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Driving The Wrong Direction On A One-Way Street

New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers | Feifer & Greenberg » NYC Traffic Violations » Driving the Wrong Direction on a One-Way Street

Driving the wrong direction on a one-way street law in New York

Any NY driver has been confronted with the myriad of streets, especially in NYC, that are designated for a single direction of travel.  Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1127 addresses driving on streets that are designated as one-way streets.  The law states “Upon a roadway designated and signposted for one-way traffic, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated.”  

There are only 2 requirements that an officer must meet for this statute.  The officer must establish that you are in fact driving in the direction opposite to that designated for traffic flow on the roadway.  He or she must also establish that there are signs in place to give you notice that the street is designated for only one direction of traffic flow.  Typically those signs will be an arrow pointing in the direction of travel that say One-Way.  There may also be Do Not Enter signs at an intersection as well.  These signs must be clearly visible to traffic before they enter onto said street.  They are not required to observe you enter the roadway or pass those signs, only that you must have passed signs indicating that the street only flows one direction.

1. What if I enter the street in the middle of the block or there is no clear one-way sign posted?

It does get tricky where you may enter the roadway someplace other than an intersection.  You may exit a driveway or parking lot or even the smallest of side streets that is in the middle of a street and not an intersection.  In these situations you may not pass the one-way or do not enter signs you would at the more traditional entry points to the roadway in question. There may be signs in a parking lot or in general before you get onto the main roadway in question and the law would expect you to notice and take heed of them.  Similarly, you may have been required to pass the signs at an intersection in order to gain entrance to the driveway or parking lot.  Generally, most judges will not consider the direction of parked vehicles alone as an indicator regarding the required movement of traffic as the statute requires that the street be “signp osted for one-way traffic”.  But all vehicles parked facing the same direction is a good indicator for drivers that the street only flows in that same direction.  

2. Penalties for driving the wrong direction on a one-way street:

Driving the wrong way down a one-way street in NYcarries 2 points on your driver license or driver record for out of state drivers.  A fine would be due on the violation as well.  This charge can certainly affect one’s automobile insurance rates as driving the wrong direction on a one-way street can certainly cause damage to a vehicle and/or injury to people.

This is a 2 point violation if you are found guilty.


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Feifer & Greenberg attorneys have been representing clients with traffic tickets and driving-related misdemeanors in New York for over 20 years. Our firm has successfully settled or dismissed hundreds of thousands of traffic matters.  Each year we help a multitude of drivers avoid license points, costly fines, surcharges and insurance increases.




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