Section 1180 of New York state’s Vehicle & Traffic laws outlines several types of speed restriction laws ranging from speeding generally to use of a radar detector. The statutes are detailed in Subsections A through G where penalties for violations are also outlined – penalties that include fines and time in jail. A brief description of each Subsection is described below. Note that these laws apply statewide, not just on the Taconic State Parkway:
This is the “reasonable and prudent” statute. It basically says that you are required to slow down should driving conditions require. In other words, yes, you can be ticketed for speeding even if you are driving slower than the posted speed limit if the right road hazards or conditions exist. [Read more about VTL 1180A.]
This Subsection sets forth the state speed limit at 55mph. Unless special hazards exist (as described in VTL 1180 A) or it is posted otherwise, this is the maximum speed allowed in New York state.
School zone speed limits are in effect from 7am to 6pm on school days or whenever the beacon lights are flashing (read fhe full law for limits on that). Watch out for these in and around the small towns that line the Taconic as they are strictly enforced and no one likes people who speed through areas designed to protect our children.
This is a “catch-all” speeding statement that says it is against the law to drive in excess of the speed limit. Most speeding tickets in New York state tend to be for VTL 1180D. Most speeding tickets issued on the Taconic, however, will be for VTL 1180B due to the 55mph speed limits on the Parkway.
Drivers are required to travel at an “appropriate reduced speed” when approaching and crossing an intersection or railroad crossing, when approaching the crest of a hill, when approaching and passing by an emergency situation involving any authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the highway (this is almost exactly the same as the “Move Over” law detailed in section VTL 1144-a – a separate moving violation). The “appropriate reduced speed” is also required when traveling on narrow or winding roadways (like some parts of the Taconic), and when any special hazards exist involving pedestrians, other traffic, weather or highway conditions, as well as highway construction zone areas and others not listed here – which brings us to our next Subsection – VTL 1180F.
Work zone violations. Get two of these in 18 months and your license is gone (if you plead guilty/are convicted). Fines are also doubled but points are the same. If you read the full text of the statute you’ll also see some interesting facts about setting work zone speeds. For example, the town where the construction area is located has jurisdiction to set the speed limits of the work zone provided they are not more than 20mph lower than the existing limits and are at least 25mph. Interesting.
This Subsection is a little strange. It sets the rules for the use of radar and laser detectors in vehicles with a gross weight of 18,000 lbs and up and commercial vehicles of 10,000 lbs and up. If you are using a radar detector in a vehicle like this (your typical car on the road these days is usually somewhere between 4-5,000 lbs) you cannot speed. If your laser or radar detector is connected to a power source and in “operable condition” OR concealed outside of the cab, this is presumptive evidence of its use. Not many radar detector tickets on the Taconic, surprisingly.
VTL 1180H ?
True, this is not one of the Subsections I mentioned and does not describe any particular speed violation but I thought I would include it here because it may be of interest to you. When you are convicted of speeding that violation, including the specific speed, are recorded by the court and sent to the DMV. Speeding ticket convictions stay on your record for several years. Your points total for purposes of the Driver Responsibility Program is calculated on a 18-month window, however.
* You can read the full text of each of these Subsections of section 1180 of the V&T laws in its entirety on [Laws of New York].
3 Point Speeding Tickets
Any speeding ticket for 1-10mph over the posted limit is a 3 point speeding ticket. This can be any VTL 1180B, 1180D, VTL 1180F, etc. New York’s Driver Responsibility Program provides penalties for point accumulation in any 18-month window. If you acquire 6 points (or more) in any 18-month period, DMV will assess a fee of $300 (minimum). Additional points increase the fee by $75/point. At 11 points, your license will be subject to temporary suspension. Mandatory revocation of driver licenses are issued for anyone that is convicted of 3 speeding tickets in any 18-month period. This DMV program applies to everyone driving in New York state, not just those with a NY license. In almost every state (including the provinces of Ontario and Quebec) a New York suspension or revocation will trigger a hold on your home-state license until the matter is resolved.
4 Point Speeding Tickets
Speeding 11-10mph over the posted limit is a 4 point offense and is probably the most common type of speeding ticket we see on the Taconic Parkway.
6 Point Speeding Tickets
Speeding 21-30mph over the posted limit is a 6 point offense. Many of the tickets we see in the Columbia County area are for exactly 21mph over the speed limit, where the officer either gave the driver a break (roadside write-down) or possibly pushed the ticket in the 6 point category (usually the former). These are serious tickets because a single conviction can trigger the $300 DMV Driver Assessment Fee. Due to Governor Cuomo’s recent budget, these tickets will also be more difficult to reduce by plea bargain and state surcharges will be more difficult to avoid without an attorney (read more about that).
8 Point Speeding Tickets
Tickets for speeding 31-40mph over the posted limit are 8 point offenses. You never want one of these, so always contact an attorney if you get into this kind of trouble. In come cases, a temporary license suspension will be issued immediately and some judges will hold the accused in jail. DMV Assessment Fee at this tier will be $450 (not including fine or surcharge).
11 Point Speeding Tickets
41+ mph over the posted speed limit. You definitely want experienced legal counsel with these. If convicted, not only will you be paying a substantial fine + state surcharge, but your DMV Assessment Fee will be $675 and you will probably lose your license.
To learn more about speeding ticket fines, please visit our page on VTL 1180.
Questions About Speeding Tickets?
If you have additional questions about fines, state surcharges, the DMV’s point system, how to answer your ticket, Scofflaws, how a speeding ticket affects your insurance, reciprocation between other states and Canada, or anything else – please feel free to call our office or send us an email requesting a free consultation. We are always happy to speak with you and help in any way we can. If you need legal representation on a traffic (or related criminal) matter, we have very affordable fees and our clients are always happy with our results.