It is common knowledge that driving over the speed limit increases the risk of accidents. However, doing so in a school zone is significantly more dangerous, for obvious reasons.
Children are crossing the street back and forth, as they head from their buses and parents’ vehicles to their schools. They may also be outside due to other school activities, such as recess, P.E. class, or getting ready to go on field trips.
Regardless of the circumstances, the New York legislature has been proactive to establish additional precautionary measures from drivers traveling in a school. Violating these laws involves expensive consequences. However, sometimes, you may have legitimate reasons for fighting a speeding ticket. When this happens, you definitely want to have an experienced traffic ticket attorney by your side.
Did you receive a ticket for speeding in a school zone in New York State? Weiss & Associates, PC may be able to help you. Call our traffic ticket attorneys today at 212-683-7373 for FREE advice, or fill out our online form and we will be in touch with you.
New York State Law On Speeding in a School Zone
Section 1180(a) of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) establishes the basic rules regarding speed limits. Generally, no person shall drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions. The term under the conditions is included so that drivers take into account factors such as weather, visibility, and any additional circumstances that would require greater care — such as driving in a school zone.
Driving in a school zone requires obeying the lower posted speed limits on school days, between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM. The posted signs may specify alternative times within such hours. There may also be flashing lights to indicate that slower limits are in effect during student activities. They may also flash up to 30 minutes before and 30 minutes immediately after such student activities.
School Zone Speeding Ticket Costs in New York
Speeding tickets in New York are always hefty — especially when they include a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee. And when you are caught speeding in a school zone, the amount of the fines are doubled. How much you will get charged depends on how fast you were driving above the speed limit:
|1 mph to 10 mph||$90 – $300|
|11 mph to 30 mph||$180 – $600|
|More than 30 mph||$360 – $1,200|
It is also important to note that, in addition to the fines, a person convicted of speeding in a school zone can also face jail time of up to 15 days if the speed was between 11 mph and 30 mph. If the speed was over 30 mph, the jail time could increase up to 30 days.
Fines may also be increased by an additional $150 for a second violation within an 18 month period. A third conviction within that time frame carries an additional $375. Imprisonment of up to 30 days may be imposed either in place or in addition to the fines.
These fines may seem excessive; however, speeding is the leading cause of fatal traffic accidents. Also, the faster a person is driving, the harder it is for them to avoid an accident — and the faster they are going when the accident occurs, the more severe the injuries.
Receiving a School Zone Speeding Ticket Outside of Posted School Days and Hours
While you are required by law to follow the posted speed limits in school zones during school hours, you can also get a ticket for speeding outside of such days and times. The range of these tickets is the same as speeding in areas outside of a school zone. Specifically, they are the following:
|1 mph to 10 mph||$45 – $150|
|11 mph to 30 mph||$90 – $300|
|Over 30 mph||$180 – $600|
Speeding between 11 mph to 30 mph also exposes you to jail time of up to 15 days; while speeding by more than 30 miles per hour exposes you to imprisonment of up to 30 days. In both instances, you may be required to pay the fine and do jail time.
School Zone Speeding Tickets in New York City
To deter excessive rates of speed in school zones, the City of New York has implemented a Speed Camera Program. It uses radar and laser technology that measures a vehicle’s speed. If a car is traveling at a speed that is higher than 10 mph over the speed limit, images of the vehicle and its license plate are recorded. This applies in school zones between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, Monday through Friday. A Notice of Liability is then sent by mail to the person to whom the car is registered.
School Zone Points Associated with Speeding
The New York DMV identifies high-risk drivers by the points they receive for traffic violations. Anyone who gets six points within 18 months has to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. And anyone who gets 11 points within 18 months faces a driver’s license suspension. These points are calculated based on the date of the violation; not the date of the conviction.
Just as with the cost of the ticket, how many points will be assessed against your driving record for speeding in a school zone will depend on how fast you were driving:
|1 mph to 10 mph||3 points|
|11 mph to 20 mph||4 points|
|21 mph to 30 mph||6 points|
|31 mph to 40 mph||8 points|
|Over 40 mph||
Why School Zone Tickets Lead to Heftier Fines and Points
School zone speeding tickets lead to more serious consequences than speeding in other areas because the statistics are alarming:
There are approximately five teen pedestrian deaths every week in the US. This is likely exacerbated by distracted driving and distracted walking — whether by scrolling through their phones, texting, or listening to music. To make matters worse, unsafe street-crossing behavior is common in the majority of students.
But not all the blame falls on students. Unsafe drop-off and pick-up behavior are commonly observed in nearly one out of every three drivers. This may include conducting the pick up/drop-offs in areas other than the ones designated for such purpose, double parking, or trying to get ahead of a car that is ahead in the pickup/drop offline.
How Do School Zone Speeding Tickets Affect Out-of-State Drivers?
Out-of-state drivers are allowed to drive in New York with their regular driver’s license. By the same token, if you get pulled over with such a license, New York will create an ID number, by which all related conviction points will be assessed to your out-of-state driving record.
While each state handles such convictions differently, 45 states allow driving information to transfer quickly from one state to another. Your local DMV will be notified of your ticket, and so will your car insurance provider. No matter how you look at it, such a conviction will be costly.
This is part of what is known as a law called the Driver’s License Compact. The purpose of this law is to make reciprocal recognition of a person’s ability to drive throughout jurisdictions — as well as their duty to comply with local traffic laws. Once there is a conviction, the convicting state will send a report to the driver’s home state, specifying the following information:
- The person convicted
- The violation, including the section of the applicable law
- The court where the action was heard
- Indicate whether there was a plea of guilty or not guilty
- Whether the conviction was the result of the forfeiture of bail
- Any special findings relating to the conviction
One of the benefits of hiring Weiss & Associates, PC to handle your speeding ticket is that our firm has a database that sets forth how each state handles traffic tickets issued in New York. We can quickly tell you how if at all, a New York conviction will affect you in your home state.
How To Fight a Speeding in a School Zone Ticket
There are several reasons why you would want to fight a speeding ticket. This may be because of no adequate signage in the school zone (or if they were obstructed), or if you have reason to believe that the police officer who issued the ticket made a mistake. You may also want to fight the ticket if you have any evidence that you were not speeding — such as dashcam footage, surveillance video from nearby businesses, or witness testimony.
Having an experienced traffic ticket lawyer fighting for your rights is essential to dispute a speeding ticket since they will know how to ask the right questions — including whether the police officer’s radar was properly calibrated, or call into question an officer’s visual estimation of your speed. As long as your lawyer can cast doubt into the validity of the ticket, you may be able to get the case dismissed or the ticket reduced.
This can be difficult to do if you were pulled over in New York City since the case will be heard at the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) instead of court. At the TVB, there is no plea bargaining and it is harder to fight a ticket because of its unique rules that tend to help police officers. For instance, their burden of proof is “clear and convincing” evidence instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which is easier to prove.
A New York Speeding Ticket Attorney Can Help
At Weiss & Associates, PC we provide the best representation you could receive at your hearing. We offer an initial free consultation, flat fees, and experienced traffic lawyers who will show up on your behalf, so you do not have to waste time in court.
We have extensive experience fighting thousands of traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York state; and we have a skilled team of lawyers who are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!