Common Types of Moving Violations in New York

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A moving violation is defined as any type of motor vehicle infraction and typically results in some sort of fine or points on an operator’s license.  

Moving violations can also result in jail time (less than one year in a county or city jail) and even prison time (more than one year in a state or federal prison).  

Here are some of the most common New York moving violations.

Exceeding the Speed Limit

Of the hundreds of thousands of moving violations issued in the state of New York on an annual basis, the vast majority are for speeding.  

Violations like these are issued to drivers observed by a police officer or by traffic enforcement equipment exceeding the posted speed limit on a given stretch of roadway.

Speeding tickets generally result in a fine for the driver and can potentially include points on the drivers license. Fines can range from one hundred dollars to several hundred dollars depending on the type of infraction.

On rare occasions, drivers who excessively exceed the speed limit (20 mph over or more) can also be cited for reckless driving. This is a more serious offense that can result in suspension of an operator’s license and even jail time, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Although not necessarily a serious offense, repeated citations for speeding can have an impact on an operator’s driving privileges.  

Restraint Infractions

The next most common type of New York moving violation is not wearing a seat belt or other restraining harness. If the operator of a vehicle or an occupant of a motor vehicle is observed by law enforcement not wearing a restraint while a vehicle is in motion, that individual can receive a moving violation.

This is a relatively common and minor offense; however, repeated violations can also result in points on an operator’s license. Operators who are also guardians of minors can also be cited for not properly restraining minor children.

Restraint infractions can be enforced on any occupant of a vehicle, and citations can be issued to occupants independently of the operator of a vehicle.  

Impaired driving

The third most common New York moving violation is impaired driving. This is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol above the legal blood alcohol limit or under the influence of illegal substances known to cause impairment in operating heavy machinery.

Impaired driving is a serious offense compared to other moving violations. Drivers caught operating a motor vehicle while impaired can be charged with a felony and can even do prison time depending on the circumstances and number of past violations.

Vehicle operators can also be charged for attempting to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For example, sitting in a vehicle with the keys in the ignition (but vehicle not started) could land an impaired driver in jail.

Distracted Driving

These types of moving violations are the fourth most common and generally involve use of a cell phone for texting or other similar activities.  

Although distracted driving violations are not punished as severely as impaired driving violations, they are equally (if not more) dangerous to operators, other motorists, and pedestrians.  

As cell phones become more ubiquitous, infractions, accidents, and deaths from distracted driving have also increased.

Further Reading

Traffic Tickets

New York Traffic Violations Bureau

NYC Traffic Attorney