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How Do I Fight An Improper Turn Ticket In New York?

How Do I Fight An Improper Turn Ticket In New York?

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (28)

Jack - June 3, 2017 4:09 pm

I just got 1160 A at 5th Ave and E60th st turning right.

The right lance clearly marked “Bus Lane” and I stopped at the edge of the intersection and follow the bus making the turn.

Officer said, I should drive behind the bus. But how? the bus is besides me and I can only make turns into the right lane late.
Could you please advise on how 1160A get violated and should I fight in court?


    Matthew Weiss - June 3, 2017 7:49 pm


    You need to make a right turn from the right lane (unless there are pavement markings in another lane allowing such a maneuver). How to fight this ticket is a too open-ended question. My best advice is to plead not guilty and, at your hearing, make sure the officer shows up and make sure that he or she testifies properly.

    Matthew Weiss

AL - May 22, 2017 4:03 pm

I was on a right turn and a taxi cab in front of me was parked. So I went around and ended up on the other lane to to make a right turn. There was also an Halal truck park on the right side I was turning, so I ended up making a wide turn. I got a ticket for that, anyway to fight that please? Do i get any points on my license for that?

    Matthew Weiss - May 22, 2017 10:59 pm


    This ticket for improper turn carries 2 points. I tis tough to fight it in NYC because they do not plea bargain. With that said, you have nothing to do lose by trying.

    Matthew Weiss

Angie - May 16, 2017 9:51 am

Hi,i was making a right turn from the left lane of 65th brooklyn to dahill road by the dead end of 65th st .as i should be in the left lane of dahill road to make another left turn to after 30 get my way in ave P…because i had to do that a like wide right turn because a truck in the right lane and it is short distance in dahill road like 30 ft in left lane to make a left turn in ave P,so i did at the dead end of 65th st right turn from the left lane..i got a ticket of improper turn viol.1163a….can i fight this because it is a dead end street and a truck in the right lane???

    Matthew Weiss - May 16, 2017 10:54 pm


    If you can prove that the truck was parked or disabled, perhaps going around it was not an illegal turn. Otherwise, nothing which you have written is helpful in my opinion.

    Matthew Weiss

Gin - May 14, 2017 10:12 am

Hi Matthew,
I got an improper right turn ticket by turning right from the left most lane from 57 st to Queensboro Br ramp. Four cars including me did the same thing at that time and all of us got pulled over. Should I fight for this ticket? I live in the city but I hold a Delaware license and a Delaware registration.

    Matthew Weiss - May 14, 2017 3:03 pm


    If you have an otherwise clean record in NY and DE, then I would just plead guilty. This is a relatively minor ticket, it is hard to win and presumably you do not drive in NY often.

    Matthew Weiss

Jeremy H. - May 4, 2017 10:19 pm

I got pulled over last night on S. Oyster Bay Rd in Nassau County and was given tickets for improper u-turn and inadequate lights. I did make the u-turn but not entirely sure why it was illegal though I am not from the area and I got lost off the highway. The second ticket on the headlamp is total BS. My lights work fine, but depending on the setting when in park, the bulb sometimes goes off. They definitely work though. The fines I am looking at here may run close to $600. This is insane. Is there any chance they will reduce the fines when I show up in June at the court in Hempstead? I don’t really care about the two points on the u-turn. I doubt due to my age and clean record that my ins will go up much. I want reduction on the fines.

    Matthew Weiss - May 6, 2017 6:49 am

    Jeremy H.,

    In our extensive experience at this court (Nassau County Traffic Violations & Parking Agency), you will be able to avoid the points and reduce the total fines by appearing and accepting some type of plea bargain.

    Matthew Weiss

Gary - May 3, 2017 10:20 pm

I was cited for an improper turn and the officer explicitly told me I would not receive points. Now, approximately 1.5 months later when they finally entered my ticket into the system it says there are points associated with it. I am absolutely willing to testify to this under oath and my wife was also in the car as a witness. Will this have any bearing in court?

    Matthew Weiss - May 4, 2017 10:10 pm


    No. The officer’s misstatement about whether your ticket carries points is irrelevant. The true issue is did you violate the law.

    Matthew Weiss

Joe Poe - May 2, 2017 10:07 am

I received a improper right turn ticket in the BX on the Bruncker Blvd service road going north by Hunts Point. To my denfense I’m from upstate New York and the last time I was on that road you were able to merge left and get on the expressway. Since then they changed the rules so from the service road you can only turn right or go straight and get on the Sheridan Expressway I didn’t want to get on that expressway so I made the right turn on to Hunts Point going East. The cops were in the left lane on Hunts Point going West about 4 cars away from the light. I didn’t see me make the right turn but the did see me in the left lane and the only way I could have ended up in the left lane was if I made the right turn from the left lane. They made a u turn and pulled me over and gave me a ticket. Should I fight this ticket or just pay the fine?

    Matthew Weiss - May 3, 2017 8:20 pm

    Joe Poe,

    This ticket is tough to beat because there is no plea barging of traffic tickets in New York City. If you have an otherwise clean record, I would just pay this one.

    Matthew Weiss

Michael Etzrodt - May 1, 2017 8:12 pm

From the above can I assume if the vehicle in front of me (left lane) with their right turn signal on changes their mind and goes straight leaving me “blocking the box” and I turn right to avoid blocking 6th Avenue that is still an improper turn and not worth fighting for a NJ driver?

    Matthew Weiss - May 3, 2017 8:35 pm

    Michael Etzrodt,

    It is illegal to make a right turn from the left lane. Another driver’s illegal turn does not allow you to also make an illegal turn.

    Matthew Weiss

Allen R - April 26, 2017 5:23 pm

I was driving on Tremont Ave in the Bronx I was waiting to make a right turn onto Webster have. 1 car ahead of me stopped suddenly. He put hisome blinkers on making me go around him. The officer sitting on the side didn’t witness this, he only seen me getting out of the middle lane to make a right. Would I be able to fight this. Thanks

    Matthew Weiss - April 29, 2017 2:09 am

    Allen R,

    You likely will lose because the officer did not apparently see the other vehicle with his blinkers on. With that said, you have nothing to lose by fighting this case. Good luck.

    Matthew Weiss

Tanya - April 22, 2017 11:17 am

Hi … in Brooklyn, I was given a summons for making an illegal left turn, coming off the Manhattan Bridge, on to Tillary St. I was behind another car, who was behind a bus. It appears that only the bus can make this turn. The car in front of me was not stopped, but I and and the mini van behind me, who also made the left turn were. I’m confused because I was in the proper lane and the light displayed a green left arrow to proceed. Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention to the correct signs. Although I would just like to pay the fine, I would like to avoid receiving points. How can I avoid receiving the points? I’ve never had points before.

    Matthew Weiss - April 22, 2017 3:09 pm


    In NYC, the only way to avoid points from a traffic ticket is by pleading not guilty and beating your case at the hearing.

    Matthew Weiss

James - April 20, 2017 2:32 pm

If one pleads guilty to an improper turn ticket, when would 2 points show up on the record: will the points be dated the date of the offence or the date of pleading guilty? And how long do they stay on the record? Thank you.

    Matthew Weiss - April 21, 2017 7:18 am


    Points remain on your record for 18 months for DMV purposes and, once your convicted, the points count retroactively to the date of offense.

    Matthew Weiss

Nimish Patil - April 17, 2017 12:07 pm

I got a ticket for improper ‘right’ turn in upper manhattan as I made a right turn from the center lane. However to my defense, I recently moved to Nyc from CT and the center lane had no sign marked. The first lane (left most) had a ‘straight only’ sign marked with white paint on the road surface & the third lane (right most) had a ‘right only’ sign marked whereas the center lane had none. I realize that per the rule, I should have used the rightmost lane. However, given this situation, is there a chance I’d be able to fight the ticket? Please advise. Thanks.

    Matthew Weiss - April 17, 2017 3:41 pm

    Nimish Patil,

    You may not turn from a center lane in New York State unless there are pavement markings authorizing such a turn. Otherwise, no markings are needed to restrict such improper turns. With that said, there are other ways to fight this case. However, if you have an otherwise clean record in New York, then it probably not worth fighting. Further, a NY conviction will not transfer as points onto your CT license.

    Matthew Weiss

L.reid - March 5, 2017 6:39 pm

What is a improper LEFT TURN-2 WAY?

    Matthew Weiss - March 5, 2017 9:07 pm


    The phrase “improper LEFT TURN-2 WAY” means that you are being charged with making an illegal left turn from a two-way street to a two-way street. In such instances, you need to stay just to the left of the center line from and to your turn.

    Matthew Weiss

Joan Doolittle - November 1, 2016 1:23 pm

This traffic offense called the ” move over” is nothing more than a money making scheme for New York State praying on innocent people who didn’t do anything wrong issuing them a ticket basically they can’t find it and less they pay for an attorney and that’s expensive so either way you lose. I have read countless numbers of comments from people who got the same ticket and maybe 50% of them were innocent . For me I had to pay because I couldn’t go to New York which is four hours for me and I couldn’t afford an attorney and I didn’t do anything wrong it was raining I slow down that was bumper-to-bumper traffic but yet I still got the ticket . It’s a shame that certain cops are power greedy.

    Matthew Weiss - November 3, 2016 12:02 am

    Joan Doolittle,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Sadly, this law is often used to “catch” motorists rather than other legitimate purposes.

    Matthew Weiss

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