How to Avoid a NY Speeding Ticket According to the Data

By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq.  Published: 11/4/19

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 2018 data from the Department of Motor Vehicles, 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 

NY Counties With the Fewest Speeding Tickets Per 1,000 VMT (2018)

CountySpeeding TicketsVehicle Miles TraveledTickets Per 1,000 VMT
MONROE14,69216,847,0000.872
WASHINGTON1,3381,486,0000.9
NASSAU23,38025,850,0000.904
SUFFOLK33,65336,344,0000.926
ONONDAGA15,89212,136,0001.309
SARATOGA10,5437,335,0001.437
YATES822567,0001.45
FULTON1,8161,226,0001.481
MANHATTAN13,6308,860,0001.538

NY Counties With the Most Speeding Tickets Per 1,000 VMT (2018)

 Speeding TicketsVehicle Miles TraveledTickets per 1,000 VMT
COLUMBIA10,7432,030,0005.292
SULLIVAN10,8512,500,0004.34
WYOMING3,983920,0004.329
HERKIMER7,5941,847,0004.112
CORTLAND6,1561,549,0003.974
CHAUTAUQUA14,4893,721,0003.894
DELAWARE5,6651,576,0003.595
RENSSELAER12,5083,596,0003.478
SCHOHARIE3,111919,0003.385
STATEN ISLAND19,5715,856,0003.342

5 Strategies for Avoiding A Speeding Ticket in New York State

1) Drive in Monroe County (But Not Columbia)

The NYPD hands out enormous amounts of speeding tickets to drivers in the five boroughs–more than 130,000 in 2018. 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, the five boroughs experience an estimated 56.6 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) each year. 

When taking into account the ratio of speeding tickets written to VMT, most of NYC’s counties/boroughs do not even make the top 10 list for most speeding tickets per 1,000 VMT. Instead, that honor goes to Columbia County in Upstate NY, where drivers received almost 5.3 speeding tickets per 1,000 VMT. It is followed by Sullivan, Wyoming and Herkimer counties, which each had more than 4 tickets per 1,000 VMT.

Drivers would do better to spend time on the roads in Monroe County, where police wrote 0.87 speeding tickets for every 1,000 VMT. Those who wish to travel downstate should check out Long Island. Nassau and Suffolk counties had the third- and fourth-fewest speeding tickets per 1,000 VMT, respectively.  

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. It should come as no surprise that in 2018, 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 2.4% were handed out during that time. This is identical to the 10-year average for that time period. 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 14% 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 workweek (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 2018, drivers in NY received 7.4% 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 2018 that figure was just 1.8%. Of the past 10 years, only once (2014) did that number come close to 3%.

5) Drive in Counties with Low Conviction Rates

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 less than half of all drivers who were ticketed for speeding there in 2018. According to the most recent data, 51.1% of drivers had their tickets dismissed or were acquitted of the speeding charges. Another 30% were convicted on a different speeding charge or a non-speeding charge. Only 18.8% were convicted of the charges issued by the officer. Chenango, Livingston, and Broome counties dismissed more than one-third of speeding charges last year. 

Even in Manhattan, a surprising number of drivers got a break. Almost 12.5% of speeding tickets were dismissed or the drivers were acquitted of the charges last year, 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 (negotiated reductions in court). Drivers who opt to fight a TVB ticket must realize it’s all or nothing.

Naturally, we at Rosenblum Law don’t advocate for speeding at any time. But if you do happen to be hit with a speeding ticket, it’s best to contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options and the best strategies for mitigating or avoiding the severe consequences associated with a New York speeding ticket.