Speeding Tickets In NYC

Speeding tickets in NYC are a little different from speeding tickets issued elsewhere in New York. There are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • NYC traffic tickets in general are contested differently than tickets issued elsewhere.  NYC tickets are handled by the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) which is an administrative agency, part of the DMV.  There is no negotiation or plea bargaining at the TVB.  If you would like to challenge and dismiss a speeding ticket or other traffic ticket issued in NYC, you’ll need to schedule a hearing and win the hearing.  (Read more about the TVB and generally how we fight TVB tickets)
  • The maximum speed limit in NYC is 50mph.  Even in areas where the road opens up, the lanes get wider and the traffic lessens, the limit is never more than 50mph.  If you are in the habit of driving in the low 70s on highways with 55 and/or 65mph limits, understand that you can easily get issued a 6 point speeding ticket in NYC for driving that speed.
  • If there is no speed limit posted at all in NYC, the speed limit defaults to 30mph.  Be particularly careful when getting off one of the highways and getting on to local roads.  The limit is usually 30mph and in many cases there is no signage alerting drivers.  Big wide avenues in Manahattan?  Also 30mph speed limit.  Understand that you must keep your speed around 30mph unless you see a sign specifically indicating that the speed limit is higher than 30mph.
  • It is way more likely to be issued “companion summonses” along with your speeding summons in NYC than it is if you are issued a speeding ticket elsewhere.  The congestion on the roadways and the narrow lanes can often lead officers to cite other violations at the same time.  Changing lanes unsafely, changing lanes without signaling and tailgating are the most frequent speeding ticket “companions” we see in NYC.

The nuts and bolts of how speed is measured in NYC is no different than anywhere else and, outside of the unposted rule, the speeding law is the same in NYC too.  The differences above are worth noting though as you drive through the city or as you decide how to deal with an NYC speeding ticket you may already have received.

Submitted by Scott Feifer