By Thomas J. Carr
With the cold weather finally setting in for good, Capital Region drivers still have time to take preventative steps that could save them from costly traffic tickets and motor vehicle accidents. By making sure their cars are properly weatherized with snow tires and ensuring all windshields, windows and hoods have been thoroughly cleared of ice and snow, drivers can reduce their risk of committing traffic offenses. Additionally, they need to remember that even driving a few miles below the speed limit is not always safest – and legal – when winter weather affects roads conditions.
In 2010, statewide there were 23,990 accidents attributed to slippery pavement and 4,970 accidents attributed to limited or obscured views, according to New York Department of Motor Vehicle statistics. Fifty-eight of the slippery pavement and 27 of the obscured/limited view accidents involved fatalities.
Had more New Yorkers taken more preventative steps, some of these accidents likely could have been avoided. The same is true for following types of offenses:
- Driving without clearing ice or snow from windshields
- VTL § 375(30): Operating Motor Vehicle with Obstructed Vision
- Not being able to stop in time because of ice or snow on the road
- VTL § 1129(a): Following too Close
- VTL § 1111(b): Traffic Device Violation – Yellow Signal
- VTL § 1111(d): Traffic Device Violation – Red Signal
- VTL § 1172(a): Failure to Stop at Stop Sign
- VTL § 1172(b): Failure to Yield When Required
- VTL § 1180(a): Speed not Reasonable and Prudent
- Swerving into wrong lane due to icy or snowy road conditions
- VTL § 1120: Failure to Keep Right
- Losing control of a vehicle and striking an object, car or pedestrian
- PEN § 125.12: Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree
Many Capital Region drivers involved in weather-related accidents are surprised when police issue them tickets for any of the above-noted offenses despite the fact they had been driving cautiously. Law enforcement officers, however, will argue the fact that a driver caused an accident shows he or she was not driving with the degree of care prescribed by the law. These tickets carry heavy fines and can adversely affect a driver’s insurance rates.
Drivers in Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga Springs who have received tickets for accidents associated with winter weather need to contact a New York traffic ticket defense attorney. The Albany, N.Y. traffic ticket lawyers at Tully Rinckey PLLC can challenge charges against Capital Region drivers and attempt to get them thrown out or reduced to lesser charges.
Thomas J. Carr, Esq. is a partner at Tully Rinckey PLLC and concentrates his practice in the area of criminal defense – including DWI – in the Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule a meeting with one of Tully Rinckey PLLC’s criminal defense attorneys call 1-888-LAW-4LIFE.