Did The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Paparazzi Car Chase Involve A Violation Of NYC Law?

Sadly reminiscent of Prince Diana’s tragic death 26 years ago, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Markle’s mom were reportedly involved in a “near catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi” for over two hours on Tuesday night, May 18, 2023, on the streets of New York City. The NY Post called this incident the “Duke (and Duchess) Of Hazard”. Although the NYPD reported that no collisions or injuries were reported, the Paparazzi’s driving in this incident could still constitute “dangerous driving” under NYC traffic regulations.

Section 4-02 of the New York City Traffic Regulations prohibits “dangerous driving”. A violation of Section 4-02 requires that a person or property be endangered. The text of the statute is simple and clear: “No person shall operate a vehicle in a manner that will endanger any person or property.” This regulation is intended to ensure that all drivers on the road exercise caution and drive in a safe and responsible manner, taking into account the safety of not only themselves but also other drivers, pedestrians, and property.

If you are caught violating Section 4-02, you can face serious consequences, including fines, points on your license, and even license suspension. In addition to legal penalties, dangerous driving can also have tragic and life-altering consequences, such as serious injury or death.

So what constitutes dangerous driving? While committing any traffic violation is arguably dangerous, I submit that dangerous driving needs more than doing something stupid like running a red light or failing to yield to a pedestrian. There must be an element of endangerment (and possibly also a reckless or intentional intent behind the endangering maneuver). Endangerment in my opinion means a collision or crash (or near-collision or near-crash). I submit that a driver (or in this case a group of drivers) aggressively chasing another vehicle for 2 hours clearly presents plenty of opportunities to drive dangerously. Whether it is running a red light to keep up, weaving in traffic to catch up, or similar dangerous maneuvers, there is a reasonably good chance the participating paparazzi violated NYC Traffic Regulation Section 4-02.

As a responsible driver, it is crucial that you take your role on the road seriously and do your part to ensure the safety of yourself and others. Always drive with caution, obey traffic laws, and avoid distractions that could compromise your ability to drive safely. Further, never be part of a group of paparazzi chasing after some celebrity.

If you receive a dangerous driving ticket, you are welcome to contact us at 212-683-7373 or lawyer@nytrafficticket.com for a free consultation.

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