We’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).
Police 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.
Christopher 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.
Since last year, we’ve been following a New Jersey case where a person who sent a text message was sued for contributing to a serious car accident. The theory is that the text sender knew that the recipient was operating a car at the time and would read the message while driving. The details of this case are set forth in “Can You Be Liable For Sending A Text Message To Someone Driving?“
In New York, a motorist is allowed up to 10 points within any 18-month period. Points start to run from the date of offense and no longer count 18 months thereafter. Read “A Guide To Calculating DMV Points” for more information on calculating points.
For instance, let us assume a motorist is convicted on August 1, 2013 of a New York speeding ticket 71/50 (6 points) occurring on January 15, 2013. On August 1st, 2013 (the date of conviction), the Department of Motor Vehicles will assign 6 points to that driver’s license. Those 6 points will count retroactively to January 15, 2013 (the date of offense) and will remain on that driver’s license until July 15, 2014, 18 months later.
Let’s say you have 8 points within 18 months already, and are facing a 3-point disobey red light ticket. What should you do given that a conviction will give you more points than allowed?
I am sure that you’ve noticed that society’s acceptance of drinking and driving has dropped dramatically over the last decade. A series of laws have been enacted to deter and punish such behavior. This trend continued this month when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law which does, among others, the following:
It’s only been open since April, 2013, but the Suffolk County Traffic Violations & Parking Agency (SCTVPA) already has the unofficial honor of being the highest-priced court in New York State. Based on the fact that attorneys from my traffic law firm appear in 100s of NY traffic courts for our clients each year, it is clear from the results we carefully monitor that STVPA imposes the highest fines in the State.
Last month, I wrote a post called “When Does Stopped Mean Moving?” discussing how one traffic court found a violation of New York’s “distracted driver” law for “using” an electronic device even though the motorist was stopped at a light. This post will discuss whether “holding” under VTL 1225-d encompasses those instances when a motorist places a powered-up electronic device on his or her lap.
I was shocked yesterday when I went to a website — tlo.com — and entered my license plate number. One click and a series of photographs of my car with date and location was revealed. Seemingly, I had someone tailing me and taking photos of my rear license plate at various locations throughout New York City.
A new industry of data brokers has sprung up. They sell locational information on license plates that have been photographed. These companies use license plate recognition software to identify and sort the massive amount of data.
The NYS Legislature recently approved a pilot program allowing New York City to post 20 speed cameras. The five-year program requires that the cameras be located near schools. Mayor Bloomberg tried unsuccessfully to bring speeding cameras to NYC last year. The new attempt apparently was successful because the safety of children was at issue. The City prepared a map last March showing locations near schools where 75% of motorists were documented as speeding.