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Can I argue a speeding ticket due to flow of traffic laws?

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Flow of traffic law

Can I argue a speeding ticket due to flow of traffic laws?

Everyone has gone above the speed limit, but what happens when you get caught? Find out if a flow of traffic law can help reduce or dismiss your ticket. 

What is the Flow of Traffic Law?

Flow of traffic laws aren’t actually laws. They’re more anecdotal than fact.

There is a perception that drivers should drive at the speed that traffic is going at any given time, even if that speed exceeds the posted legal limit.  We often hear people who have been issued speeding tickets protest that they “were just going with the flow of traffic”.

In many situations, driving with the flow of traffic will feel like the safest option.  For example, it is better to drive below the speed limit when all of the other cars on the road are going at a similarly slow pace. Driving up to the speed limit, in this case, could cause serious accidents.  Same is true in situations where the flow is generally above the posted speed limit and driving at or near the speed limit might feel less safe.

Unfortunately, in cases where vehicles are driving well above the posted speed limit, the “flow of traffic” argument is unlikely to help in court.  The speed limit is what it is and driving above it is inherently a violation regardless of what the speed of the general flow of traffic is on the particular roadway.   

What is the speed limit?

A speed limit is a minimum or maximum speed that is legally permitted in an area. It is determined based on traffic engineers’ determination of average driver speed in the area and safe speeds based on road conditions. 

Temporary speed limits can be put in place in work zones. These are as legally binding as normal speed limits.

In many cases, drivers believe that speed limits are suggestions rather than rules. They disregard them in favor of getting home from work faster.

Can I argue the ticket?

Many drivers get speeding tickets, but argue that they weren’t the fastest car on the road. They use the flow of traffic argument as a way to undermine the validity of their speeding ticket. While it is within every American’s right to argue a ticket in court, the flow of traffic law argument is not likely to work.  

Stating that you were driving at the speed of other cars on the road does not change the fact that you were violating the legal speed limit.  It makes the judge aware that other vehicles were also speeding, but the speed of other vehicles isn’t at issue in your case.  An officer would simply counter the argument by stating that he can only pull over one vehicle at a time and you were the (un)lucky motorist. 

The judge will take your statement as an admission that you were indeed speeding.

Work with TicketHelp

At Feifer & Greenberg, our New York traffic ticket attorneys are dedicated to helping clients with their speeding tickets. We have worked on thousands of traffic matters, successfully dismissing tickets that would have cost our clients hundreds or even thousands in fines, surcharges and insurance increases.

If you want to fight your speeding ticket, make sure you know what is at stake . Speak with our experienced New York traffic lawyers to ensure that you are taking the proper steps to keep your record clean.


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Your office is in NYC. How do you handle cases statewide?

We have organized a statewide network of attorneys. In our network are both attorneys who work for Feifer & Greenberg and attorneys who work for other firms that regularly provide of-counsel representation to our clients. This statewide network allows us to match clients in a particular county or court with local attorneys who regularly appear on similar matters in the same county or court. It enables us to help clients anywhere in New York State and in our opinion provide particularly effective and affordable representation for our clients. Local attorneys can draw on their particular local experiences and, with travel time and expense removed from the equation, help us keep our legal fees low.

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We can only guarantee that we will provide the best possible client service and legal representation. We can’t guarantee results. These are legal proceedings and we can’t promise you that every case will end in our favor. We will always honestly assess your case (both good and bad) and set realistic expectations during your consultation. We’ll discuss our goals and objectives but no attorney can ever guarantee how a case will conclude.
Should I just pay my ticket or should I fight?

We recommend fighting almost all tickets. Even if the current NY traffic tickets aren’t particularly harmful, you have an incentive to keep your record clean for the future. Convictions quickly lead to surcharges, insurance increases and other complications. You should strongly consider any decision to pay a ticket without fighting.

How can our traffic ticket lawyers help you?

Our lawyers are experienced, prepared attorneys who understand the nuances of fighting traffic tickets. Experience, preparation and good decision making help us to help our clients avoid points, surcharges, insurance increases and the other negatives that can easily result from a traffic ticket.


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