You were minding your own business and obeying traffic laws, so you were shocked when a patrol car pulled you over and you ended up with a speeding ticket. What just happened?
New York law allows drivers to be ticketed for driving at a “speed greater than is reasonable and prudent.” This means that you can get a speeding ticket even without exceeding the posted limit just because an officer thinks that you’re going faster than you should.
How does this make sense?
Essentially, the maximum speed limits posted on a road assume that weather conditions are good and the roads are clear of any unusual impediments. Drivers are expected to adjust their speed and slow down for things like:
- Pedestrians on the road, including during parades or protests
- Physical dangers, including potholes, powerlines in the road and more
- Road construction, particularly when there are roadcrew workers out
- Reduced visibility due to rain or fog
- Reduced traction due to ice, sleet or snow
The penalties for a ticket that relates to not slowing down enough for the road conditions can be extensive. Depending on the situation, the fine can be between $45 and $300 (plus additional fees from the state) and three points on your license. As a moving violation, this can also affect your auto insurance rates.
Obviously, whether or not you were really driving too fast for the road conditions is a very subjective call – and an officer’s judgment isn’t infallible. The consequences of merely accepting the ticket can be severe (especially if you already have points on your license). Find out more about your legal options today.