necessary to have a lawyer at these proceedings, but the lawyer will be more acquainted with the process and have a better chance at making the right defense.
In New York State you will never see a speed limit above 65 miles per hour. This speed limit is only used on roads with limited access like thruways, highways, interstates or other similar roads. The maximum speed limit for any other road, bridge, or non-restricted access roads is only 55 miles per hour. This is because of the unlimited access of the roadway. This is the highest speed limit that the New York State Department of transportation has determined that is safe for cars to travel at on these roads.
Presumed Speed Limits in New York
The second type of speeding violation is when a drive is in excess of the presumed speed limit. Needless to say this is substantially more subjective then the absolute speed limit. A presumed speed limit is one that is relative to the condition of the road at the time that the driver is given a ticket. New York's presumed speed limit law reads as follows, “No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to he actual and potential hazards then existing.”
This means that a driver can get a speeding ticket for driving down a county road a 55 miles per hour, and, on that very same country road hours later a car would not get a ticket for going 55 miles per hour. The most obvious example is in winter weather. With snow obstructing the visibility and making the roads slick the safe speed limit would be substantially lower than that same road in the summer time. Winter weather is not the only example. Other examples include: hazards on the roadway, rain storms, fog, sharp turns and this else that would cause a prudent driver to slow down.
However, do not think that speeding tickets are only for going in excess of the speed limit. A driver can also receive a speeding ticket for traveling at a unsafe speed that is to slow. In these cases, a driver cannot drive “at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with the law.” The most common example is driving under 45 miles per hour on the thruway without flashers. Driving under a safe speed for that road way at that time would fall under the category of presumed speed limit.
Here too there are defenses that can be made for a presumed speeding violation. . These defenses are far from being considered a guarantee, they simply mean that the court may lessen the speeding ticket or eliminate it after the court proceedings. The information on the hearing can be found on the back of the ticket. Always read the back of the ticket carefully. Here, it will inform the driver who they can raise these defense. There are lawyers who can go to these hearings and help with the defense of the speeding ticket.
There are a few states that enforce different speed limits for the operators of commercial vehicles. This is not true for New York State. The designated speed limits are the same for all motorists on the road—even for the operators of commercial vehicles.