With 2012 quickly coming to an end, we encourage drivers everywhere to make their New Year’s resolution to practice safer driving habits on the roads. This means less speeding, wearing your seatbelt, driving with fewer distractions like cellphones and making sure your car is maintained properly. Our firm does its best to keep our ears to the ground and find out what is happening on the roads you drive every day. Here are six noteworthy stories from the past year and some advice that will keep you in the know moving forward!
Operation Work Brake
In July we warned drivers on our website that New York would be launching a campaign called “Operation Work Brake” ticketing drivers that speed through a NY Construction/Work Zone. Over a five day span (July 9-13), the police cracked down on drivers and handed out 1,400 work-zone speeding tickets. Speeding in a Construction/Work Zone can carry a fine of up to $600 for one ticket. We were able save some of these drivers from paying out the total fines and penalties for speeding in a construction zone. Stop in to our Traffic Blog regularly so you can be kept updated on special campaigns like “Operation Work Brake” that target drivers.
Speed Week Blitz
Not too long after Operation Work Brake, we rang the warning bell another time for the “Speed Week” ticket blitz. People from all over the country came to New York for NASCAR’s race at Watkins Glen International on August 13-14. That same week, New York State Police targeted drivers for speeding tickets but were also handing out plenty of other traffic tickets violations. During “Speed Week,” 1,200 speeding tickets were issued and 1,300 other traffic citations were issued, including cell phone and seatbelt tickets along with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrests.
Operation Hang Up
Governor Cuomo made New York one of 37 states that ban texting while driving and one of 10 states that prohibits the use of a handheld cellphone while driving by signing these measures into law. In 2012, more than 65,000 motorists throughout New York State were ticketed for using an electronic device while driving. During the first quarter of 2012, the police were targeting distracted drivers on a state wide campaign known as Operation Hang Up.
New York May Begin to Use Speed Cameras
A new proposal to use hi-tech cameras to catch drivers speeding may change the driving landscape in New York in a major way. Cities such as Washington D.C. have already implemented these cameras and have seen a dramatic decrease in car accidents and fatalities. New York is currently considering a proposal to install close to 40 cameras around the city and track driving speed. The cameras will be able to detect drivers going over the speed limit and take a picture of the license plate. Cameras are already used in New York for cars running red lights. Considering the success of these cameras in other states, it looks like this proposal may pass. Watch our blog for future updates on this.
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case of Pregnant Woman Who Got Tased
Now for some extreme traffic news: In 2002 a pregnant woman was driving her child to school in Seattle and was pulled over for speeding in a school zone. The woman accepted that she was speeding however things took a turn for the worse when she did not know that she was required to sign-off that she received a ticket. The woman mistakenly thought that she was admitting guilt and refused to sign the ticket, which happened to be a crime in Seattle. After attempts to reason with the woman were unsuccessful, the officers used a Taser gun to remove her from the vehicle. A lengthy court battle ensued in which the courts were asked if excessive force was used in this situation. In 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that excessive force was used, however the police officers could not be held accountable since the law regarding Tasers was not clear. This year the case made its way up to the Supreme Court, however the justices decided not to hear the case.
This Holiday Season – ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’
The holiday season can usually be a dangerous time to be driving on the roads. If you are drinking during the holidays please don’t drive. To deal directly with drunk driving this holiday season, the U.S. Transportation Secretary and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Safety Administration have kicked off the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign across America. Enjoy your holidays this year and remember to be responsible and stay safe!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,
Adam H. Rosenblum and Your Friends at Rosenblum Law