The summer/fall driving season is the time of year when Buffalonians and out-of-towners take to the road to savor everything that the snows of winter hid from view. Whether the destination is Darien Lake, Grand Island, or the Niagara Falls area, the sights of Western New York become hotspots for natives and tourists alike. Because of the sheer number of cars on the road, the police also come out in full force to ensure that all drivers are following the law and keeping our Thruway, expressways, and backroads safe.
One common traffic violation during the summer months is speeding, which can lead to dangerous conditions and grave consequences when a driver’s conduct is out of hand. The police help to curb unsafe driving, writing speeding tickets to those who disregard the rules of the road. However, not every recipient of a speeding ticket was necessarily breaking the law, and there are options available for those who were wrongfully charged for exceeding the speed limit. To guarantee that you follow the law and enjoy your summer to the fullest extent, remember these key facts about speeding tickets in Western New York.
There Is More Than One Way to Measure Speed.
New York State Troopers use two devices to measure vehicle speed: Stalker DSR units and LTI Ultralyte LR B devices. Stalker Directional Sensing Radar employs a ground-breaking technology that allows the radar unit to detect the speed of an approaching or withdrawing object while the unit is stationary or moving. The LTI Ultralyte LR B is a pinpoint laser device that sends out a beam of light and then reads the speed when the light bounces back from a moving object. The beam is only three feet wide at 1,000 feet of distance, allowing officers to validate the speed of a single vehicle, even in tight traffic. These are precise instruments that require little on the part of an operator to get an accurate reading.
The Police Do Not Even Need to Be Present to Issue Speeding Tickets.
A variety of different methods and forms of technology are used to measure the speed of a vehicle. Some of the most common methods of determining the charge are with speed cameras and aerial speed devices. A speed radar camera is used to trigger a camera to photograph vehicles traveling faster than a set speed. This type of device also captures the specific time, location, and speed. Police in New York measure vehicle speeds using aircraft by monitoring the time that it takes a target to travel between two marked spots. The aerial speed devices then signal to ground officers, who issue the speeding violations.
There Are Hefty Fines—and Those Do Not Include Surcharges.
The maximum fine for driving less than 10 miles per hour above the speed limit is $150. Driving 11 to 30 mph above the limit doubles the potential fine, and driving 31 or more mph above the limit quadruples the fine; respectively, fines of up to $300 and $600 are possible. These fines are doubled in school zones during school hours. For each of these fines, there is a court surcharge of $80–85.
Yes, You Can Even Be Fined for Driving Below the Speed Limit.
New York State has a traffic law violation called “speed not reasonable and prudent,” which entails a speed that is within the limit but is nevertheless considered unsafe or not line with common sense—a nebulous criterion that still serves as the grounds for a ticket of $150, plus the $80–85 court surcharge. The same fine applies to driving too slowly, as traveling at a speed below that which is considered “normal and reasonable” and/or impeding traffic flow due to this lower speed both constitute a traffic violation.
There Is Always a Way to Challenge the Ticket.
After receiving speeding tickets from an officer who used a speed-measuring device, the accuracy of the reading can be questioned. Questions such as these can help to fight speeding tickets:
– When was the last time that the speed-measuring device underwent maintenance?
– Was there “an even faster car” that passed you around the time that you were pulled over?
– Does your EZ-Pass record put you at a time and place that contradicts the speeding allegation?
– Did the officer correctly fill out the citation?
– Does your driving record give a judge cause to be lenient?
Staring down a speeding ticket can be uncomfortable, as this type of ticket comes with a substantial fine and several points on a driver’s license. In these cases, hiring an attorney with experience in fighting traffic violations is instrumental in convincing a judge to reduce or eliminate a charge. If you find yourself wrongfully or inappropriately accused of speeding, contact our office today to receive help in opposing or even dismissing your speeding tickets.