In early 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City implemented a Vision Zero plan that would introduce a number of new initiatives, all of which would be geared towards reducing the number of car accidents on city streets. While this is clearly a noble and worthwhile goal to desire, there has been some backlash on the program as it seems to just create more ways to hand out citations without actually reducing traffic collisions. Now, not even two years after it was created, Vision Zero’s initiatives are going through a round of changes that you really should know about.
- Unposted speed limits: Any street that does not have a clearly posted speed limit now has an implied speed limit of 25 miles per hour, down from 30. As many drivers are probably not aware of this slight change, it could prove as an easy way to hit plenty of people with traffic tickets.
- Infraction escalation: If you fail to yield to the rules of the road and consequently are involved in a car accident that causes serious injury or death, you will automatically be charged with at least a criminal misdemeanor charge. In the past, it was only an infraction.
- No guilty pleas: As an extension of the previous changes, you may not submit a guilty plea upfront when facing a criminal misdemeanor charge related to an accident. You will need to see a Judge to determine a verdict. Not only does this mean you are basically forced to pay court fees, you also risk opening yourself up to civil litigation if you say the wrong thing during this process.
- Administrative safety hearings: The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has been tasked to expedite its safety hearing scheduling process. During such a hearing, you will be thoroughly questioned by an Administrative Law Judge about your driving record, the accident itself, and other subjects. The problem is that this verges on interrogation, and that whatever you say can be considered admissible evidence in any subsequent civil lawsuits against you.
Representation When You Need It
Needless to say, the changes that were implemented only recently are already snagging a multitude of New York City drivers. If you have been handed a citation for a traffic violation, it might be due to unclear Vision Zero initiatives. Contact a New York traffic ticket attorney from Gannes & Musico, LLP. Using our in-depth experience with all laws and litigations related to traffic fines and regulations, we are confident we can defend your rights. Call 877.803.2603 today to schedule a free consultation.