Oftentimes, people are unaware of the consequences of driving too closely, or tailgating, on the road. People also assume that this act cannot result in penalties unless they rear-end someone or get in some type of accident. Tailgating itself is a traffic offense and can result in consequences regardless if you get in an accident or not. N.Y. VTL §1129 requires that drivers and all motorists leave enough space between them and the vehicle in front of them. The amount of space required is enough that another vehicle could safely occupy the space. If you do not leave that space, you could be ticketed for tailgating. The penalties for tailgating in New York include:
- Four points on your driving record
- A fine of up to $200
- Increased insurance rates
The reason for this law is to maintain protection of drivers on the road. Unpredictable situations occur and if you have enough space in front of you, you can often avoid accidents. If the car in front of you brakes for some reason and you are following too closely, you may rear-end them and be liable for a car accident. It may be difficult to try and measure the size of a vehicle and visualize that space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. A trick to help you is to allow a space of two or three seconds between you. Calculate this by picking a point, such as a pole, and after the vehicle in front of you passes the point you can count 'one- one thousand, two-one thousand.' You should not pass that same point until after you count two or three seconds to be safe. If you have been ticketed for tailgating, you need to seek representation from a NYC Traffic Lawyer. Gannes & Musico, LLP offers a free initial consultation, so contact us now to get started!