When New York is hit by a nor’easter or other strong storm, it’s crucial to remember that driving at the posted speed limit probably isn’t safe. It’s not going to protect you from getting a traffic ticket either.
It’s a violation of New York state law to “drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then
When is the speed limit likely too high?
Laws like these exist throughout the country. They’re typically referred to as “too fast for conditions” violations. It’s not just snow and rain that can make driving at the speed limit a traffic offense. Other conditions that may require a lower speed include:
- Reduced visibility caused by fog
- Uneven or damaged roads
- Icy roads
- Falling rocks and debris from mountains
- Sharp curves (especially if they don’t have lowered speed limit signs)
- Unusual or unpredictable traffic conditions, such as those caused by a crash or road work up ahead.
- Law enforcement officers have some discretion in citing motorists for driving too fast for conditions. Therefore, these citations can be difficult to fight.
A good rule of thumb, both for staying safe and avoiding a ticket, is not to drive so fast or so close behind another vehicle that you’d be unable to stop safely if you had to do so without warning.
A traffic citation for driving too fast for conditions can be costly, both in fines, insurance rate increases and driver’s license points. If you believe you were unfairly cited, it’s worthwhile to consider disputing the citation.