How do you normally get an improper turn ticket?
An "improper turn" ticket is typically issued to drivers who fail to execute a turn in accordance with traffic laws and regulations. Here are some common scenarios that can lead to receiving an improper turn ticket:
- Making a Prohibited Turn: This occurs when a driver makes a turn where it's explicitly prohibited, usually indicated by a traffic sign such as "No Left Turn" or "No U-Turn."
- Failing to Stay in the Correct Lane: If a driver starts a turn from the wrong lane or doesn't end the turn in the correct lane, they can be ticketed. For example, when making a left turn from a multi-lane street, the driver should generally turn from the left-most lane into the left-most lane of the intersecting street unless road markings indicate otherwise.
- Turning at a Red Light Without Stopping: While some jurisdictions allow right turns on red after coming to a complete stop (or left turns from a one-way street to another one-way street), failing to stop completely before making the turn can result in a ticket.
- Not Yielding to Pedestrians or Oncoming Traffic: When making a turn, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians crossing the street and to oncoming traffic when required.
- Turning from Outside an Allocated Turn Lane: If a driver makes a turn from a lane that isn't designated for that specific turn, they might be ticketed for an improper turn.
It's essential to be aware of and follow all traffic signs, signals, and road markings when executing turns to avoid such tickets. Furthermore, drivers should always be mindful of pedestrians and other vehicles to ensure safety.
Is it worth challenging an improper turn ticket?
Whether or not it's worth challenging an improper turn ticket depends on several factors:
- Evidence: If you believe you made the turn correctly and can provide evidence (such as video footage, witness statements, or other proof), you may have a strong case to challenge the ticket.
- Points on Your License: Many jurisdictions assign points to driving offenses, and these can accumulate. If an improper turn ticket adds points that bring you closer to a threshold that might result in a suspended license or significantly higher insurance rates, it might be worth contesting.
- Cost-Benefit Analysis: Compare the cost of the ticket, potential insurance rate increases, and any other associated fines or fees with the cost of challenging the ticket. This includes legal fees if you hire an attorney, lost wages if you need to take time off work to appear in court, and any court fees.
- Potential Reduction: Even if you believe you might be found guilty, sometimes by contesting a ticket, the court might offer a reduction in fines or a plea to a lesser charge that doesn't carry points.
- Driving Record: If you have a clean driving record, some courts might be more lenient. In some cases, you could attend traffic school or a defensive driving course in exchange for having the ticket dismissed.
- Legal Expertise: If you're considering contesting the ticket, consulting with a traffic attorney (like James Medows for those in NYC) might give you a clearer picture of your chances. An experienced attorney can advise on the local court system, potential defenses, and whether it's worth the effort and cost to fight the ticket.
In conclusion, while every situation is unique, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons, potential outcomes, and costs associated with challenging an improper turn ticket before making a decision.