Blocking The Box (aka Gridlocking) No Longer A Moving Violation In New York City

Gridlocking or obstructing an intersection is a 2-point violation.

Gridlocking or obstructing an intersection is a 2-point violation.

The above traffic sign warning against blocking the box or gridlocking has been rendered partially obsolete.  For as long as I have been fighting New York traffic tickets (over 20 years), VTL Section 1175 prohibiting drivers from blocking an intersection was a moving violation which carried two points.  Obstructing traffic at intersection in NYC involves entering an intersection when there is insufficient room beyond the far cross walk to accommodate the motorist’s car.  Gridlock violation does not apply, however, to turning motorists, only those attempting to go across an intersection and obstruct traffic.

This all changed on July 7, 2008 when gridlocking in New York City was given a dual status in New York.  That is, it can still be a moving violation (as in years past) and also a parking ticket made a parking ticket which carries no points.  The good news is, of course, that, if you charged under the new parking law, you will not get points or adverse insurance consequences if you get caught in an intersection blocking traffic.  Instead, you’ll just owe a fine  without any other consequences.

The bad news is that there are now literally 2,800s more city enforcement agents out there that are eligible to issue you a ticket for this offense.  You see only police officers can issue moving violations but traffic agents (formerly known as “brownies”) can issue parking tickets for  this “new” type of ticket.  The $90 minimum fine has also been raised to $115.

The real interesting issue involves the discrepancy between blocking the box in New York City versus the rest of the state.  That is, it is legal to penalize motorists unequally within the State for the same offense?  While this issue has not been addressed in the courts, you can bet that at some point an equal protection argument will be raised challenging this uneven treatment of motorists.

Please note, however, if the officer issues you the summons under NYC Traffic Regulation 4-07(b)(2) entitled “Spillback”  you are being charged with a moving violation.  This regulation provides that no “operator shall enter an intersection and its crosswalks unless there is sufficient unobstructed space beyond the intersection and its crosswalks in the lane in which he/she is traveling to accommodate the vehicle, notwithstanding any traffic control signal indication to proceed.”  Generally, we still recommend fighting spillback tickets as they carry 2 points and can potentially affect your insurance rates.

For now, enter crowded intersections at your own risk.

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149 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi.

    I just received an “obstructing an intersection” parking violation. The officer did not say anything except asking me for my driver’s license. As I was going into the intersection, the light turned red. Traffic at broadway and roosevelt ave in elmhurst queens is always pretty packed. I was stuck in the middle. Out of no where, two brownies came out of a police van. One asked me for my driver’s license and told me to pull to the side. I think it’s quiet unfair.

    I also have a friend in the car as my witness.

    Reply
  • Hi,

    I was issued an “obstructing an intersection” parking violation. I was told by the officer that this is a no-point violation as it was printed on a Parking Violation ticket.

    The reason why I ended up stuck in the intersection was because a city bus had changed lanes into the left-most lane on 96th street IN THE INTERSECTION and it was one of those double length buses so I really couldn’t move until the entire bus had gone past me. At that point traffic stalled and I was trapped in the intersection.

    I tried to reason with the officer that I this bus had cut me off to which he responded “wish I could but I have people watching me” and that the traffic department had indicated that they need to be “extra aware” these days.

    Do I have a legitimate defense because of the bus or are they exempt from ordinary traffic rules that I should have known about?

    Secondly, is there any downside to pleading not guilty? Can they up the fine if found guilty or add points or something? Or is the downside simply loss of time?

    Thank you in advance.

    Jeff

    Reply
  • Robby R,

    You will NOT get this ticket dismissed based on this error. Although incorrect, this error does not render the ticket fatally defective.

    There are other possible ways to obtain a favorable result, however. An attorney from New York can represent you and you will not have to come to New York or appear in court.

    Feel free to call me for a free consultation at 212-683-7373.

    Best,

    Matthew Weiss, Esq.

    Reply
  • Hi Traffic Lawyer,
    I’m from California and was visiting upstate New York (Lake Placid, skiing…) and was using my brand new truck and RV trailer I purchased from Colorado. The temporary tag from the Colorado dealer which was posted in my rear window was expired, but my registration paperwork had already been received by DMV California and was being processed. I was stopped at a routine roadblock/checkpoint and was given a “UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET”.
    My name on my license is Robert-Michael Florendo Roman, but the cop wrote on the ticket “Robert M. Florendo” and used my middle name as my last name instead. However, he wrote the correct driver license number.

    Can I fight this ticket based on:
    1) he wrote my name wrong, using my middle name as last name
    2) my registration with California was already pending.

    The only problem is, they dont have “fight by mail” like New York City…i actually have to request a hearing and show up in person which would not be good since i’ll be in California by then

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • […] The parking ticket increase is, in part, due to the 234 newly-hired traffic enforcement agents and the recently promulgated rule that allows these agents to issue $115 grid-locking tickets (i.e., blocking the box). […]

    Reply
  • Thank you for your response. Must a full written account be submitted when pleading not guilty? If so, will my account above be adequate towards getting a reduced fine? Is there anything I should or shouldn’t say?

    Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Jordan R,

      If you plan on taking the case to a decision, then you should furnish a full account of your defense. If you are pleading not guilty for the purpose of getting the reduced fine, then you don’t need to be as detailed in your not guilty submission.

      I hope this helps but don’t hesitate to re-post or email me with any further questions.

      Reply
      • I plead not guilty and gave a limited explanation but received no reduced fine, only a guilty verdict 2 months later. Why did that happen?

        Reply
  • I received a T106 (white) ticket yesterday for blocking the box at the corner of 40th St and 8th Avenue. I was the second car through the green light and sat at the crosswalk the entirety of the light until it began to change and I pulled up alongside the car in front of me at the crosswalk, while the car behind me pulled up on the opposite side. For whatever reason there had been no movement at all on the block between 7th and 8th avenues for the duration of the light. Just as the light changed traffic in front of us began to move but an officer and his trainee, who had been positioned behind the light and unable to see it, walked into the street and directed the three of us over to the side of the street. All three of us obliged at which point he waived the two other cars away and gave me a ticket while educating his trainee how to use the hand-held ticketing device.
    Is the fact that we blocked the box for only an instant when the lights changed or the fact that he dismissed two other people arbitrarily for the same offense in any way fodder for challenging this ticket? Had blocking the box really been a concern, he could have easily waived us to turn on 8th avenue rather than ticket us. He was clearly looking for a poor chump to use to train his apprentice. Any advice?

    Reply
    • Jordan R,

      The good news is that you received the parking ticket version of this offense. It carries 0 points and a $115 fine. If you plead not guilty, you will be offered a $90 fine in about 30 days. Accepting this reduction is your best bet. Alternatively, you can fight the ticket but your prospects for success do not sound high. You may not enter an intersection unless there is sufficient space beyond the far cross walk to accommodate your vehicle. From your description, this does not seem to be the case (even though you did not gridlock for very long).

      Good luck contesting this regardless of how you choose to proceed.

      Reply
  • Thank You.

    Reply
  • Hi
    I got ticket. VC-09 (e)(12) in violation of sect 4-08. My ticket is white with returnable to parking violation beauru.
    I get the points on my driving license?thank You lawyer

    Reply
  • My daughter got a ticket today from a NYS Trooper in Dutchess County for obstructing an intersection, the ticket references NYS V and T Law section 1175, is this a moving violation?

    Not sure if it makes a difference but the ticket is white?

    Reply
    • Tricia, your daughter’s ticket is a moving violation which carries 2 points (even though it is white-colored).

      Any ticket issued under VTL Section 1175 is a moving violation.

      Feel free to call us for a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss
      212-683-7373

      Reply
  • I received a parking violation for blocking an intersection and all the info entered was correct except for my name. My first name is correct but my last is totally incorrect. Will that help me in fighting this ticket?

    Reply
    • Janet,

      Believe it or not, a mistake in your name is not a critical mistake which would get your ticket dismissed. You can argue it but I would say your best best is to plea not guilty and then accept the reduced fine option when the PVB offers it to you.

      Reply
  • I drive a nyc yellow cab. I tried to get on the taxi stand at 7th ave on penn station and I ended up at the crosswalk. I was not even blocking the 33rd street traffic. But I was blocking pedestrians. This happened on the recent blizzard day at 8 am. The cop gave me “spillback” which carries 2 points. In addition he gave me 411(c)(5) and it says “stopping prohibition”. There is no “stopping prohibited” sign in that area. Do I have any chance in winning the second ticket? Thanks

    Reply
    • Dean M,

      The second ticket carries 0 points. You want to beat the first one which has 2 points.

      There are lots of ways of defending the “spillback” ticket so give me a call so we can discuss it in details.

      Best,

      Matthew Weiss
      212-683-7373

      Reply
  • Hi,
    On my way to work today, I got an Obstructing Traffic (e) (12) ticket.

    When the light was green, the 4th car ahead of me was making a left turn, causing a slight backup. Then next 3 cars were in the intersection, while I was in the near crosswalk during the green light.

    At the nex intersection, there was a truck that partially blocked the view to the light. I followed the taxi in front of me and made it to the far crosswalk with the light still green. After stopping at the crosswalk, I could not see if the light was green behind me, nor the light ahead of me.

    2 traffic agents waved the cars ahead of me forward, and directed me to pull over. The agent explained the ticket, while trying to appear sympathetic.

    I have a NYS license, but I was driving an Illinois plate vehicle. The plate expiration is a sticker on the rear plate. The agent only check the front plate, and on the ticket, he put down N/S for the Exp Date.

    Do I have a valid defense? And how would I argue my defense? Provide a photo of the plate with the expiration sticker?

    Reply
    • Louis,

      The registration’s expiration date (month, day and year) is a critical element to be including in any NYC parking ticket. The officer’s failure to insert it could therefore help you win your case.

      I am not sure what “N/S” means but I would argue, among other things, that the failure include the expiration date renders the ticket defective.

      Best of luck.

      Matt

      Reply
  • Fernando Hervias
    February 9, 2010 5:00 pm

    Hello Traffic Lawyer,
    I am pretty upset. I received a summons in the mail for a ticket I never received, plus penalty charges. It indicates that I was in violation of section 4-08 obstructing traffic at an intersection while I was dropping off a passenger. The traffic officer never approached me or my vehicle. Apparently, the cop wrote down my license plate number and issued it that way. Is this legal? And do I have any defenses for having this dismissed? I printed out the summons and there were a lot of missing items normally required for a ticket to be valid. I appeared in front of a judge and explained that I was summonsed improperly. The judge said that my defense was not persuasive and is therefore upheld. He waived the $10 late fee and said that I could appeal if I wanted to. I paid the $115 fine but I plan to appeal. I am now filling out the appeal forms and need help with what I should say that would be a better defense. Please help!

    Reply
    • Fernando,

      It is legal for the officer to mail you the ticket.

      On appeal, you need to show that the hearing officer made a mistake of some type. Because I don’t know what you argued or what was presented against you, it is impossible to advise you about what to argue on the appeal.

      I wish you luck, however. Go get ’em!

      Reply
  • Thank you Matthew!
    My ticket is white color non moving violation.

    I googled and read ppl saying that if I do it online
    click dispute a ticket -> input your ticket number ->then it will automatically show a fine reduction.

    Which didn’t happen. Instead it opens a window for me to fill in the reason to dispute.

    01/24/2010 OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC AT INTERSECTION $115.00

    Is it because I have a NJ plate?

    Or should I send the not guilty form through mail?
    Thank you again.

    Reply
    • A white-colored ticket is a parking ticket. It carries 0 points and will not affect your NJ driver license or your auto insurance. I haven’t used the online system but suspect it works the same way as the via-mail system. Plead not guilty, enter a reason for your dispute and then wait. In about 30 days, you likely will be offered the reduced fine in exchange for changing your plea to guilty. Alternatively, you can send in your not guilty plea by mail (but I doubt that makes a difference).

      Reply
  • If it is a white-colored ticket, then it is a parking ticket. You can get a reduced fine usually by just pleading not guilty. After about 30 days, the PVB should offer you a reduced fine. Something like $115 down to $90.

    On the other hand, if your ticket is yellow-colored, then it is a moving violation. This type of ticket is answerable at the Traffic Violations Bureau and will not be reduced. Rather, you can plead not guilty and fight it through a trial, or plead guilty. If you fight it, then it is “all or nothing”.

    I hope this response has been helpful but welcome further questions.

    Matthew Weiss, Esq.
    212-683-7373

    Reply
  • Hello Traffic Lawyer,
    I received an obstructing tracffic at intersection tickets near holland tunnel on 1/24/10. I was thinking about a reduction as I tried to do it online. Somehow when I dispute ticket online it doesn’t show and reduction immediately, what can I do?
    Best,
    Brain

    Reply
  • Hello Traffic Lawyer,

    I received an OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC AT INTERSECTION (e) (12) VC 09 at the intersection of 73rd street and Broadway. In my case the minute the light turned green there was enough room on the other side and the car behind me was honked. So I moved ahead, but the car that was ahead of me had a pedestrian crossing in front of it so it stopped way far and resultant I was halfway in the intersection. The brownie walked over to me and told me to pull over as she was going to write me a ticket. I kept trying to explain her the scenario but she just wouldn’t listen. She never asked my name instead when she handed me the ticket it said refused name and a fine of $115. I did have another passenger in front seat with me who is ready to testify that events that happened, please advise me if I go for hearing over the Web what chances are that the ticket would be dismissed as I do not have any pictures to show but just a witness.

    Reply
  • Is the ticket for an e12 violation still valid if my name is misspelled in two places? For example, instead of Towers, it was spelled as Powerss.

    Reply
  • My dad had an interesting scenario not long ago. He was driving his commercial van through the busy streets of Manhattan and was about to get out of the intersection onto the next block past the traffic light when some typical arrogant a**hole NYC driver changes lanes within the intersection, which I believe is illegal in itself, cutting my dad’s vehicle off and forcing him to get stuck in the box. The traffic officer on scebe was totally oblivious to the situation and ended up giving my dad a summon for blocking the box. When my dad explained to the officer that he was about to leave the intersection, but was prevented from doing so due to some jerk illegally changing lanes within the intersection and cutting him off, thus forcing him to get stuck in the box, the officer could care less and proceeded to scan my dad’s registration and later received a summon by mail. My dad intends on challenging this summons, but I cannot find the official NYS MV Law that explicitly states that it is illegal to change lanes in an intersection…especially in Manhattan during heavy traffic conditions. I know that blocking the box carries a fine, but my dad was a victim of circumstance due to someone elses reckless and illegal actions and this is what he wants to base his case on.

    Reply
  • My boyfriend was driving my car when he got a block the box ticket. the agent wrote only his first name as the oprerator. he did not write his dl # or his last name. the ticket was attached to my car. is this action correct?

    Reply
  • Correction, the registration sticker is on my windshield. CT changed that recently.

    Reply
  • Traffic Lawyer

    I received an OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC AT INTERSECTION (e) (12) VC 09 this is the 0 point kind of parking ticket.

    For CD and Exp. Date it says N/S for not shown. I am from CT and my vehicle registration is clearly shown on my licence plate and it’s expiration date is there.

    If I plead not guilty by mail and submitted photos of this, would that be grounds for dismissing the ticket?

    Thank you!

    Sterling

    Reply
  • Luke, in New York City’s Traffic Violations Bureau, there are no plea bargains. Therefore, if you fight the ticket, it is “all or nothing”. That means, either you win or lose. There is nothing in between.

    Feel free to call us for a free consultation and to discuss your case.

    Thanks Matt

    Reply
  • I just got a ticket for blocking intersection (spillback) 407(b)(2). From reading your post I know this one carries 2 points on my license.
    I decided to fight it and give my story but my question is, instead of trying to get the ticket dismissed, can I ask the judge to take off the 2 points from the ticket and just leave the fine? Or is this one of those all or nothing deals where they either dismiss it or give the full penalty?
    Given my situation, I’d be ok with paying the ticket fine as long as I don’t get the points?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Here is a statement of defense that I will be submitting with my wife as a passenger and witness…….

    Statement of Defense

    The Complainant’s Comments read “…AGENT OBSERVED VEHICLE ENTER THE INTERSECTION WHILE VEHICULAR TRAFFIC WAS STOPPED ON OPPOSITE SIDE OF INTERSECTION WITHOUT SUFFICIENT UNOBSTRUCTED SPACE ON OPPOSITE SIDE OF INTERSECTION TO ACCOMMODATE VEHICLE.”

    To our defense, vehicular traffic was NOT stopped on the opposite side of intersection and there was sufficient room to accommodate our vehicle beyond the far cross walk. Obstruction formed AFTER passing the green light and near crosswalk and entering the intersection. The obstruction that formed was unlawful pedestrian crossing (Jay-walking), and vehicles in front of ours stopping to avoid a collision with pedestrians. There was not a police officer present to assist pedestrians and vehicles, however there were several traffic agents anticipating these occurrences, and issuing tickets.

    Feel free to copy and paste this and use it in your defense too. I can’t say if it will do anything, but it’s the truth and worth fighting.

    Reply
  • Hey, thanks in advance for any help you can give. I’ve never been to NYC until today and was driving through the city when an officer told me to pull over and was issuing me a ticket for blocking the box (Welcome to New York!). First, while my car was not completely on the next block, I was not blocking any traffic, as the back of my car was only partially sticking out past the crosswalk (traffic behind me was moving and was not in anyway impeded by my vehicle). To be honest, I thought my car would fit in the space that was available across the intersection, but the back half stuck out just a few feet into the intersecting street.

    Second, while I know ignorance is never a good defense, I was admittedly unaware of this strict traffic law in NYC. When the officer wrote me the ticket (it was the no points, white parking ticket version), she told me I should fight the ticket, check not guilty, and just explain I was from out of town and did not know the NYC rules. She told me if I did this, they would probably throw out the ticket. Now, I’m doubtful that this will work as smoothly as she suggested (if she thought I could get it thrown out, why issue me a ticket?). I plan on pleading not guilty to at least get the fine reduced, but I was wondering what chances I would have to get it negated with the information I have above. The fact that she told me I should not be getting a ticket seems like it would work in my favor, but I was hoping to get your thoughts.

    My final question was about fighting the ticket. I know I should expect a reduction to $90 to change my plea. To further fight it to possibly get it thrown out, do I have to physically go to a hearing? (Again, I’m out of state and don’t plan on making a special trip to fight a $90 ticket). Are you able to fight a ticket via the mail/phone/internet?

    Thanks again for your help!

    Reply
    • Jon, your instincts are right. Claiming ignorance of the law or that you are from out-of-tour will not help you win this case. These are not valid defenses in New York.

      I recommend that you take the reduction (if offered). Alternatively, you can ask for a hearing by mail so you will not have to return to New York. When you plead not guilty on the back of the ticket by mail, it will be decided on whatever papers and evidence you submit with the ticket.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  • Hi Matt,

    Great site and if nothing else, allows everyone to vent and relieve the frustration of those TEA’s who would choose to abuse the oath they swore to uphold, for the sake of fulfilling a quota.

    Recently, I was proceeding east on 96th street, towards the FDR Drive in heavy traffic (3pm on a Wednesday afternoon). When I came to the light on 3rd Avenue, I found myself behind an MTA bus. There was no way to see in front to determine if there would be enough space to cross, and no TEA’s directing traffic (although there were at least four available.

    When the bus proceeded to cross the intersection, I wrongly presumed that it would be entering the Bus Stop and otherwise being the first vehicle in line, there would be room for at least one car to cross.

    Consider this, if all cars wait for each car in front to cross and then have to analyze the situation to determine if there is enough room, traffic would be at a standstill.

    Nevertheless, I followed the bus who could not enter the intersection (due to several cars in the bus stop) and had to wait to pick up and discharge passengers. How did they get there? Well, the light changed and while I’m sitting in the crosswalk on the east side of 3rd avenue waiting for the bus to move, TEA’s scramble from the sidewalk and order me and several other cars to pull over — into the Bus Stop!!!

    Their NYPD Traffic car was parked just ahead of the Bus Stop sign in a no standing zone, further exacerbating the situation.

    I filed my hearing online, but had no evidence to prove my case. I’ve since paid the summons (never having received an offer of a fine reduction, but intend to appeal, although likely a pointless exercize in futility.

    My questions:

    1. Can I request information in advance of my appeal regarding other vehicles ticketed at the same time to show a pattern of this abuse, since there is really no way to offer evidence, as one could with a broken meter or defective sign that could be later photographed?

    2. If not and I lose the appeal (which is likely), can I bring an action in the courts, wherein I would have the right to “discovery” (for your readers, the right to demand or “discover” information otherwise unavailable)?

    Thanks for your time.

    By the way, I encourage all who read this to write in. You may be able to use someone else’s similar story as evidence in these types of cases where only a number of similar compliants might act as a form of evidence to show a pattern of abuse.

    Reply
    • To obtain such evidence, you need to make a Freedom of Information request upon the NYPD. Usually, however, evidence must be gathered and presented at the trial/hearing level and may not be introduced for the first time on appeal. With that said, you can try and obtain this information and submit it with your appeal.

      If you lose (and have exhausted all administrative appeals), you have 4 months to bring an Article 78 proceeding in Supreme Court. This is an expensive and time-consuming process. The costs alone are about $400. Again, in an Article 78 proceeding, you would not likely be allowed to introduce new evidence.

      Thanks for posting your incident and, more importantly, for encouraging other readers to submit their stories. The most we can get posted, the more help we provide to fight this scourge.

      Reply
  • Bozena Sulkowska
    December 9, 2009 10:32 pm

    Can a traffic agent demand to see your drivers license. I was double parked at a no standing zone, and when I got out of my vehicle to approach the traffic agent he demanded to see my license. I walked right up to the nearest cop and asked him. He said he believes they can only ask for A license when you are in a crosswalk. When I returned there was no ticket on my vehicle, but There the ticket went through because I searched my plate online. I took down the agents badge number and will file a complaint against him, How should I go about doing this?

    Reply
    • I do not think a traffic agent can demand to see your license, unlike a police officer. You should fight this parking ticket as it wasn’t served upon you at the time of the incident plus any other defenses you may have.

      Reply
  • I received a block the box ticket today. Traffic was moving at the time when i pass the traffic light. Then I got cut off by another car while crossing the interception. To my right was a big truck which was blocking me from getting out of the interception. I have picture of this truck blocking me. Can I fight this ticket?

    Reply
    • Johnson, you have a valid defense (assuming the Judge credits your version over the officer’s). If you pass the near cross walk when there is sufficient room to accommodate your vehicle beyond the far cross walk, you are NOT guilty of grid locking. This is true even if someone cuts you off while you are trying to make it across to the other side of the intersection.

      Check out https://www.nytrafficticket.com/parking-tickets/ for some tips of fighting your parking ticket as well as the NYC settlement procedure.

      Reply
  • Hi Traffic Lawyer,

    I received a blocking the box ticket a few days ago and I just found that registration’s expiration date was different from that on my temporary registration paper. (I purchased a car a week ago)
    According to your post, it looks like registration’s expiration date is required information. So my question is “Is it a defective ticket?”.

    Thanks,
    Alex

    Reply
  • First Questioon: I received a blocking the box ticket today. There were pedestrians crossing illegally which prevented me from getting into the right hand lane. Is that a valid arguement to try fighting?

    Second question: The officer’s handheld printer was not working corretly and the printed ticket i received ws missing the lower part of the ticket where the officer’s name and the dollar amount of the fine to be paid is blank. Is this considered a defective ticket?

    Reply
    • If there was room beyond the far cross walk to accommodate car when you crossed the near cross walk, then the jay-walking pedestrians present a valid defense.

      In regard to your second question, I’ve never encountered such an issue but I certainly would argue that the ticket is defective.

      The good news is that your ticket sounds like the parking-ticket type and therefore carries 0 points and will not affect your insurance.

      Reply
    • I’m interested to know what happened to Daniel if it is possible to get his reply. I received a “Notice of Outstanding Parking Violation” today via mail and never was issued a ticket by the officer, nor a first notice.

      a $115 ticket with a penalty of an additonal $10 dollars for failure to comply…when I never even knew I should comploy seems remarkably unfair!
      all for violating according to the mailing 4-08 secion c? I was staning along the curb picking up my wife at that time as my calendar shows a apointment ending on the same date and time.

      thoughts?

      thanks in advance.

      Reply
  • I just received a Notice of Outstanding Parking Violation in the mail for Obstructing an intersection on E. 34th street. The issue date is 8/17 – 3 months ago. I was never issued a summons. I have no idea why I received this violation. It is $115 plus a $10 penalty. Are people being ticketed without anyone approaching them? Shouldn’t I have at least received a ticket in the mail. I am completely baffled by this.

    Reply
    • Steve, it is unusual by receiving a parking ticket in the mail is very possible. Sounds like the traffic agent wrote down your plate and issued you the ticket after you left the scene. You, of course, may fight the charge and officer’s failure to issue the ticket directly to you may help.

      The good news is that this is a parking ticket which carries 0 points and will not hurt your auto insurance rates.

      Another option is to plead not guilty and, then, accept the reduced fine which will be offered to you in about 30 days. Instead of $115, you’ll be offered a $90 fine to change your plea.

      I hope this response as been helpful and invite you to ask me any follow-up questions that you may have.

      Best,

      Matt

      Reply
  • Hello, I just got a “obstructing traffic at intersection (e) (12)” ticket. My first name is spelled wrong on the ticket. What are my chances of getting this dismissed? Also, this does not carry any points, right?

    Reply
  • like many posts above me, I too got an “obstructing traffic at Intersection” ticket NYC for violation of sect. 4.08 section (e) 12 today @5:44pm and is amazed at finding this blog.

    The ticket was issued at the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, 6th ave & Watts st. where traffic backed up as usual. It was dark and I had the green with space across to proceed when someone abruptly changes lane while i was crossing and filled the spot in front of me. I was able to squeeze in and was not able to see the lights anymore, since I was either right below the traffic light or just passed it. judging from not being able to see the traffic light the rear end of my car is probably blocking part of the box but i was not sure.

    the parking guy asked for my license but on the ticket, it listed only my first name, VIN number is blank. is this even valid?

    i know its the no point ticket kind but want to fight this $115 fee or at least get it to reduce to $90.

    should I simply plead not guilty and hope for a reduced fee or do i have a case to fight for it?

    Reply
    • Niro, if you plead not guilty, then you should be offered the reduced fee. You will, then, need to decide whether to take the reduction or “roll the dice” and try beat the ticket all together.

      The omission of a VIN number is not a fatal defective to a NYC parking ticket. However, the failure to include your last name may be.

      Further, every NYC parking ticket must include the following seven pieces of information:

      * date (month, day and year) and time of offense

      * location of the offense

      * the plate designation (as shown by vehicle’s registration)

      * the plate type (as shown by vehicle’s registration)

      * the registration’s expiration date (month, day and year)

      * the make or model of the vehicle

      * the body type of the vehicle

      I hope this helps.

      Best, Matt

      Reply
      • Matt,
        thanks for your comments.
        I plead not guilty and wrote a letter.

        would they actually read the letter? who knows…

        if you have good reason stated on your letter is it possible they would remove the ticket? would your get a notification?

        have not gotten any types of tickets for 15 years…this is ridiculous….

        Reply
  • Dear Traffic Lawyer,

    I recieved a ticket from the The City of New York Traffic Agency in Violation of Sect 4-08 under subsection (e)(12) “Obstructing Traffic at Intersection”

    I have heard by some this carries 2 points in addition to the $115 dollar fine and by others that it carries 0 points and just the fine.

    Can you please let me know? Thanks!

    Sincerely,

    Kurt

    Reply
    • This sounds like the 0-point kind. If it is a white ticket returnable at the Parking Violations Bureau (as opposed to a yellow ticket returnable at the Traffic Violations Bureau), then it is not a moving violation.

      Reply
  • Traffic Lawyer

    Hello I recieved a TICKET FOR BLOCKING THE BOX ON CANAL AND VARRICK ST. WHEN THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN THE CAR IN FRONT DIDN’T MOVE DUE TO NO ROOM ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE INTERSECTION, SO WE WAITED ONE LITE( WE WERE IN THE FAR RIGHT LANE). WHEN THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN AGAIN THERE WAS ROOM ACROSS THE INTERSECTION FOR 4 CARS SO WE PROCEEDED ACROSS, 2 CARS AND A TRUCK DECIDED TO GO INTO OUR LANE TRAPPING US IN THE INTERSECTION, THE METER MAIDS,BROWNIES OR TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT AGENTS 4 OF THEM WERE HIDING IN FRONT OF THE TRUCK SO THEY SEEN WHAT HAPPENED.THEY APPROACHED THE CAR IN FRONT ,ME AND THE 2 CARS BEHIND AND ISSUED TICKETS.WHEN I SPOKE TO THE AGENT EXPLAINING WHAT HAPPENED AND THAT SHE SEEN AND KNEW WHAT HAPPENED SHE PROCEEDED TO WRITE ME UP ANYWAY. I ASKED TO SPEAK TO HER SUPERVISOR SHE POINTED TO A CAR ON THE CORNER,15 FEET AWAY. HE WAS BRAIN DEAD, HE TOLD ME TO GO TO COURT, THAT TOOK 15-20 SECONDS, WHEN I GOT TO MY CAR ONE OF HER COMRADS WAS STANDING IN FRONT OF MY CAR WATCHING HIS WATCH. I PROCEEDED TO GET READY TO MOVE AND HE STARTED TO WRITE A TICKET FOR NO STANDING.1ST TICKET WAS ISSUED AT 3:51PM THE SECOND AT 3:53PM ANY SEGESTIONS, i AM GOING TO JOHN ST TO FIGHT THEM. THANKS FUSTRATED

    Reply
  • Thank you so much. I will be calling this week.
    Best, Ann

    Reply
  • Dear Attorney Weiss–I just received a ticket for “Open obstruction intersection — Spillback” after crossing on 96th Street, from Columbus to Amsterdam, while the light was green. The officer had his police car parked at the corner of Amsterdam on 96th Street in the right-hand lane and as I was going around him (as were the cars ahead of me in the left-hand lane) headed west, he stopped me and when I asked why, the light was green, he said I was blocking the box– but he was obstructing me from going when traffic was moving. He had pulled four cars over that way, by standing in our way at the intersection (aside from his car being in the right-hand lane), ticketing all of us — and I’m sure others. I saw from your column that ‘Spillback” signifies two points and a possible insurance hike. Can I contest this? I have a clean driving record and feel this was an abuse of power.

    Thanks for your help,
    Ann

    Reply
    • Ann, you can definitely fight this ticket. Indeed, we recommend fighting most moving violation tickets even there may not be a strong defense. The People have the burden of proving their case against you (not the other way around), and therefore if they are not ready, prepared or able to properly testify you can win.

      With a spill back ticket, the officer must testify that, among other things, he or she observed you cross the near cross walk when there was insufficient room beyond the far cross walk to accommodate your vehicle. In your case, it actually sounds like the office impaired your ability to move through the intersection which might be a good defense.

      Feel free to call us for a free consultation. We’d be glad to discuss it with you and provide free advice.

      Best Matt

      Reply
    • Ann, you can definitely fight this ticket. Indeed, we recommend fighting most moving violation tickets even there may not be a strong defense. The People have the burden of proving their case against you (not the other way around), and therefore if they are not ready, prepared or able to properly testify you can win.

      With a spill back ticket, the officer must testify that, among other things, he or she observed you cross the near cross walk when there was insufficient room beyond the far cross walk to accommodate your vehicle. In your case, it actually sounds like the office impaired your ability to move through the intersection which might be a good defense.

      Feel free to call us for a free consultation. We’d be glad to discuss it with you and provide free advice.

      Best Matt

      Reply
  • Hi Traffic Lawyer,
    This morning I received a VC code 9 notice of parking violation for “obstructing traffic at intersection.(e) (12)” How can I determine whether there will be points on my license for this offense? Thank you.
    PS The cause of this ticket were the 6 parking agents who were blocking the street by calling over 5 cars at a time for these $115 tickets.

    Reply
    • Nicole, this is a 0-point ticket. Any ticket returnable at the Parking Violations Bureau is NOT a moving violations, carries no points and will not affect your auto insurance rates.

      You can plead guilty (which we don’t recommend), or plead not guilty.

      If you plead not guilty, you will be offered a lower fine of $90 in about 30 days in exchange for changing your plea. Of course, you can decline theis offer and take your chances with a hearing.

      Reply
  • Althea, if you plead not guilty, you should get the $90 plea offer in the mail in about 30 to 45 days. In fact, for most NYC parking tickets, a plea offer is made to those who plead not guilty. Good luck and hope this helps.

    Reply
    • thanks for your reply. Does this work if I plead not guilty on line or do I have to reply via mail?

      thanks again.

      Reply
  • I just received a blocking the box ticket. I don’t believe I was guilty but don’t have any photographic evidence to prove my case. I see two of your comments above indicating that a plea of not guilty will automatically generate a plea offer of $90 (vs the $115 on the ticket.) Is this true?

    thanks for your help.

    Reply
  • I just received a blocking the box ticket. Again, the brownie was obstructing the intersection along with a guy selling newspapers who would not move out of the way. Since I did not have a live feed videotape, how would I present evidence if I was going to fight the ticket or do you recommend posturing for a fight but accepting the reduced offer that they make these days?

    Reply
    • Bill, because it sounds like you received one of the parking-ticket type (i.e., no points) obstructing intersection tickets, we don’t recommend hiring an attorney or investing a lot of time fighting it. You can plead not guilty and then accept the plea offer (lower fine) which will be made to you via mail in about 30 days.

      Otherwise, you can fight it by mail or in person. You will need some evidence that you weren’t guilty, however. If you were turning (as opposed to proceeding straight through the intersection), and the ticket notes this some place, you have a great defense. Otherwise (and without a photograph or video evidence to the contrary) it will be your word against the brownie’s and you know who will be believed in such an instance.

      I hope this help but feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any further questions.

      Reply
      • Dear Mr. Weiss:

        I also received such a ticket in Manhattan on 11/18/10. It’s a white ticket, returnable to the Parking Violations Bureau, citing VTL (e) (12) “Obstructing Traffic At Intersection.”

        I read your advice to plead Not Guilty and then accept the reduction in fine from $115 to $90. However, the back of my ticket states that I have to offer a defense. The only one I can think if is the the “other” category, where I can briefly state that I was crossing the intersection when I had sufficient room to do so, green light, etc., then car that was 2 in front of me stopped just past the intersection, causing the car in front of me to stop and leaving me high and dry.

        I know this won’t win, but is this sufficient to qualify me for the reduction?

        Please let me know,

        Joe

        Reply
  • I just got a ticket for blocking the box, where the only “blocking” involved the two traffic agents standing in the middle of the road blocking 1/2 of 59th street. Also, the light was still green as I was crossing the intersection, yet the traffic agent who was on the opposite side of the road and could not see the traffic light said she was giving me a ticket because “the crosswalk signal said ‘don’t walk”

    Reply
    • It sounds like this is the parking ticket-type of obstructing traffic which carries 0 points (as opposed to the 2 point kind).

      If so, we don’t recommend hiring a traffic lawyer to help you with this matter.

      You actually have 3 options. Please guilty and pay the $115 ticket. Please not guilty and await about 30 days for the Parking Violations Bureau to offer you a reduction to $90 if you change your please. Or please not guilty and fight it via the mail or in person.

      If you fight it, you can win if you can prove that when you passed the near cross walk there was sufficient room beyond the far cross walk to accommodate your vehicle. Many of the traffic agents don’t understand the law and mis-testify about this issue. If so, you can win. The fact that the light was still green further helps you because, until the light changed to red, you weren’t yet blocking any intersection. I hope this helps and feel free to email me or call with any further questions.

      Best,

      Thanks

      Matthew Weiss, Esq.
      [email protected]
      212-683-7373

      Reply
  • Hi Traffic Lawyer, I got a ticket today and the code (VC) is 09. Is that the moving violation kind? Or is the pay and go away kind?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Joe, it sounds like your blocking the box ticket is the parking ticket type (0 points). If it is returnable at the Parking Violations Bureau, then you can be confident that this ticket carries 0 points and that you should just pay it. If it is returnable at the Traffic Violations Bureau, then it carries 2 points and you may want to fight it. Feel free to call me at 212-683-7373 to discuss. Thanks Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Some intersections have a sign stating “Don’t block the box.” Can a brownie give you a blocking the box ticket if there is no posted sign?

    Reply
    • Honeybear, very good question. Yes, a New York City police officer or traffic agent may issue a blocking the box ticket even if there is no sign (and even if there are no cross-hatch pavement markings in the intersection). The law states that you may not enter and proceed cross an intersection unless there is sufficient room beyond the far cross walk to accommodate your vehicle. The law does NOT mention the need for a sign explaining or warning of this prohibition.

      By the way, you are dating yourself (and me too) by referring to a New York City traffic agent as a “brownie”. For those younger reads, NYC traffic agents used to wear brown uniforms and hats and, as a result, were dubbed “brownies”. However, they were disrespected and sometimes even assaulted. The NYPD realized that they would command more respect and avoid confrontations if they looked more like police officers. They now wear uniforms which closely resemble that of a NYC police officer …. although apparently the original moniker is still commonly used. Old habits die hard.

      Reply
  • 888redlight.wordpress.com is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading 888redlight.wordpress.com every day.

    Reply
  • Wonderful!
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    Reply
  • trend watch : Blocking The Box No Longer A Moving Violation In New York City ……

    […]Blocking The Box No Longer A Moving Violation In New York City · Motorist Issued Over 50 Traffic Tickets At One Time!! NYC Traffic Ticket Blitz Resul[…]…

    Reply
    • Hi, I received one these white ‘obstructing traffic at intersection’ tickets from the Traffic Dept. in Manhattan. She spelled my last name wrong on the summons…does this disqualify the ticket? Many thanks for blogging all this great info! –Theresa

      Reply
      • Theresa, the spelling mistake of your name does not render the ticket defective. Go to my web site for a list of items which need to be correct on a NYC parking ticket. If any of these items are omitted or incorrect, then you have a good ground for obtaining a dismissal.

        Reply
  • […] Read more:  Blocking The Box No Longer A Moving Violation In New York City […]

    Reply
    • Traffic lawyer;
      Regards and thank you in advanced for your time to review and respond.

      The facts: I received a ticket in NYC for violation of sect. 4.08 section (e) 12 of the NYC traffic rules “obstructing traffic at Intersection”. The ticket was issued at the entrance of the Holland Tunnel where traffic backs up if someone changes lane abruptly. I had a green light and proceeded because there was enough space for my car (and was holding traffic behind me). However, when I approached the intersection, pedestrians were walking with a “Do not walk” sign and obviously I had to stop to protect the pedestrians. At that instance, another car moved in front of my car leaving me with no space. Two officers were standing at the corner waiting for cars to stop there and walked right to my window to issue me the ticket.

      The officer did not ask for my license and did not record the license number. The car is registered in Maryland. The ticket I was issued has the correct plate number and general car information but listed Massachussets (MA) instead of Maryland (MD) as the state of registration for the car.

      Per Chapter 39, title 19 of the official compilation of Rules of the City of New York states in section 39-02 (a) and (c) “Notice of violation” that if any information that is required to be inserted in a notice of violation is ommitted from the notice of violation, misdescribed or illegible, the violation shall be dismissed upon application of the person charged with the violation. Required information includes the plate number and the state of registration.

      Can this ticket be dismissed via mail and what kind of evidence (besides a copy of the ticket and the car registration) do I need to submit?

      I am aware based on your previous advice you do not recommend hiring a lawyer for this since there are no points associated with the violation. However, this was not a fair summon and thus I want to fight it.

      Reply
      • Frank,

        There are two types of “blocking the box” tickets and yours sounds like the 0-point, parking violation type. If it is a white ticket returnable at the Parking Violations Bureau then it is indeed a no point, non-moving violation ticket.

        Unlike a moving violation blocking the box ticket, this ticket can be dismissed for such mistakes at the wrong state of registration. You can plead not guilty by mail and explain the mistake with your proof of registration attached. This should be all you need to do to prevail.

        Best of luck and keep us updated as to how you make out.

        Reply
        • if i pay a spillback ticket will they still put 2 points on my license

          Reply
          • Zepol,

            If you receive a yellow ticket returnable at the Traffic Violations Bureau, then a conviction to this ticket carries 2 points. If it is a white ticket returnable at the Parking Violations Bureau, then it will carry no points.

            Matthew Weiss

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