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Livingston County Introduces Warning Tickets

As you travel down the open highways and byways of Upstate New York, few things are more aggravating than being pulled over and given a ticket. Suddenly you go from enjoying the countryside to fuming about having to pay a ticket. Though sometimes you may get off with just a verbal warning, most drivers are instead given a citation. That has recently changed in Livingston County.

The Livingston Sheriff’s Office has introduced a middle option between a verbal warning and a full citation: warning tickets. These tickets are similar to verbal warnings, but are a bit more serious. They are actually documented by the sheriff’s office. That way, if you are pulled over again, the officer will know that you have received a warning before, and will use that information when deciding whether or not to issue a Uniformed Traffic Ticket — that is, a full citation.

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty said he is not the first in the state of New York to implement this kind of program. He got the idea from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace, who Dougherty said is the only other sheriff who gives out warning tickets. However, such “citations” are used in other cities throughout the country.

The warning ticket itself is rather simple. It simply states that, “This is a WARNING ONLY and is being issued as a courtesy. This warning is intended to remind you to do your part in promoting public safety by following NYS Vehicle and Traffic Laws.” There is a space on the warning for the driver’s information, including a place to put the reason for the warning.

Since warning tickets were implemented in 2015, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office has issued more than 2,100 of them. However, they also wrote nearly 7,000 full citations in the same timespan.

If you have been issued a traffic ticket in New York, you may be able to fight it. Contact the attorneys at Feifer & Greenberg today for a free consultation.