The Importance Of Perception

Posted by Matthew Weiss on February 26, 2014  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

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I just watched a terrific TEDx talk given by Rory Sutherland. Sutherland convincingly contends that reality alone is not a good guide to human happiness, and that the importance of perception is often ignored by designers, planners, branders and other economists.

Case in point: He argues that red traffic lights leads to frustration and road rage because motorists do not know how long they have to wait.  He points to a “countdown” red light deployed in South Korea that cut down the accident rates.  The light has an outer circle that allows the motorist to know how much longer he or she has to wait. This, in turn, cuts down on angst and frustration (while, of course, not changing the amount of time that the motorist must wait). He pointed out that the reverse – a green light that has a countdown feature – encouraged speeding and bad driving, however.

Sutherland presented another traffic example to bolster his position.  In Great Britain, they have an express toll lane for those willing to pay double to get through the toll quicker.   The premise of the express lane is that people place different values on time and money.   Although economically efficient, people generally hated it.   Sutherland suggests that the objection to the two classes of tolls is eliminated if the extra money collected at the double toll was all given to charity.   People’s mental willingness to pay completely changes with this one pivot.  Now the economically efficient solution actually meets with public opinion.

Sutherland’s premises — that things are not what they are but rather what we think they are — provides a good lesson for traffic control planners as well as other life situations.

Can An Out-Of-State Motorist Take New York’s Driver Safety Class (And Receive Its Benefits)?

Posted by Matthew Weiss on February 19, 2014  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

HighwayA non-New York license holder can take the New York Driver Safety Class to reduce points from their New York driving record.

New York’s Driver Safety Class is a 6-hour class that removes up to 4 points from a NY driver’s license and can save 10% off of his or her insurance rates. For an out-of-state motorist, New York affords a privilege to drive with that “foreign” license. That privilege can be lost for the same reasons that a New Yorker’s license might be suspended or revoked. New York, therefore, allows out-of-staters to take the same class to reduce their New York point total. Read More

It’s Pothole Season…What To Do

Posted by Matthew Weiss on January 15, 2014  /   Posted in Driving Tips

unnamedThe on-going freezing weather followed by thaws erodes the dirt beneath roadways weakening the asphalt above. Add vehicular traffic, and you now know how potholes form. Potholes account for 1/2 million insurance claims a year including such items as punctured and worn tires, damage to axles and shocks, bent wheel rims, and steering mis-alignment.

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Motorist Loses License For Recklessly Driving With His Knees

Posted by Matthew Weiss on January 08, 2014  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

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A British driver lost his license for one year and fined $1,000 for using his knees to steer his Volkswagen Golf.  Richard Newton was caught driving 60 mph without using his hands. Newton even was seen passing other vehicles during this stretch.   Newton was found guilty of dangerous driving despite his claim that he drives with his knees due to back pain.

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Suffolk County Now Charging An “Administrative Fee” On Dismissals

Posted by Matthew Weiss on December 05, 2013  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

DennisonBldgThe Suffolk County Traffic Violations & Parking Agency, opened as of April 2013, has been great for motorists.  Motorists who plead not guilty to any Suffolk County speeding ticket or other moving violation can now negotiate plea bargains,  a much better system  rather than the “all or nothing” predecessor court.

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Woman Issued First Ticket For Driving With Google Glass

Posted by Matthew Weiss on November 20, 2013  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 8.10.02 AMOn February 13, 2o13, I wrote a post discussing why wearing Google Glass and driving should be illegal.  Citing a study showing that almost 20% of all car accidents involve distracted driving, I concluded that watching a tiny screen in your eyewear while driving a car would is extremely dangerous.

Well now a California woman is dealing with this exact issue.  Cecilia Abadie was pulled over for speeding by a  California Highway Patrol Officer and, when he saw that she was wearing a pair of Google Glasses, she was issued a second ticket for distracted driving.  The ticket states “Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass).”

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EZ Pass Now Being Used To Track Motorists Throughout NYC

Posted by Matthew Weiss on September 25, 2013  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 10.28.45 AMWe’re accustomed to seeing EZ pass readers at bridges, tunnels and highway toll plazas. However, it was recently discovered that these transponders have been deployed throughout New York City to track the movement of vehicles. The data is fed to a traffic control center in Long Island City to ease gridlock (although many suspect that it is being used in other ways including locating a “fast and furious” Manhattan speeder).

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Toll Cheat Nailed At George Washington Bridge

Posted by Matthew Weiss on September 18, 2013  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

092711tolls_dngnkPolice recently arrested a truck driver who cheated the Port Authority out of thousands of dollars in toll money. Marcus Tifa was caught when blew through a cash lane in a Freight Liner tractor trailer without paying.

Tifa, a veteran toll beater, apparently had flipped his license plates so they could not be read. When Tifa was pulled over it was determined that he had a suspended New Jersey license and three, open arrest warrants. It was also determined that Tifa owed roughly $28,000 in tolls and fees. Tifa was charged with theft of services and tampering with public records.

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Man “Laps” Manhattan in 24 Minutes And Then Gets Caught By Video Surveillance Cameras

Posted by Matthew Weiss on September 11, 2013  /   Posted in New York Traffic Lawyer Tips

speed7n-1-webChristopher Adam Tang was stupid enough to drive his 2006 BMW Z4 around Manhattan like a race car driver. He was even stupider to video record his recklessness using a dashboard camera. And finally he was especially stupid to post his inculpatory video on YouTube (under the name “Afroduck”).

Bulldog NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly wasn’t having any part of it. He assigned Highway Patrol to catch this dope. Using surveillance video recordings as well as his own online admissions, Tang was arrested and charged with reckless driving, reckless endangerment, following too closely and three other counts.

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