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

Improper turn tickets are one of the most common types of traffic tickets issued in New York City especially in Manhattan. This is a common ticket because impatient motorists confronted with a backed-up turning lane will sometimes “jump the line” by making a wide turn from another lane. This traffic ticket carries 2 points and roughly a $150 fine.

An improper turn is when a motorist turns right from a center or left lane, or left from a center or right lane. Stated differently, a motorist turning left may only do so from the left lane and when turning right may only do so from the right lane. Sometimes there will be pavement marking reminding motorists of this rule but often this is not the case.

The two exceptions are (1) when there are pavement markings and/or signs that specifically authorize turning from another lane, and (2) when there is a legitimate obstruction in the way (not backed-up or slow traffic) that requires you to go around it.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) Section 1160(a) governs right-hand turns and essentially states that approaches to and right turns must be made from the right lane.

Left-hand turns are a little more complicated, however.  Section 1160(b) and (c) sets forth the proper position for left-hand turns.  Subdivision (b) governs when you are turning left to or from a two-way roadway while subdivision (c) governs when you are turning left to or from a one-way roadway.  The full text of these subdivisions is below.

It is important to check under which subdivision your traffic ticket is issued (vis-à-vis the place of occurrence) as the wrong section of law can be a strong argument in favor of getting a dismissal.  For example, if you are charged under 1160(b), make sure that both roads where the offense occurred are two-way streets.  If either one is a one-way roadway, then you can argue that you were charged under the wrong section.

Often, however, a police office will charge a improperly turning motorist under VTL 1163(a). This is a catchall section that covers any type of improper turn. Therefore, if you are issued a summons under this section, it is irrelevant whether the subject intersection is two one-way streets, or not.

Often improper turn tickets are issued in conjunction with a second ticket. Companion tickets that we often see issued with an improper turn ticket are failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian as well as failure to signal. If this is your situation, then a good argument to make is that you should not be penalized for essentially one maneuver and, therefore, one of the two charges should be dismissed.

Of course, there are other ways to possibly beat these types of traffic tickets.  If you are looking for a professional assistance to fight your traffic ticket, call us at 212-683-7337 for a free consultation.

VTL Section 1160.  Required position and method of turning at intersections.

The driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:

(a) Right turns. Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway or, where travel on the shoulder or slope has been authorized, from the shoulder or slope.

(b)  Left turns on two-way roadways. At any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line thereof and by passing to the right of such center line where it enters the intersection and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the center line of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.

(c)  Left turns on other than two-way roadways. At any intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the roadways, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any such intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane of the roadway lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle or, where travel on the shoulder or slope has been authorized, from the shoulder or slope, and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection, as nearly as practicable, in the left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered.

VTL Section 1163.  Turning movements and required signals.

(a) No person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection unless the vehicle is in proper position upon the roadway as required in section eleven hundred sixty, or turn a vehicle to enter a private road or driveway, or otherwise turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety. No person shall so turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.

 

We get a lot of specific questions from our clients such as how much does an illegal left turn ticket costs in NYC, what are the implications for a right turn from second lane and questions regarding right turn on red in New York State. If you have any further questions or if you are in need of legal counsel for your ticket, contact our office today.

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284 Comments. Leave new

  • 1163A violation for turning left from 61st middle lane onto 2nd ave. This was at 2am when all the garbage trucks are out. There were 2 garbage trucks parked on the left side of the street that I had already passed on the block (I circled back and took a pic). At the light, I stopped behind another garbage truck, assuming it was also parked, I went to the middle lane and activated my left turn signal to get back into the left lane. But then, the truck started moving and there were cars in front of it I couldn’t previously visualize due to the truck. I couldn’t get back into the left lane since cars were coming in behind me. So as to not stop traffic and avoid an accident, I proceeded to take a wide left out of the middle lane (6 lanes on 2nd ave here). Never had a ticket before. Should I plead not guilty?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 15, 2019 9:32 am

      Vik,

      From what you write, it seems like you violated VTL 1163a. With that said, you have no downside if you fight it and try and win.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was riding a Citibike and received two summons. One for violation 1163(A), described as “improper turn” and another one for violation 1110(A), described as “disobeyed traffic device while operating bicycle”. I noticed that on the website to plead guilty or not, it shows that there are 2 points towards my license. What are my options? My license is clean.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 8, 2019 5:41 pm

      Jason,

      You can plead guilty or not guilty. A bicycle ticket should not carry points so it apparently was written up incorrectly. You should, at the very least, ask the judge to amend it to a non-moving violation.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Sharon Murray
    June 20, 2019 10:01 pm

    I was on West 29th, making a right turn onto 6th Avenue (both one ways). I was pulled over for a “right turn improper”, violation on the ticket says 1160A. He was unclear in describing the exact violation but I think it was because I turned closer to the left side/lanes of 6th as I made my turn (preparing for taking a left on 31st), rather than staying to the right of 6th Avenue. Does that make sense…? Is that violation number correct? I have a CT license and registration. Thanks –

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 21, 2019 8:06 am

      Sharon Murray,

      Section 1160a is correct. It prohibits right-hand turns that are not made from the far right lane. This ticket carries 2 points and roughly $150 fine.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received an improper Rt Turn violation for making a right turn in the left lane of a one way street. The main road was two lanes but traffic was one way and the turn has no indicators on the floor that are right turn only or right lane must turn right. Also the turn is a 2 lane one way street. On that day there was an 18 wheeler tractor trailer who attempted the turn and could not make the turn and got stuck so traffic was flowing around the truck. I made the right turn on the left lane because the truck was blocking the right lane. In addition the office who signaled me to pull up was standing in the middle of the street and walked toward my vehicle to signal me to pull over. I was also charged with a no seat belt ticket but had removed it when I was signaled to park my vehicle. I do not have a copy of the ticket so I am unsure if i was charged under 1160a or 1160b. What are my options? its a 2004 violation and 2 points

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 18, 2019 11:43 pm

      Julian,

      Your options are to plead guilty or not guilty. Pleading not guilty is the only way to possibly obtain a more favorable result.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I got a 1160a for making an improper right turn from 31st street to Astoria boulevard (Ditmars area of Astoria). Both are two way roads. The ticket was for making a right turn from the left turn/straight lane instead of the right turn lane. However, there was a car double parked in the right lane and i thought it was safer to turn from the left side lane because I was the first at at the light. The double parked car was close enough to the intersection to make me want to avoid it, but not close enough to block the intersection. The double parked car turned out to be an unmarked police vehicle. After issuing me a ticket, the cops did a U turn presumably to turn and double park in the same spot.

    I have a clean record and have never been pulled over. Is it worth to fight the ticket and say that it wasn’t “practicable” to turn from the right lane?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 15, 2019 4:16 am

      HJ Boo,

      This is a valid defense IF YOU CAN PROVE IT. Meaning, if you the judge believes you over the police officer. In NYC, that is a always hard to do. The police officer’s version is often given heavy weight vis-a-vis the motorist.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • My wife was instructed by a Traffic Person, not a Cop, to make a turn yesterday outside the Linconl Tunnel near 10th Avenue in NYC. After she complied, a Cop pulled her over and had no interest in hearing her reason for making the turn the way she did, that she had been cleared to do so by the Traffic Person. A 1163A ticket was issued. What is her recourse? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 2, 2019 8:28 am

      Quinn,

      She can plead not guilty and explain her defense to the judge. If the judge believes her (a big if because the NYC traffic judges usually side with the police), then she should win.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • A construction semi carrying scaffolding was stopped in the right lane mid block. His hazards were on. Four or five cars were blocked behind him. I turned into the center lane in order to go around, planning to make a right hand turn in another 30-40 feet. As all traffic inched towards the red light at the intersection, the truck inched up beside me as well. He stopped with his hazards still on. He was not signaling an intention to make a right turn. When the light changed, I signaled and proceeded to turn right. As I went around him, I noticed in my mirror that he had indeed started to make the right turn as well. I was summoned with and improper turn violation. Is this worth fighting at a hearing?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 29, 2019 2:11 pm

      Keith,

      If you have an otherwise clean record, then you may want to just pay this one. It is a minor, 2-point ticket which, in NYC, will be tough to beat. In NYC, they do not plea bargain.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • what should I do with this ticket?please let me know if you guys can help me with this ticket. how can I prevent any points on my Driving license ? I have never got any point before on my driver license . thanks

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 29, 2019 2:00 pm

      Md Hossain,

      We can help. Please email us a photo of the front of your ticket and include a return phone number. Our email address is lawyer@nytrafficticket.com. Upon receipt, we’ll call you to provide a free consultation.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Carl McArthur
    April 14, 2019 6:57 pm

    Hi Matthew, I got a ticket for an improper U-turn, for making a U-turn on Mamaroneck Ave in White Plains. (Double lane road with double yellow line). The ticket was issued with violation of 1160E (Which talks about highways, but I was in the city). The police office was on the street and saw me making the U-turn. Is there any chance to fight it? Thanks in advance for your help

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      April 14, 2019 7:27 pm

      Carl McArthur,

      You can fight it but the “highway” argument will not be persuasive. A highway under the VTL is pretty much any public roadway.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received a 1163a violation yesterday. I was trying to enter the left turn only lane but as no cars would let me go in front of them I slowly moved up with traffic. I cut into the front of the left lane (crossing a faded solid line) and made the left. The vehicles already in the left lane were making turns far back (not at the intersection). So when I turned the officer gave me a ticket for an improper turn. I have a clean driving record but since I’m a young driver and I don’t want this to significantly affect my insurance premium I wanted to know if it’s possible/ worth fighting this ticket. Thank you in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      April 11, 2019 8:47 am

      RR,

      Of course, you can fight this ticket but it will be hard to win. In NYC, they do not plea bargain, so the only outcome at your hearing will be guilty or not guilty. Fortunately, this is a minor ticket and, therefore, alone cannot adversely affect your insurance rates.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss, thank you for your time! I received a 1110A ticket in October 2016 for turning right from a middle lane. The cop wrote October 9 on the ticket, but I was out of town from September through October of that year. Is my best defense to claim I have no recollection of the offense, and that I was not in NYC for the date written (I have and will bring proof of this!)? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 26, 2019 8:15 am

      Charles,

      This is a strong defense (especially if you have documentation that you were not in town on that day).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi
    i got a ticket under the 1160(c) violation ( improper left turn on one-way road ) in manhattan
    the turn only arrowed left lane was blocked by a car right before the intersection so i moved in the middle lane to turn left then after that i got pulled over .
    i have no proofs or any dashcam to provide to the court how can i do to win this ticket ???
    thank you

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 22, 2019 8:31 pm

      joeLaLa,

      It sounds like you’ll have difficulty proving a defense in this case. You admittedly turned from the wrong lane.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mathew,

    The other night I was driving on 65th Street in Brooklyn — not my neighborhood and totally unfamiliar with the streets — and was on the way to Newark Airport to pick up a family member. I had already missed a turn based on my GPS instructions, when I suddenly realized at the EB intersection and stop light of 65th Street and 7th Avenue that my GPS was telling me to make a right turn. I was first in line in the middle or left lane, and I motioned to the car on my right (who was first in line in the right lane to make a right turn) if I could go before he did and make the right turn. He good-naturedly gave me the thumbs-up, I turned on my blinker, inched halfway in front of him so that I was kind of diagonal (some of my car in his lane, and some in mine), and made the right turn when the light turned green.

    I was pulled over thereafter for making an improper turn under VTL 1163.

    I have a clean driving record, and I’m wondering if I can argue in traffic court that I was technically — or somewhat — in the right lane when I made the turn. Or would that not fly? If not, Is it worth scheduling a hearing date in the hope that the cop doesn’t show up? Or is it not worth it in this instance?

    Also, a general question about video recordings. The cop said that he was recording the interaction on the body cam. Are they bringing those recordings into court these days as evidence?

    Thanks,

    Abe

    Reply
    • Abe

      Answers in bold below.

      I have a clean driving record, and I’m wondering if I can argue in traffic court that I was technically — or somewhat — in the right lane when I made the turn. Or would that not fly? Not likely because the officer’s version is usually adopted over a motorists. If not, Is it worth scheduling a hearing date in the hope that the cop doesn’t show up? Or is it not worth it in this instance? It can’t hurt to try.

      Also, a general question about video recordings. The cop said that he was recording the interaction on the body cam. Are they bringing those recordings into court these days as evidence? No.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi, I had a clean driver’s license, got a ticket for not obeying No right turn on Green Light from Ocean Avenue to Avenue J in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve been living at this area more than 10 years, these news signs came up recently, and I know them up to Avenue L. I was driving late and missed my turn to Avenue L, where I live.. Decided to go down and take a next turn, I didn’t see No right turn sign for Avenue J and made a turn, police stopped me after I did. I got 1110 (A) violation ticket. I’ve never had a ticket before for 20 years, what I have to do? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Victoria Er,

      To fight it, you will need to enter a not guilty plea and appear at your hearing date to provide your defense. Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello,

    This morning I was driving on 7th avenue and made a right on 25th street. They had a new no right turn sign that I did not see. There was a police cruiser parked about 100 feet down and one cop outside of it standing. He signaled me to pull over and also pulled over 2 other cars for making that right. He gave me a ticket for 1110A, disobeying sign no right turn. The thing is, I had a bunch of boxes in the back of my SUV, and I told him I was making a delivery (although I was using my personal vehicle and not a commerical license plate). After he gave me a ticket I went back around the block to 7th avenue and saw the no right turn sign which also said “except local deliveries” underneath. My delivery was for 28th street instead of 25th, however.

    I’m thinking of pleading not guilty, I have a clean driving record and was wondering which of two is a better strategy. The first would be plead not guilty and ask the courts or police officer to provide video evidence that I actually made that right turn on 7th avenue instead of coming straight from 25th street. There were no cameras on that intersection I checked. And the police cruiser was parked the opposite direction, so his dash cam was not able to catch me making that right. Are there cameras on the rear side of NYPD vehicles?

    The second strategy I was thinking is to show the receipt of the delivery I made, although it was for 28th street and not 25th. What do you think? Any and all advice is appreciated, especially if you know if standard NYPD cruisers have cameras in the rear

    Reply
    • Zach Camby,

      Because your delivery was for 28th street, you disobeyed the sign at 25th street. Your receipt is, therefore, unhelpful.

      Further, even if they had it (which they likely do not), the police do not need to present video evidence and are not going to do so, in my opinion.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Theresa Breena
        March 29, 2019 10:08 am

        Matthew, Curious is there any case to pardon a ticket because the sign is new (within 1-3 months). I turned that that street often — and it would be second nature for me to do so — and if it wasn’t illegal before is there any argument (or pardon) to the ticket because it recently became illegal?

        Reply
        • Matthew Weiss
          March 29, 2019 5:34 pm

          Theresa Breena,

          There is no “pardon” that can be issued for a traffic ticket. However, you can argue that, in the interests of justice, the case should be dismissed because the sign was new. I would not expect this argument to succeed very often.

          Matthew Weiss

          Reply
  • Got a ticket this evening making a left from the center lane of a three lane street (58th). Violation notes “two way road” section (b). Intersection was in fact one-way and one-way. Are these possible to beat?

    Reply
    • Glenn J,

      This is a good argument to beat your ticket. Clear legal arguments (such as yours) are stronger than factual ones.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • matthew howell
    January 27, 2019 4:56 pm

    I was in a right turn only lane on 5th ave and dutifully made the right turn onto 51st. The ticketing cop said there was a “no right turn” sign and when I checked there was a sign that said “NEW – no right turn”. How can there be a no right turn sign for a lane clearly marked “right turn only lane”?

    Reply
    • Matthew Howell,

      Sounds like you have a strong defense to your ticket. Take photos from various vantage points.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,
    I receive an (improper Rt Turn Intersection in LIC) I was on the right lane to make a turn but in from of me there were two cars. A yellow cab and a pickup with a coffee cart vendor attached standing on the corner. I went around them on the left and ended up on the middle lane to make the right turn and the cop still give me a ticket.
    The incident happened back in May 2017 and I kept pushing the court date until next month Feb 2019. Is there anyway for me to fight and win this ticket? Also any chance if I lose, I convince them not to place any points on my license?
    Regards,
    F

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      January 23, 2019 7:49 am

      FD,

      Answers in bold.

      Is there anyway for me to fight and win this ticket? Yes. Your best bet is to hope the cop does not show up or does not remember
      (or have notes of your incident). Otherwise, listen carefully to his testimony and point out any inconsistencies, omissions or errors in his or her testimony. Hopefully, there will some.

      Also any chance if I lose, I convince them not to place any points on my license? No, in NYC, the judges cannot do this if they find your guilty.

      Reply
  • Alisher Dzhumaev
    January 18, 2019 2:00 pm

    Hi, I just got a “disobey traffic device” ticket. I assume there’s a 2 points deduction. The problem is I already have 5points, with this 2 more points, I might get TLC license suspended. I can’t schedule a defensive driving course within 15days to reduce my points. I’m thinking if I can plead not guilty to get me more time. Then I can take a course to deduct my points. Plea guilty before the hearing. I’m wondering if I have to pay extra fee if I do this. Or what will happen? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      January 21, 2019 7:46 am

      Alisher Dzhumaev,

      There is no extra fee if you plead guilty and delay your case. Further, this is a very good strategy based on your circumstances.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received a 1163-a Improper turn ticket for turning left onto 42nd street from 3rd ave. I had no plans to turn on 42nd but was getting into the left lane to turn onto 44th. I was cut off by a merging truck in the intersection and the traffic officer standing on 42nd waved me over. I thought he was helping me out/re-directing me to not block the box before the light change (green when I turned) but instead he hit me with a illegal turn onto 42nd for not being in the leftmost lane. It was month end and I think this was completely coerced. That said I guess it would be my word vs his, and I am out of town for my only available appeal date (no alternatives were given). Is it worth fighting this? I have never had any kind of violation before. It is just 2 points, but I was borrowing my inlaw’s car so I don’t want them penalized.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      January 2, 2019 4:13 pm

      Gene,

      To me, it doesn’t sound like it’s worth fighting, given your clean record, the minor nature of this ticket and the difficulty of beating any NYC traffic ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I got a ticket for Disobey sign no right turn, the violation code1110F. New driver and just moved into the area. This happened on Staten Island and I pleaded not guilty

    Reply
    • Stephanie,

      If you lose, this is a 2-point ticket that carries roughly a $150 fine. By “new driver”, I assume that you have been driving for 6 months (or less). If so, you are still on probation and, therefore, to avoid a 60-day suspension, must avoid being convicted to two such tickets.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • I had my drivers licenses for over 10 years but never driven until recently. I pleaded not guilty should I change my plea and pay ticket and take the class to reduce points

        Reply
  • I am NJ driver and did not know I can not turn right after full stop in NYC. I was stopped and got 1110(a) ticket. I think this carry 2 points on my NJ record. Should I consider fighting it?

    Reply
    • P.,

      Ignorance of the NY law is not a defense. Further, it is very tough to beach any NYC traffic ticket because they do not plea bargain. Therefore, if you have an otherwise clean driving record, you may not want to fight this one.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss,
    I did not see the no turn sign and was given a ticket that had a catch all ruling. Is there any way to beat this ticket?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      December 6, 2018 7:15 am

      Rose,

      The only way to possible beat it is by pleading not guilty. I’m not sure what a “catch all ruling” means but how you fight it depends on a variety of variables. I suggest re-reading my post.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello Mr. Weiss,

    This is my first time ever receiving a ticket/summons, and the cop gave me an improper turn 1163(A). I am coming from Howard Ave turning to Eastern Parkway northbound, however i’m coming from the left lane. The car in front of me was not moving so i had to switch lanes and the car coming from the right lane let me go through, so i made the right turn almost immediately. Should i plead guilty or not guilty? i am very worried because i dont want any points on my license. Thank you for any advice given!!

    Reply
    • Mela,

      It sounds like you violated 1163(a). With that said, this 2-point ticket is minor and, alone, cannot affect your right to drive or insurance rates.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss
    I am from Maryland. I came to New York for a birthday getaway. I was pulled over by a police officer in Flushing because I turned right on a Red light (but no sign). I stopped at the red light, checked the traffic to make sure it is safe to turn so I was surprised when I was pulled over. Then the officer told me that it is illegal to turn right on red in NYC. I did not know the law, and I was confused because I have been driving in manhattan, brooklyn, and long island, and I remembered that I see No Turn on RED sign that tells me where I can’t turn. I was told I could write a statement to the court in place of Personal Appearance (AA-53). I decided to fight it, but I am not sure if I should because I did turn right on Red. I also did not know if I should claim guilty or not guilty in the written statement. May I have some suggestions from you please?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • MengJun Wu,

      You need to claim not guilty to get a hearing and have a chance to win.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Thank you so much for the Reply .
        I did claim not guilty to get a hearing. I am written statement to the court in place of personal appearance. Do I still claim not guilty in the written statement or claim guilt but write the explanation since I did turn right on red.

        Reply
        • Mengjun,

          My pleasure! You claim not guilty. With that said you are much better off personally appearing than submitting a statement, in my opinion.

          Matthew Weiss

          Reply
          • LISA Bisciello
            May 4, 2019 4:27 am

            Hi Matthew, i received an improper turn ticket today. I was trying to make a left turn. I was in the center lane with my left turn signal on for 2 blocks, trying to get into the left turn only lane, but that area is very congested, and no one gives you the chance to merge in. I was not trying to cut ahead of traffic. I reached the turn point, and right at the last second, i was able to merge in, but the officer pulled me and 2 others over, saying we turned from the center lane. I am concerned about 2 points, because I already have 5 points from a recent distracted driving ticket.

          • Matthew Weiss
            May 4, 2019 5:20 pm

            Lisa Bisciello,

            To avoid the points, your only possible avenue is by pleading not guilty and fighting this ticket.

            Matthew Weiss

  • Hello Mr. Weiss,

    I was ticketed for a violation of 1160(A). I approached the intersection in the right lane but followed the cars ahead of me into the left lane because of a double-parked van. However, I was not able to actually pass the van and get back into the right lane due to pedestrian traffic which prevented the cars in the right lane from turning. It stayed like this for close to a minute. Meanwhile, I’m blocking traffic flow in the left lane and the cars behind me were getting very “frustrated”. I finally eased into the intersection next to the car waiting to make a right turn so that I could let cars by. I did not cut anyone off and I still yielded to pedestrian traffic.

    Do I have any kind of defense? Thank you for any insight you may be able to provide.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      November 8, 2018 9:35 pm

      Tom E,

      From what you write, it sounds like you violated the law. You certainly can fight it but, in my opinion, it sounds like this will be a very tough case to beat.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Mr. Weiss,
    I was caught turning north bound in Manhattan from 10th Ave (one-way) onto 41st (one way) from the center lane during heavy traffic. My ticket quotes 1160(B) as my only violation: IMP LEFT TURN-2 WAY. Good case to fight this since obviously those streets are never two-ways?

    Reply
  • Hi,I got a ticket with 1163(A) improper turning at Manhattan when decending from the bridge, my question is how do I know if i was also given a point, 2.the amount of the ticket 3.if this ticket can be dismissed.i am a First time offender

    Reply
    • Destiny,

      An 1163(a) ticket carries 2 points. If you lose, the will be roughly $200 (assuming you have an otherwise clean record).

      It will be hard to get this ticket dismissed but, if you want to hire us, we will try our best.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Mr Weiss –

    I received an improper turn violation under 1163 (A). The place of occurrence was East Houston making a wide right turn onto Allen Street. The violation states the place of occurrence as East Houston and First Avenue which isn’t the case.

    In any event, I realized to late that my GPS showed to make a right turn. From the middle lane and right before the traffic light, I signaled to the driver adjacent to me in the right lane and asked him if I can turn. He gave me the common courtesy and right after turning I was pulled over and issued the violation. This is my first violation ever received and I would appreciate your advise as to how I should plea.

    Thank You,

    Russell

    Reply
    • Russell S.,

      You should plead not guilt as this is the only way to possibly avoid the points and fine. The wrong location written on the ticket is a strong argument to beat it.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Note that MANy of the turning “regulations in New York city are unlawful. Section 1680 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law enacts the U.S. Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices as modified by the NYS Supplement. Section 3B.20 (24A) of the Supplement prohibits the use of pavement markings to post a regulation. They may ONLY be used to supplement a lawful sign:
    “Word and symbol pavement markings shall not be used to inform motorists of
    mandatory messages, except as a supplement to standard signs. Where a movement
    that would otherwise be legal is to be prohibited, such as when through traffic lanes
    approaching an intersection become mandatory turn lanes, lane-use arrow markings
    (see Figure 3B-21) shall be used and accompanied by standard signs.”

    The problem in NYC is that the NYPD is grossly negligent in failing to prosecute knowing and deliberate violations of law by government officials. And NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg as told me more than once that it’s really not important for her department to obey the law.

    Reply
  • Good Morning, Mr. Weiss.
    What’s my chance of disputing 2 tickets for making a U-Turn on 57th Street Midtown, if there’s no signs indicating otherwise?! Officer slapped me with two:
    -) Disobeying a “traffic device”, probably the double YELLOW solid lines,
    -) U-Turn in a Business District.
    I do acknowledge making the maneuver because there are no signs telling you otherwise, especially in an area as heavily regulated as Midtown, where everything is clearly marked… With the exception of no U-Turns. To me and most people, YELLOW means PROCEED WITH CAUTION and had those lines being solid white, trust me I wouldn’t have done that. Now, with a pending summons for an alleged Improper Turn on Madison and 57th, for later this year, what would be our chance for success given Manhattan South’s reputation for ALWAYS siding with the officer despite all the persuasive evidence drivers can produce?! You know as in “your evidence’s not persuasive enough, but I’ll reduce your fine with the points it carries. Is the best I can do.”

    PS: Many cops I know say “Damn! He should’ve given you just one, but two?! We hardly issue those summons, because in fact, there are no signs telling you not to do that anywhere. Good luck.”
    sorry if too lengthy

    Reply
    • Phil,

      I can’t provide odds or chances as this would be pure speculation.

      However, given that you received two tickets for essentially the same maneuver, I think you have a good chance to get one of the two dismissed.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    I received a Improper Turn ticket 1163a. I was making a right turn from Amsterdam ave onto West 65th street. Following my GPS it told me to make a right on 65th. I tried to get over into the right turning lane but the lane was backed up and no one was allowing me to get in front of them. Only choice I had was to sit in the parallel lane blocking traffic or make the right turn from the lane I was in, cutting around the backed up cars. 65th street is also a 2 lane one way street as well so I didn’t cut in front of anyone but soon as I made the right turn I was pulled over and given a ticket. My driving record is clean, Im not sure if I should fight this ticket or bite the bullet and pay the fine. Any advice is appreciated.. thank you.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      October 9, 2018 7:28 am

      Richard G,

      From what you write, I recommend that you “bite the bullet”. It is a relatively minor ticket, you have an otherwise clean record and will be hard to win.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hello Mr. Weiss,
    I was behind a big truck and failed to see no left turn sign on 86th street and Bay Parkway, Brooklyn. Police patrol pulled me over and issued a white ticket which says “Disobey Traffic Control Device”. I have crystal clean records except I was fined for not buckling up as an passenger 3 years ago. Would the big truck ahead of me causing not to see no left turn sign be an excuse? In general is it worth to fight or worthless to spend time and effort?

    Thank you for your time.

    Reply
    • Gabil,

      Given your clean record, the minor nature of this charge (2 points) and the difficulty being any NYC traffic ticket (they do not plea bargain), it would not be unreasonable to just pay this one. Under NYS law, this VTL 1110a ticket alone cannot affect your insurance rates.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew, I got a ticket under 1163A. I made a left turn from the center lane, and the cop gives me a yellow ticket. How should I fight for that?? And more, on my ticket, the officer marked my birth year wrong… Thank you!

    Reply
  • I was traveling Southbound on 7th St (a one way st) and turned left onto 42nd street (a two way st). The officer was VERY unclear as to why he was pulling me over when I asked him. His explanation was very confusing. He said I made a left from the second lane but I tried explaining to him there was a Police van illegally parked in the left lane so I had to turn from the second lane. He walks back to his cruiser and comes back with a ticket; Improper Left turn on two-way roadway

    Also worth noting this ticket was given at the very end of the month, it seems as if the officer was going to give me a ticket no matter what I said as if he was trying to fill a quota.

    Do I have a case?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 15, 2018 9:28 am

      Eric D,

      The “blocked left lane defense” can possibly be successful if the judge accepts your testimony/evidence that it was blocked and there was no room to return to the left lane before making the turn.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • Mathew,

        Thank you so much for your response.

        I was specifically charged under 1160 (B). Given that one of the two streets I was turning to/from is a one-way, is there a just argument for dismissal?

        Reply
  • I received a ticket for an improper right turn at intersection. VTL 1160A. There was double parked car in the right most lane, so i moved over one line one and made a right turn. I’m a New Jersey licensed driver and received this ticket in New York City. How much is this ticket? Will I receive points on my NJ license? Can i fight this ticket and how? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      August 12, 2018 12:17 pm

      Matthew,

      This ticket carries roughly a $150 fine and 2 NY and 2 NJ point. You can fight it but it will be very tough to beat because NYC traffic courts do not plea bargain.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi Matthew,

    Based on my research, I see that an “improper u-turn” in NJ is equivalent to 3 points. Is this correct? If so, can it be reduced to zero points? The driver is a non-resident driver (NY driver) and it’s a first-time offense in NJ; however, has a prior record in New York. Please advise.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Hello: I received two tickets after crossing the Whitestone Bridge. IMPROPER TURN AND IMPROPER PASSING. Long story short, had a 1:25 am flight out of JFK. I live in Warwick, NY. On a good day or night, maybe takes me an hour and a half. I was pulled over at 11:30 pm, left my house at 9 pm. Should be at check-in at 11:30 pm. Officer said I made improper turn/ without signal, and passing (the bridge was empty, by the way). I am pleading not-guilty. How can you make an improper turn on a bridge? Passing? Maybe I was in the right lane and passed a car to my left? Don’t think I did. I want to explain in court that my wife and I each own late model BMW’s. If I tap my signal arm, it will go 3 times, then stop. My wife’s car does not have this feature, which I regrettably discovered that evening. So when I ‘tapped’ the arm, it only gave off one blink. What are my chances of winning and maybe a reduced fine without the points (guilty it’s 5 points)? Thanks, Michael

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 21, 2018 3:09 pm

      Michael,

      Answers in bold below:

      How can you make an improper turn on a bridge? Generally, you cannot make any turns on a bridge so I agree with you that this is a compelling defense.

      Passing? Theoretically, you can unsafely pass, however.

      Maybe I was in the right lane and passed a car to my left? Don’t think I did. I want to explain in court that my wife and I each own late model BMW’s. If I tap my signal arm, it will go 3 times, then stop. My wife’s car does not have this feature, which I regrettably discovered that evening. So when I ‘tapped’ the arm, it only gave off one blink. What are my chances of winning and maybe a reduced fine without the points (guilty it’s 5 points)? This is not a valid defense and I doubt that you can beat this case at the hearing using this one. Further, they do not plea bargain in NYC. It is “all or nothing” if you fight a ticket.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • i was turnin left in seven ave from 49 street in manhatan( in midle line) and im find a parking right in right line of seven ave .I didnt know that this spot is after 10 am parking (this sign is changed for propobly last month, im driving in this area for aproximately 20 years with comercial license plate) so can i fight this stupid improper turn ticket
    When i was stoping in red light before make turn im diside to go for midle line of 49 street because a left line was blocked for pedestrian passing and also for the parking spot im finded was a shortest way to rich a parking,

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 18, 2018 8:54 am

      Aleko,

      You can fight it but it will be hard to beat it. In NYC, they do not plea bargain traffic tickets and, from what you write, it appears that your left turn was improper.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Received an 1160a in Manhattan driving on Broadway making a right onto Fulton heading towards Lincoln Tunnel. I was in the right lane adjacent the bus lane (rightmost). At light, with blinker on. When light changed I proceeded to make right turn but had to wait for pedestrians to cross. As pedestrians crossed I proceeded to make my turn when the officer flashed lights/siren. I completed the turn, expecting him to pass as I felt I did no wrong. When pulling over he pulled behind me. Officer approached extremely aggressive (very theatrical) banging on my rear window to open, yelling at me and insulting my driving. How long have you been driving,, etc., etc. I had no idea what he was talking about and quite frankly starting to fear that he was out of control. He indicated that I almost hit his car. That is a flat out lie. My car proximity sensors never went off and if anything he was trying to pass me on the right to turn. If he had he would’ve hit pedestrians. He issued me the ticket. I had a witness in the car and we were both baffled by the incident. When I found out the ticket carries two points I decided to plead not quilty. My hearing it tomorrow 7/13. I plan to argue my case however, my only concern is the vagueness of how to treat the bus lane. Your not supposed to drive in it apparently but your supposed to make right hand turns from it. Any suggestions for approaching this with the judge?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 12, 2018 4:05 pm

      Rich,

      Right turns must be made from the far-most right lane (even if it is designated a bus lane).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I was southwest on columbus ave . Going southbound Broadway and west 65. Made a left turn cause my GPS said to I was in front of a bus and didn’t see the no left turn sign. I plead not guilty cause that’s what the lady cop said to do. Now what if she shows to the hearing what to say.?

    Reply
  • It was middle of the night with no oncoming traffic, when I took a sudden left turn from middle Lane, following Google map instructions at Ellicottville Village, Cattaraugus county. I was asked to pull over by Sheriff’s car and was given charge for “improper left turn on two-way roadway”, under section 1160B. I was a stranger there, passing through following Google app.. I live in Michigan but the case is in the state of NY..
    Any recommendations on what to do next and what do I lose in terms of money and points?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 10, 2018 9:25 am

      Ram G,

      A NY improper turn ticket carries 2 points and roughly a $200 fine. It is a minor ticket and being unfamiliar with the area is not a defense.

      If you have an otherwise clean record, it would not be unreasonable to just pay this one (especially given how far away you live). Otherwise, you can retain a NY traffic lawyer who can appear on your behalf at the Ellicottville Village court.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Eric Abergel
    July 3, 2018 3:14 pm

    I received a 1160 (C) violation for an improper left turn on a one-way roadway.
    Do you know if this violation has points and if I have an NJ Driver’s License will the points transfer?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      July 4, 2018 8:57 am

      Eric Abergel,

      If you are convicted of this ticket, it will carry 2 points on your NY record, and will transfer as 2 points on your NJ license.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Batuhan Ayfer
    June 20, 2018 4:08 pm

    Hi, I was driving in Manhattan, trying to take Lincoln Tunnel to Jersey. I made a right turn where there was a ‘no turn between this and this hours’. So I got a ticket for that. All I want is not to get points to my license. Any reccomendations ?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 20, 2018 5:45 pm

      Batuhan Ayfer,

      This ticket carries 2 points. The only way to possibly avoid the points is by pleading not guilty and beating the case after a hearing.

      Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Kevin Daniels
    June 18, 2018 1:55 pm

    I was merging after coming off Major Deegan, I was in the middle lane merging to the right lane. The person in the right lane slowed, so I thought, to let me over but decided to speed up. If I continued my merge I would have been involved in a car accident during the morning rush. I turned with my car between both lanes to avoid a conflict. The officer was tucked away and missed the incident, but still gave me a citation, in which I pled not guilty. I have a court date Thursday. Will the judge conclude this was my fault? If so, how much should I expect to pay?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      June 19, 2018 7:36 am

      Kevin Daniels,

      It sounds like you made an improper turn. With that said, the police officer must still establish his or her case against you.

      If you lose, the fine will be around $150.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Hi I was making right side turnd from the second from right lane as google GPS advice me to do on 31st street and 7th avenue. The traffic light also has one arrow on right lane and one arrow on the second from right lane. I got ticket. I went there today and saw other cars making this turn because the cabs are blocking the first right lane all the tiem. How can I fight the ticket.

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 31, 2018 12:48 am

      Alex,

      Yes, you can fight this ticket but it will be tough to beat it based on what you wrote and based on the difficulty of the NYC traffic courts. Good luck!

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • I received an improper turn 1163A violation and a Disobeyed Traffic Control Device Services- pavement marking 1110A violation this past weekend while Turning left on W/B Delancy street and Allen. I was in middle lane but was trying to turn into the left lane turn only lane when I got pulled over. Is it worth fighting it and if so any advise on how to fight it?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      May 8, 2018 4:07 pm

      David,

      Given that you received two moving violation tickets at the same time, I recommend that you plead not guilty. Pleading not guilty is the only way for you to possibly receive a more favorable outcome.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
      • moises gallegos
        May 14, 2018 5:36 pm

        Moises.
        I received a 1163A ticket on 5-14-18 right in manhattan for improper turn. I live in nj. Pls how can I fight this? I want to pay but how can I avoid the points. I have 11points in my license

        Reply
        • Matthew Weiss
          May 14, 2018 9:56 pm

          Moises Gallegos,

          The only way to possibly avoid these points is to plead not guilty.

          Matthew Weiss

          Reply
  • I got a improper turn ticket under 1163A. And my hearing seat will be on 08/31/2018. I made a left turn from center lane on Main St. into 61st. There is no sign says I can’t turn from the center lane, but here is a sign said left lane must turn left.
    But right now, they’ve work on the paint on the road, but I still saved some old photos to shows the time I was violated.

    And more, the officer wrote my birthday wrong! How do I fight for this???? Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • Dear Mr. Weiss,
    I see your replies to the improper left turn tickets similar to: “You can only turn left from the left lane (unless there is pavement markings allowing for such a turn from the center lane).”
    In my case, there are two traffic arrow lights positioned directly above the left- and center- lanes. Pavement markings are absent altogether. Do multiple traffic arrow lights allow me to use the “markings allowing for such a turn from the center lane” defense?
    Thank you, -g

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 27, 2018 11:31 pm

      Gabriel E,

      Generally, multiple traffic arrow lights do NOT allow you to a right or left turn from the center lane. If one of those arrows was directly over the interior lane, then MAYBE you could argue that the turn was legal.

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply
  • Gerald Schmidt
    March 22, 2018 4:36 pm

    I received an improper turn and failure to yield in Queens. My hearing is set for 7/20/18. I read that Queens North does not have any ADA consultation before the hearing. Without such a consultation what are my choices? I have never succeeded on my own to dismiss or reduce any charges without a prior consultation. What might I gain from representation and what are the legal fee estimates?

    Reply
    • Matthew Weiss
      March 23, 2018 8:35 am

      Gerald Schmidt,

      At your hearing, the judge can only find your guilty or not guilty for each offense. With a New York traffic lawyer (like us), you will not have to appear in court and gain an experienced “ear” who would be able to get a dismissal if the officer fails to testify properly. We charge a flat fee for a case like this of $350 (assuming you do not have a lot of other convictions or open tickets).

      Matthew Weiss

      Reply

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