Monday, May 21, 2012

What to do When you Can't Drive 55

If you are just like rockstar legend Sammy Hagar who once said, “I Can’t drive 55!” …you are not alone. In today’s busy world, this anthem seems true, especially when that really lame pokey driver is coasting in front of you and you are on your way to work. However, know this… it no longer pays to speed in New York.

If you know you tend to drive about 12-20 miles over the speed limit like many crazy Albany, NY drivers do, you may want to think about taking action. If you speed perhaps on I-88, The Thruway Route 90 or The Northway RT 87, know this… You may want to be pre-active and start setting speeding limits on your driving behavior. You may want to set your cruise control on only 9 miles above the speed limit

The New York Drivers License Point System

Usually you want to score points, whether it is in games, or with that special someone, or even on a not-so-good credit report, however, there is one example where this is not the case, and I don’t mean golf.

When an officer of the law hits you for speeding and you are convicted, The New York Department of Motor Vehicles awards points to your license. And like playing UNO cards, having more in the end, is definitely not better.

The New York State driving point system has been carefully crafted by lawmakers to identify potentially dangerous drivers by finding those who commit multiple traffic violations in a very short period of time.

Insurance Goes Up, too.

“Only 9 miles over the limit on the highway when it is only 55? That sucks!”

Get a lot of points, and not only do you incur fines and court fees, but you also get the gift that keeps on giving –increased auto insurance premiums. Therefore, the DMV aren’t the only guys to worry about. Insurance companies have their own independent point systems that are not under legal jurisdiction and sometimes all it takes is one filthy little speeding ticket to raise your rates, or worse, lose your policy with the company altogether.

So, what should I set my Cruise Control on?

Police now say they will pull people over going any amount over the speed limit, but surveys show that you begin to raise an officer’s attention at around ten. If they clock you at 11 miles over the limit, the DMV point system goes from 3 points up to 4, and your court fine will also increase, likewise, incrementally.

Beyond that, if you drive like a maniac in a short period of time and score 11 points for traffic convictions in an 18-month period, you will be paying a lot of court fees and fines and perhaps money out to lawyers. But wait, there is more!

If you act like this now, the New York DMV may suspend or revoke your license for 31 days. This means no more luxury rides to work in your car, absorbent taxi cab fares, and you may even miss work altogether if you miss the bus! Below is the New York State DMV Point chart for driving infractions all over NY State, in the Capital Region and in Upstate NY imparticular:

  • Speeding (1-10 MPH over posted limit): 3 points
  • Speeding (11-20 MPH over posted limit): 4 points
  • Speeding (21-30 MPH over posted limit): 6 points
  • Speeding (31-40 MPH over posted limit): 8 points
  • Speeding (more than 40 MPH over posted limit): 11 points
  • Reckless driving: 5 points
  • Failing to stop for a school bus: 5 points
  • Following too closely (tailgating): 4 points
  • Inadequate brakes: 4 points
  • Inadequate brakes while driving an employer’s vehicle: 2 points
  • Failing to yield right-of-way: 3 points
  • Violation involving a traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign: 3 points
  • Railroad-crossing violation: 3 points
  • Safety restraint violation involving a person under 16: 3 points
  • Any other moving violation: 2 points
  • Improper passing, unsafe lane change, driving left of center, or driving in wrong direction: 3 points
  • Leaving the scene of an incident involving property damage or injury to a domestic animal: 3 points
How should I Plea If I get a Moving Violation and am Looking at Possible Points Being Added to My Record?
While guilty traffic convictions remain on your record for often over three whole years, the actual DMV points (out of 11) accrued are automatically removed from your total 18 months after committing an offense.
Call us before your speeding tickets in Albany NY get out of hand! We can help lower your points.
THREE COURSES OF ACTION YOU CAN USE IF YOU GET A SPEEDING TICKET- There are three courses of action if you get a speeding ticket for following the Sammy Hagar handbook for driving on New York State Highways…

1) LOCAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION - Do not plead guilt and just send the ticket in! Contact a local lawyer (like ourselves at – 518-283-1245). Using a local lawyer to defend you can almost certainly help you in a quest to have your ticket and fines reduced. Local lawyers have valuable relationships with city and town courts and can often pull some strings that you can not, when defending yourself.

2) GET A DRIVER’S RECORD ABSTRACT – Usually your lawyer will have you your NY STate Driver’s Record abstract, which you can pick up at your local DMV for $10. This paper will show the court who the driver is. If you are not a speed demon, this paper will help your lawyer know best how to defend you in court.

3) DRIVERS CLASS – You may also remove four points from your total by completing an accident-prevention course that has been approved by the DMV.

For more information or if anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to visit us at

Carbone & Carbone LLP, Martin A. Carbone, Esq., Attorney at Law

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