Last month, Steven Rivera, a 25-year-old Ossining, New York resident was arrested for his participation in a fatal drag racing accident on June 26, 2011.
Reportedly, Rivera and his friend Travis Clark were racing on Interstate 287 in Yonkers. While reaching speeds over 100 mph, Clark lost control of his car and slammed into a signpost, ripping it out of the pavement. Clark and a passenger in his car, Jillisa McCarthy, were killed.
Initially, Rivera claimed he was simply a witness to the accident disavowing any involvement in the deadly crash. Now, he is facing three misdemeanors: Unauthorized Speed Contest (New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1182), Reckless Endangerment and Falsely Reporting an Incident.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1182 makes it illegal to stage races, exhibitions or contests of speed or to participate or aid in any speed contest of motor vehicles. The law includes simple exhibitions of speed even if it is not a race.
The text of the law follows:
Speed contests and races. 1. Except as provided in section eleven hundred eighty-two-a of this article or section sixteen hundred thirty, sixteen hundred forty, sixteen hundred forty-two or sixteen hundred sixty of this chapter, no races, exhibitions or contests of speed shall be held and no person shall engage in or aid or abet in any motor vehicle or other speed contest or exhibition of speed on a highway. Such event, if held, shall be fully and efficiently patrolled for the entire distance over which such race, exhibition or contest for speed is to be held. Participants in a race, exhibition or contest of speed are exempted from compliance with any traffic laws otherwise applicable thereto, but shall exercise reasonable care.
To fully grasp the details of what is considered a speeding contest, it is advisable to contact a New York traffic attorney such as Adam Rosenblum.
Violation of New York VTL 1182 is a misdemeanor and/or may be punishable by a maximum 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $525. A second conviction in 12 months is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or a maximum fine of $750.
In addition, the New York State Senate recently passed a bill designed to enact tougher penalties for reckless driving and create a new crime called Aggravated Reckless Driving. Sponsored by Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., the new legislation would include travelling 30+ mph above the speed limit while racing another vehicle as Aggravated Reckless Driving. Under the recently passed bill, Aggravated Reckless Driving would be a Class E felony.
If you have been charged with New York VTL 1182 or any other NY traffic violation, call Rosenblum Law. Our team of experienced and aggressive New York traffic lawyers can help you. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation.