Teen drivers were involved in nearly 14,000 fatal crashes over the past five year. Of those, more than 4,200 involved speeding, one of the most common mistakes that teen drivers make.
Last month, AAA released a survey of driving instructors’ observations about teen drivers. The result is a list of the top three dangerous mistakes that teens make behind the wheel. 65% of driving instructors claim that teens taking a road test are less prepared to drive than they were a decade ago. Parents, they say, are largely to blame.
“Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen,” said Bill Van Tassel, AAA’s manager of Driver Training Operations. “Involved parents really can help save lives, so it’s important for parents to coach their teens to slow down, as well as to avoid other common mistakes.”
The top three mistakes teens make when learning to drive are:
Other dangerous behaviors [PDF] common to teen drivers include:
In addition to inadequately preparing teens, parents often set a bad example through their own behaviors, the survey found. A separate survey from the AAA revealed that drivers between the ages of 35 and 55 commonly engaged in dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. For example:
A speeding ticket will impose 3 or more points on your licenses. It can cost hundreds in fees and fines and increased insurance rates. Teens with a junior or restricted license can see their driving privileges suspended for even minor traffic violations. If you or your teen has been fined for speeding, contact an attorney right away to protect your rights. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.
Effective November 7, New York City is lowering the default speed limit on local streets from 30mph to 25mph.
This new law is seen as the largest and most influential policy change enacted by Mayor Bill de Blasio in his “Vision Zero” initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities within the 5 boroughs. The law’s potential impact on pedestrian safety and, as cynics point out, on the city’s traffic ticket revenue could be huge.
On January 12th, New York Troopers engaged in a ticketing blitz on I-84 where the highway passes through the town of East Fishkill in Dutchess County, approximately 60 miles north of New York City. Over the course of 3 hours, 79 drivers were ticketed for exceeding the highway’s 65 mile per hour speed limit. Another 31 tickets were issued for various traffic infractions including failure to wear a seat belt, use of a hand-held cell phone or other electronic device while driving, and violation of New York’s “move-over” law (VTL 1144-a).
As part of Governor Cuomo’s hard-line stance against speeding and distracted driving, ticketing blitzes are becoming a more common occurrence to deter drivers driving in New York from exceeding the speed limit. This past Sunday comprises the most recent ticketing blitz by the New York State Police. Previous major ticketing blitzes have traditionally occurred in July and August, during the summer weeks leading up to Labor Day, when many vacationers are on the road and eager to get to their holiday destinations. During “speed week” and other major ticketing blitzes, police have been known to issue over a thousand speeding tickets in a single week.
Though traffic fatalities have decreased by 30 percent in New York City in the past 10 years, speeding remains the number one cause of collisions throughout the city. In 2012, speeding caused the greatest number of traffic deaths in New York City, taking the lives of more New Yorkers than drunk driving and distracted driving combined.
As a result, New York City police officers have increased the amount of tickets they issue throughout the year for speeding by as much as 25 percent so far in 2013. Recently, the NYPD wrote a total of 736 tickets during a citywide speeding enforcement crackdown during the second weekend of October alone.
Periodic ticketing blitzes and the overall increase in speeding tickets in 2013 may also be due in part to criticism of NYPD ticketing practices over the past few years. Law enforcement has been typically been lax with respect to speeding violations in the city, with for example, 88% of drivers in Brooklyn getting away with speeding according to one report.
In part because of a lack of enough officers on the road, ticketing is far more common for violations other than speeding in the city. For instance, the NYPD issued more tickets for riding a bike on a sidewalk than for speeding on surface streets in New York City last year, issuing around 25,000 citations for sidewalk riding as opposed to only 19,119 speeding tickets. With criticism of the NYPD’s recent failure to ticket any speeding drivers in two precincts in the city throughout the month of September, the 25 percent increase is sure to rise as ticketing blitzes for speeding become more common and enforcement more strict.
As New York Daily News reports, this past September, not a single speeding ticket was handed out in certain neighborhoods, including Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Carrol Gardens, Gowanus and Park Slope, located within the 76th and 78th precincts of New York City.
Unfortunately, the complete absence of speeding citations does not correlate to unusually safe driving in those neighborhoods. Rather, three fatal pedestrian accidents occurred this year in those areas and residents continue to claim that spotting speeding drivers throughout the 76th and 78th precincts is a common occurrence.
Nor can the dearth of speeding tickets be attributed to police officers’ unawareness of speeding in those areas. In contrast to the 76th and 78th precincts, police officers patrolling the neighboring 77th Precinct pulled over 77 drivers for speeding in the same timeframe. A bit further off, 45 drivers were ticketed for speeding in September in the 94th Precinct. Moreover, efforts by the Department of Transportation, such as removing a lane of car traffic from speedways in an attempt to calm traffic, make it clear that speeding in the city remains a concern.
However, with drivers who, over time, become accustomed to any changes made to the roadway itself to derail speeding, citations by police officers remain the strongest deterrents to speeding in the city. Perhaps that is why year-to-date speeding tickets are up 25%, despite the lack of any speeding citations issued in September.
Some people will do anything to get out of their traffic tickets. You might have heard about women flirting with male police officers to avoid speeding tickets, but a 28-year old recently stooped to an all-time low.
A New Hampshire woman—who cried her way out of a speeding ticket by claiming to be rushing to her father’s deathbed—was arrested two days later when confronted with his obituary, which was dated 5 years ago!
The woman was arrested right at her doorstep by the very same trooper who she originally fooled. The trooper told reporters, “I’m pretty used to people trying to bend the truth to get out of speeding citations, but this woman preyed on my emotions as a human being.”
He continued, “She told me her father had stage four cancer, that he was breathing only six breaths a minute, and that she was trying to make it to the hospital before he passed … There was a good act that went along with it.”
After discovering the truth in an online obituary dated 5 years before the incident, he promptly confronted her at her home and charged her with speeding 82 mph in a 65 mph zone as well as driving with a suspended registration, a misdemeanor in NH.
The officer, who (for good reason) was extremely perturbed, also said, “For someone to lie about their deceased father just to get out of a speeding ticket was pretty upsetting to me as a person.”
After confronting her at her door, the woman immediately became defensive and claimed it was her uncle’s obituary and not her father’s. However, after being arrested and brought down to the police station, she finally admitted to the truth and came clean.
It is absolutely astounding what a person will say to an officer in order to try and avoid a speeding ticket.
Instead of lying to an officer (which is arguably much worse), quietly accept the ticket the officer hands you and hire an experienced traffic ticket lawyer to fight it for you. It will save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation in the long run.
Most traffic tickets which fall under the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law carry a mandatory NYS surcharge (usually $88 or $93). However, certain tickets which people commonly pled guilty to as a “plea bargain” reduction do not. Earlier this year the Governor of New York proposed to add a surcharge to those traffic tickets in New York. The Governor also called for reducing the ability of prosecutors to bargain down the charges for any speeding ticket that is 20 mph over the limit. The Governor argued that plea deals that result in a reduction to a traffic violation that do not have a surcharge cost the New York State budget close to $58 million dollars a year in lost revenue. Many argued against the proposal including the National Motorists Association stating that it is yet another way for the government to squeeze money out of the pockets of New York drivers. Recently lawmakers were asked to vote on the Governor’s budget proposal.