Failure to obey or stop at a train crossing signal is a traffic violation in New York. Discussing your case with an attorney can be worthwhile if you’ve been arrested or charged with failing to stop or obey a train signal at a train crossing. Many people assume that they should simply plead guilty and pay the ticket, but doing so could have negative consequences in the future, including points on your driver’s license, fines, increased insurance premiums, and more.
Ticket For Failure to Obey Train Crossing Signal in New York?
If you’ve received a ticket for a train crossing violation near Central New York, including areas like Madison County, Cayuga County, and Cortland County, the New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers are here to help. Our experienced traffic court defense attorneys have extensive experience representing clients spacing a wide range of traffic violations. We will advocate strongly for the best possible outcome in your case, including a dismissal of the traffic ticket. Contact the New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for you.
VTL § 1170 – Failure to Obey Train Signal in New York
In New York, prosecutors take obedience to train signals seriously. Police officers strictly enforce New York traffic laws that require vehicles to stop when train signals warn that a train is approaching. According to NY VTL § 1170, when there is a visible or audible sign that a train is approaching, drivers must stop at least 15 feet away from the sign. When a driver hears an audible train signal, he or she must stop.
Likewise, when a driver can see that the train is approaching, he or she must stop, even if the driver can’t hear the train or the train signal. In New York, drivers are prohibited from driving through, around, or under the gate or barrier at a railroad crossing when the barrier is down or while it is being opened or closed. When a driver violates this law in the following circumstances, the charges will be upgraded to more serious misdemeanor charges:
- While caring for a cargo of flammable liquids
- While operating a school bus or another type of bus carrying passengers
- While having passengers in the vehicle who are under 18
Violation of the Train Crossing Statute That Results in a Physical Injury
When a violation of the train crossing statute results in someone suffering a physical injury, serious physical injury, or death, the charges will be increased to a Class E felony. Physical injury is impairment of a person’s physical condition or substantial pain. A serious physical injury creates a substantial risk of death or causes death, disfigurement, loss of impairment, or the function of a bodily organ, or protracted impairment of health. A class E felony can result in a prison sentence of one and a half years to four years of probation. Jail time can be included in the sentence if the defendant records previous felony convictions in the last ten years.
VTL § 1171 – Drivers Who Must Always Stop at Rail Road Crossings
According to VTL § 1171, certain types of drivers are always required to stop at railroad crossings. These vehicles must cross at a speed at which they do not have to change gears while crossing the train tracks. These drivers cannot drive on the railroad tracks unless there is enough undercarriage clearance and adequate space on the opposite side of the railway to accommodate the entire vehicle without any overhanging on the tracks. The types of vehicles included in this prohibition include the following:
- The driver of any school bus
- The driver of any bus carrying passengers
- Commercial vehicles weighing 10,000 lb or more
- Any motor vehicle required to be marked or placarded by a federal or state Department of Transportation
- Any motor vehicle carrying explosives or flammable substances as cargo
- Certain slow-moving or low clearance commercial vehicles
Additionally, the driver of any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 10,000 pounds that transports certain types of chemicals or is a cargo tank used to transport hazardous materials must always stop at railroad crossings.
Should I Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney?
If you’ve been ticketed for failure to stop at a train signal, you may be wondering whether it’s worth it to consult with an attorney. You may assume that hiring an attorney will be more expensive than fighting your ticket. In many cases, hiring an attorney is worth it. If you are convicted or plead guilty, your insurance premiums could increase by up to 30 percent. You could risk a driver’s license suspension if you already have points on your license. Additionally, you could be facing a more serious felony charge if someone was injured or killed in the incident.
If you have a commercial driver’s license, being convicted of failure to stop at a train signal could eventually result in losing your CDL privileges or your job. In addition to all of these serious consequences, you will need to take time out of your schedule to try to defend yourself. The attorneys at The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers will handle every aspect of your case from start to finish, advocating strongly for the best outcome in your case. In many cases, working with an attorney can save you time, money, and stress.
Discuss Your Train Crossing Ticket Violation With an Attorney
You could face severe consequences if you’re convicted of violating VTL § 1170 or NY VTL § 1171 for failure to stop at the signal of a train crossing. You do not have to plead guilty and pay the ticket. Instead, we recommend discussing your case with a skilled traffic defense attorney. Challenging the ticket could save you significant time, money, and stress. Our attorneys will strive to provide you with the best legal defense possible, attempting to negotiate a favorable plea deal, take your case to trial, or get the charges against you dismissed. Contact the New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to schedule your free phone consultation and learn how we can fight for you.
New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers are here to assist residents of Madison County, Cayuga County, Onondaga County, and the rest of Central New York with the challenge and dismissal of their train crossing tickets.