New York consistently ranks as one of the worst states to get a speeding ticket. Drivers pay hefty fines, suffer the consequence of points, can see increased auto insurance, and can easily lose their license over a New York speeding ticket. In most cases attempts to talk one’s way out of a speeding ticket simply do not work.
Fortunately, there may be a way to avoid getting a speeding ticket in the first place. By parsing newly released 2017 data from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Rosenblum Law has analyzed the places and times one is most and least likely to get a speeding ticket in New York.
Heatmap of Where The Most Speeding Tickets Are Given Out
5 Strategies for Avoiding A Speeding Ticket in New York State
1) Drive in Manhattan (But Not Brooklyn)
The NYPD hands out enormous amounts of speeding tickets to drivers in the five boroughs. That may give some people pause, but the sheer number of tickets alone doesn’t say much. After all, some counties simply have more vehicle traffic than others. For example, according to the NYS Department of Transportation, Manhattan saw an estimated 26 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2017, the second most of any county in the state.
When taking into account the ratio of speeding tickets written to VMT, Manhattan had the third-least tickets per 1,000 VMT, with 0.53 speeding tickets per 1,000 VMT. Upstate, Essex and Montgomery counties had the two lowest tickets per 1,000 VMT at 0.26 and 0.28 respectively. Suffolk County, which wrote the fifth-most speeding tickets in 2017 (40,689) also had the most VMT last year at more than 36 million. This means it had the ninth-least tickets per 1,000 VMT.
Not all of Long Island and NYC are safe bets. Brooklyn handed out nearly 29,000 speeding tickets in 2017, making it the eighth-highest county for speeding tickets by volume. But it also ranked No. 5 for the most speeding tickets per vehicle miles traveled (9.00 tickets/1,000 VMT). It came in below Long Island’s Nassau County, which ranked as No. 2 with 12.83 tickets per 1,000 VMT.
Up by the Canadian border, Erie County regularly ranks as the county that gives out the most speeding tickets each year, including in 2017 when drives received more than 50,000 speeding tickets! But even with its high amount of cross-border traffic (or perhaps because of it), the county also ranked No. 7 for the most speeding tickets per 1,000 VMT (6.51). Erie also handed out the third-most work zone speeding tickets per VMT (0.98), while Nassau County was No. 1 for school zone tickets based on VMT (0.70).
NY Counties With the Least Speeding Tickets Per 1,000 VMT (2017)
|County||2016||2017||Rate of Change|
2) Drive at 3am on Mondays
Regardless of where one drives, there are certain times of the day and days of the week when police are less inclined to write speeding tickets (or less awake). It should come as no surprise that in 2017, the time period in which the least speeding tickets were written was between 3am and 6am. Of the hundreds of thousands of speeding tickets issued in New York that year, just 2.5% were handed out during that time. This is slightly above the nine-year average of 2.4%. The largest proportion, approximately 22%, are given to drivers just after the morning rush between 9am and noon for any given year.
Police precincts don’t take weekends off, but Mondays seem to be light days for speeding tickets in New York. On average, from 2009 to 2018 just 13.5% of speeding tickets were written on Mondays. Tuesdays are also fairly light, with 13.9% being issued on those days. While most of us look forward to Fridays, those are the worst days for speeding; police give out an average of 15.7% of speeding tickets on the last day of the work week (maybe they’re jealous?).
3) Drive During the Dead of Winter
December and January typically see the least amount of speeding tickets issued each year. In 2017, drivers in NY received 7.6% of tickets in the first month of the year and 6.5% in the final month. This trend is fairly consistent year over year, with an average of 7.2% and 6.5% of tickets given out in January and December over the past nine years. March and August are historically the worst months for speeding, with both months averaging about 9.3% of all speeding tickets.
4) Drive Less Than 11 mph Over
The best way to avoid a speeding ticket is to not exceed the speed limit by more than 10 mph. In instances where speed is specified, less than 2% of tickets on average are for going less than 11 mph over the limit. In 2017 that figure was just 1.87%. Of the past nine years, only once (2014) did that number come close to 3%. In 2009 it was barely over 1%.
5) Drive in Counties with Low Conviction Rates
Sometimes a speeding ticket is unavoidable. A person who is ticketed for speeding should hope it happens in a county with low conviction rates. Orleans County by the Canadian border convicted barely more than half of all drivers who were ticketed there in 2017. According to the most recent data, 49.8% of drivers had their tickets dismissed or were acquitted of the speeding charges. Another 32.8% were convicted on a different speeding charge or a non-speeding charge. Only 17.4% were convicted of the charges issued by the officer. Livingston, Otsego and Broome Counties dismissed or acquitted a little over a third of speeding charges last year.
Even in Manhattan, a surprising number of drivers got a break. Almost 13% of speeding tickets were dismissed or the drivers were acquitted of the charges, which is the 10th highest dismissal/acquittal rate in the state. Don’t be fooled: Manhattan is part of the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB), which does not allow for plea bargains. Drivers who opt to fight a TVB ticket must realize it’s all or nothing.