Is this a real thing? Four Obscure traffic laws that sound fake but are actually real.

Throughout my almost 30 years of defending motorists who have received traffic violations throughout the state of New York, there have been multiple instances where what they have been accused of seems like a fictitious section of law. However, after a cursory examination of the ticket they were given I am able to explain to them that it is in fact a “real thing”. Below are several examples of actual NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Violations: 


1) U turn not to/from center (1160 E) 

Essentially this states that U turns should be made to and from the point nearest the marked center line. I often win this because it relates only when actually at the intersection and not in the middle of the block. 


2) Speed not reasonable and prudent (1180A) 

This is a subjective section in that it states no person shall drive at a speed greater than what is reasonable. Of course, this means the officer must establish specific conditions. For this reason as well as the police officer often citing the incorrect section. I often win this charge. 


3) Failure to stop at malfunction light (1117) 

I had this charge recently for the first time. If a light is out you are to treat it like a stop sign. Of course a police officer must explain why he chose to write a ticket rather than assist in directing traffic in a dangerous situation. That is how I won that case. 


4) Failure to obey traffic law/rules of the road (1101) 

If ever there was a catchall it would be this section. It has no specific violation noted. The good part of this section is it neither appears on your DMV Abstract nor carry any points. For this reason, where plea bargain is possible we try to request the prosecutor to change a section that carries points to this one that does not. 

In general, if you ever receive a ticket, do not assume that because it seems “silly” to you that it is not worth at least consulting an attorney. Free consultations are a common practice 

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