Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Operation Hang Up - Part 2: April 23-29, 2012

Last November, New York's Governor's Traffic Safety Committee initiated "Operation Hang Up", a campaign targeting motorists operating a cell phone or other mobile device while driving. Over the Thanksgiving weekend 2011, over 800 tickets were issued for distracted driving and the traffic violation was promoted to a 3 point violation (previously 2 points). This week, beginning Monday April 23 through Sunday 29, 2012, NY State Troopers will be enforcing Part 2 of Operation Hang Up as Governor Cuomo tries to send the message about the dangers of distracted driving:

Operation Hang Up is designed to send a strong message to motorists across New York State that driving and using a hand-held device simply do not mix. We hear too many heartbreaking stories about how distracted driving leads to tragic consequences, and we must do everything in our power to ensure more lives are not unnecessarily lost because someone took their eyes off the road to use a phone. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed more than 3,000 deaths nationwide last year to distracted driving. This year alone, over 65,000 tickets have been issued in New York state for distracted driving which is now a primary offense. This means you can be pulled over for distracted driving alone whereas, last year, you could be ticketed for distracted driving but only if you were pulled over for speeding or another violation in the first place.

We always hope you are careful and considerate while driving, but we expect many, many calls in the next few weeks for driver's seeking representation in the most active regions. You can view total numbers of tickets issued by county on the Governor's website. You'll see that Albany and New York are among the worst offenders.

If you get a ticket for distracted driving anywhere in the Upstate area or Hudson Valley this weekend, please give us a call for assistance. (518) 465-2211.

Monday, April 16, 2012

CA Professor Beats Traffic Ticket With Math

This story has gotten a lot of buzz lately, especially after being featured on Yahoo's home page. If you haven't already read about it, it's a fun story about a University of California Physics professor using mathematical equations to dispute the validity of the stop sign ticket he received. The paper is available on the Cornell University Libary website if, for some reason, you want to take a look. But don't count on using this as a template for the next time you get a speeding ticket or other VTL citation. Remember, that there is no excuse for exceeding the speed limit in New York state unless you are in an authorized emergency vehicle with the appropriate lights.

If you feel you were ticketed falsely and have proof, you can go to the court on your scheduled pretrial or trial date to face your accuser and/or the prosecuting attorney. Remember,  however, that the town, city, or village where you will answer your ticket rely on local law enforcement and State Troopers to protect the citizens of their jurisdictions and uphold the law. They generally trust their judgment and integrity.  So, if it's possible that you really are guilty, the best way to approach your case may be to seek a plea bargain reduction. Most courts in New York state are willing to grant consideration to good drivers who seek a reduction. This can be an easy way to save a lot of time, money, and stress.  If you come to fight and question the integrity or character of local law enforcement, they will be ready to affirm the accuracy of the traffic stop and attest to the level of their expertise and experience. Looking for a fight when you really were breaking the law, regardless of the reason, is usually not a good idea.

If you need an experienced trial lawyer for a traffic ticket case in New York state, feel free to contact attorney Randall Kehoe's office. He has been representing clients for over 20 years from serious murder trials in the Appellate Division to traffic trials in local courts.  You can also contact us to discuss your options of reducing charges (and thereby fines and points) by plea bargain. This method can save you a trip to court and a lot of money in fines, Assessment Fees, and insurance prices. It can also help to keep your driving history clean of serious convictions in case you get stopped again in the future.