A woman gets a citation for disobeying road procedures

How to Respond if You’re Cited for Disobeying a Traffic Control Device in Upstate NY

Vehicles, of course, allow for incredible freedom of movement, but roadways operate on a system whereby drivers are required to follow a shared set of rules, and the roads of Upstate New York are no exception. 

Traffic control devices like signs, signals, and markers are designed to provide information and guidance about location, accepted use of the roadway, speed limit, hazards, the right of way, and so on, and they can be permanent or temporary.

Regardless of such, as a driver, you are required to pay attention to such devices and respond to them accordingly. Failure to follow the directives of traffic control devices in Upstate New York will more than likely result in a citation and penalties if you’re caught on camera or seen by a traffic officer.

Outcomes of a Moving Violation

When you commit a moving violation — one that involves disobeying a traffic control device — in Upstate New York, you could face a range of penalties. Typically, a ticket for such a violation results in a fine of up to $150, depending on the offense, and the state of New York also tacks on a surcharge of $80-$85.

Additionally, you could get two points on your license. That’s a significant consequence, especially if you are cited for other moving violations, as if you receive 11 points within 18 months, your license can be suspended. On top of that, points on your license for moving violations might lead to an increase in your insurance premiums.

Judges may also impose imprisonment for up to 15 days at their discretion, particularly if the circumstances are considered hazardous. Certain violations, such as exceeding the posted speed limit, may have specified penalties that are different from the average failure to obey traffic control devices.

When to Fight a Ticket

Even with all of the above being said, the law is very broad in scope, which means that even though citations are common, you may have opportunities to fight them in the following scenarios:

Red Light Camera Tickets

If you’re pulled over and ticketed by a police officer for running a red light, you might want to fight it, especially if you maintain that the light was yellow when you entered the intersection; however, if the citing officer maintains the light was red, it’s your word against theirs.

Nevertheless, when it comes to red-light camera tickets, you should always fight them. Although the photo the traffic camera captured will be presented as evidence to support the ticket, it may not show your face, so you could argue that you weren’t the driver.

In addition, you could argue that the yellow light didn’t last long enough, especially if you return to the intersection and gather proof of its short length. There are several possible arguments to levy against a red-light ticket, making it one of the easiest charges to beat in court.

The Violation Was Somehow Justified

Crossing a solid line to change lanes is illegal, but you may have done so as a means of swerving out of harm’s way or dealing with an emergency in your vehicle. Explaining your case to a judge could be enough to have the citation dismissed, and with help from a qualified lawyer, you can better understand your case and fight an unfair ticket.

With that said, if you’re facing a citation for disobeying a traffic control device in Upstate New York, the experienced team of the New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers can help. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

David Hammond, Esq. is a traffic offense lawyer and prosecutor that has over a decade of experience fighting for the rights of service members and their families. He served nine years and went on two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer. He then joined the Reserves and moved to Syracuse to be near his family. Not only does he defend the rights of Central New Yorkers, but he also has a veteran-focused practice. David represents servicemen and women before the military appellate courts and takes cases to fix service members’ military records. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact David by clicking here.