Key Points in this Article
- If you are driving more than 30 mph above the speed limit, the minimum fine is $360 and the maximum fine is $600
- Your license will be revoked once you accrue 11 points. This also happens to be the number of points you’ll receive for driving more than 40 mph over the posted limit.
- If you show up to court and your ticketing officer does not, the violation may be thrown out. Pleading not guilty also offers you the opportunity to plea down your violation.
New York ranks third in the country for most driving citations
The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee cites speed as a contributing factor to almost 30% of fatal car accidents that occur in the state. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that New York does not fool around when it comes to enforcing posted speed limits. New York, in fact, ranks third in the country for most driving citations. Given that speeding citations are relatively common, they usually amount to a minor headache and moderate ding to your wallet, but repeat offenders—and especially reckless drivers—can face burdensome fines, license suspensions, and even jail time.
Fines and Points
If an officer tickets you for speeding in New York State, even if you were driving just one mile per hour above the speed limit, expect to pay a stiff fine and receive points on your license. The amount that you’re expected to pay and the number of points you receive depends on just how fast you were moving.
If you’re caught speeding anywhere from 1 to 10 mph above the limit, the minimum fine is $90 and the maximum is $150. Anywhere from 10 to 30 mph above the limit and those figures double. If you’re really gunning it and driving more than 30 mph above the speed limit, you’re looking at a minimum fine of $360 and maximum fine of $600. But remember that these fines apply to normal road conditions. You can face significantly higher penalties for speeding in a school zone, and double these amounts for speeding in a work zone. So if you’re cruising at 90 mph in a stretch of the Taconic State Parkway that’s under construction, you may have to shell out $1,200. And if that’s not enough to make you wince, consider the court surcharge that you’ll need to pay on top of that. This state-mandated fee is usually around $75.
You’d think you might be safe from a summons as long as you stay below the speed limit, but that’s not necessarily the case. New York State also reserves the right to ticket motorists for “inappropriate speed.” These tickets, with a minimum fine of $45 and maximum of $150, are less severe and usually issued when inclement weather or other conditions render the normal speed limit unsafe.
You also need to be mindful of the number of points that you accrue on your license. Various moving violations will earn you a certain number of points, and too many will result in a suspended license. If you were driving between 1 and 10 mph above the limit, you’ll get 3 points. Anywhere from 11-20 mph over and you’ll get 4 points. Expect 6 points for driving between 21 and 30 mph above the limit, and 8 points if you’re going 31-40 mph over.
If you earn six or more points on your license—and it doesn’t have to be all at once—you’ll need to pay yet another fine: the Driver Responsibility Assessment. At exactly 6 points, this will set you back $100 per year for 3 years. Tack on an additional $25 per year for each point beyond 6.
Your license will be outright revoked once you accrue 11 points. This also happens to be the number of points you’ll receive for driving more than 40 mph over the posted limit. So if you’re pulled over for doing 75 in 30, your license will likely be immediately suspended. Driving with a suspended license can mean serious trouble: hundreds of dollars in fines, potential jail time, and the real possibility of a misdemeanor or felony charge. So don’t do that.
Bear in mind that you can also accrue points for other kinds of violations: failing to obey a stop sign, using a cell phone, not yielding to someone with the right-of-way. And these points can affect your insurance premiums as well. Luckily, New York offers Point & Insurance Reduction Programs (PIRP) to manage the points you’ve racked up on your driving record. You can check out the NYS DMV for more information. Your points will also cease to count towards your violation total after 18 months have elapsed.
What to Do If You Get a Ticket in New York
If an officer issues you a speeding ticket, do not ignore it under any circumstances. Failing to respond to a traffic ticket will result in a suspended license, and you’ll only have to pay additional fees to have the suspension resolved.
You have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty to your charge. Should you plead guilty, you’ll need to contact the traffic court in the location in which you were ticketed to remit payment. For violations that occur in Rochester or New York City, the Traffic Violations Bureau offers the online payment. You will still receive points on your license if you plead guilty.
Generally speaking, though, it can be a wiser move to plead not guilty. If you show up to court and your ticketing officer does not, the violation may be thrown out. Pleading not guilty also offers you the opportunity to plea down your violation. So maybe you were caught doing 45 in a 30, but the judge offers you the opportunity to plead guilty to going 35 in a 30—a lesser violation with more a more modest fine and fewer number of points. For more serious violations, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney to handle your case.
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