Driving on the Shoulder in New York | VTL 1131

By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:

Driving on the shoulder in New York is a violation of VTL 1131 and carries with it some serious penalties.

When you are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, rethink driving in the shoulder to cut off other drivers. It may save you time but it could ultimately cost you a ton.

Penalties for Driving on the Shoulder in NY

Many of us hate sitting in traffic and will do almost anything to get out of it. It grates on our nerves and sometimes causes even the best of us to lose our temper. However, no matter how frustrated you get, do not drive on the shoulder!

If you are caught driving on the shoulder in New York, you can face:

  • A fine of up to $150
  • An $88-$93 Surcharge
  • 2 points on your license
  • Up to 15 days in jail

It is important to realize that you can be ticketed for this offense regardless of whether you were in traffic or not. Aside from 2 points, an annoying fine, and the possibility of jail time, your car insurance rate will likely go up.

Furthermore, if you think that you can simply avoid the ticket by ignoring it and stuffing it in your glove compartment, your credit score can suffer.

For all of these reasons and more, make sure to hire an experienced New York traffic ticket attorney to help you reduce the penalties you face. Depending on your unique situation a skilled attorney may even be able to get your ticket dismissed altogether.

Official Text of NY’s Driving on the Shoulder Law

“New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1131. Driving on shoulders and slopes. Except for bicycles and those classes of vehicles required to travel on shoulders or slopes, no motor vehicle shall be driven over, across, along, or within any shoulder or slope of any state controlled-access highway except at a location specifically authorized and posted by the department of transportation. The foregoing limitation shall not prevent motor vehicles from using shoulders or slopes when directed by police officers or flagpersons, nor does it prevent motor vehicles from stopping, standing, or parking on shoulders or slopes where such stopping, standing, or parking is lawful.”

As the statute indicates, it is not prohibited to drive on the shoulder when you otherwise would legally be allowed to (e.g. passing a disabled vehicle, in order to park in a legally designated parking space, etc.)

However, it is crucial to note that the statute does not designate a period of time. In other words, you can be illegally driving in the shoulder for 2 minutes or for 10 seconds and it makes no practical difference. In either case an officer can issue you a ticket for violating VTL 1131.

Who Should You Contact?

If you recently received a New York traffic ticket for driving on the shoulder or slope (VTL 1130), contact Rosenblum Law. Our team of traffic ticket attorneys has a successful track record of fighting these types of cases and getting our clients the results they want. Call us today at 888-883-5529.