New York Speeding Laws

Basic Speed Law: A person shall not drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.  NY V&T Law § 1180(a)

Penalty for Exceeding Speed Limit

A first time violator may be:

  • fined between $30 to $400,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 30 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended or revoked based on a point system.

Penalty for Reckless Driving

A first time violator may be:

  • fined not more than $200,
  • sentenced to jail time of not more than 30 days, and
  • the violator’s license may be suspended or revoked based on a point system.

Speed Limits

  • 65 MPH on parts of certain designated highways
  • 55 MPH on state maintained highways outside of cites with a population more than 1 million and on Indian reservations

New York Speeding Law

New York has what is known as an “absolute” speed limit law. There is no trick to how this works: If the sign says 40 mph and you drive 41 mph or more, you have violated the law. In other words, you are guilty if you drive over the speed limit. In New York you may be able to make three possible defenses:

  • Attacking the officer’s determination of your speed. To do this you must discover what method the officer used to cite you and then learn about the ways to attack that particular method.
  • Claiming an emergency forced you to exceed the speed limit to avoid serious damage or injury to yourself or others.
  • Claiming that the officer mistook your car for another car. With so many similar-looking cars, it is possible that a cop could see a speeding car, lose sight of it around a corner, and then wrongly pick out your car farther down the road.

Note that in New York you can be ticketed for driving at an unsafe speed, even if that speed does not violate the posted limit -- for example, driving exactly at the maximum mph posted limit on the freeway amidst slower and heavy traffic, in a dense fog, or in a driving rainstorm or blizzard.

Point System

An offender may be required to attend a Driver Improvement Clinic if they accumulate 7 to 10 points within 18 months. The licensing agency may take licensing action (suspension or revocation) if the offender has accumulated more than 11 points within 18 months or more than 9 points resulting from speeding violations within 18 months. The following points have been assigned to speeding or speed related violations: Speeding more than 40 MPH over the speed limit-11 points; speeding > 30 but ≤ 40 MPH over the speed limit-8 points; speeding more than 20 but less than 30 MPH over the speed limit-6 points; reckless driving-5 points; speeding more than 10 but less than 20 MPH over the speed limit-4 points; other violations related to exceeding the speed limit-3 points; and, other moving violations-2 points.

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