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The Speeding Charge That Does Not Depend on MPH

by Seth Azria on 5/09/2019

Receiving a speeding ticket that does not reference a particular speed, while confusing to many, is possible in New York. The basis for this ticket is New York vehicle and traffic law section 1180(a).

VTL §1180(a) states in relevant part:

“No person may 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 existing”

There is no requirement that the officer allege a particular speed only that the speed was not “reasonable or prudent under the conditions...then existing.”  One possible scenario is while driving in bad weather, a vehicle slips off the road. The police arrive at the scene and issue the driver a speeding ticket, even though the driver may have been traveling below the posted speed limit. See People v. Miller, 57 AD3d 568 (2nd Dept. 2008). 

Another scenario could be a road crowded by people and narrowed by parked cars is another set of circumstances where a speed lower than the posted limit may be charged as speeding not reasonable and prudent. See St. Andrews v. O’Brien, 45 AD3d 1024 (3rd Dept 2008).

Like all other traffic tickets, we strongly recommend against mailing in a guilty plea to the court. The impact of this and other tickets on your finances and ability to drive can often be reduced by pleading not guilty and negotiating with the prosecutor.  We have negotiated thousands of tickets and welcome your call for a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

See  Fines and Points for §1180(a)





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