- Towns and villages in Upstate brought in $171 million in fines.
- The town of Kent brought in the lowest amount of fines at $602,823.
- Village and town courts across the state brought in $250 million.
When it comes to driving in New York, you may have visions of crowded city driving, honking horns and cops on every corner. You wouldn’t be incorrect, but it may surprise you to find that even towns in Upstate collect millions in fines each year. In fact, one of those towns took in more than $3 million in fines.
According to reports, Amherst collected a whopping total of $3,423,519 in fines for 2017. Who else made the top 50 list? Hamburg, Cheektowaga, West Seneca, and Tonawanda. What’s interesting is that this isn’t the first year in the top 50 for any of these locales. In fact, each has been talked about for years when it comes to raking in the money on the backs of speeders and others with minor offenses.
That aside, let’s take a closer look at the cities and towns in the top five. You might want to visit them (then again, if you have a lead foot, you might not):.
1) Town of Amherst – Erie County – $3,423,519
Amherst is an inner-ring suburb of Buffalo and the town with the highest population in Upstate. The town was created in 1818 and formed from a section of Buffalo. It encompasses 53.6 square miles and was originally marshland and floodplain. CNN Money named the town as the 42nd best place to live in the country in 2010.
2) Town of Wallkill – Orange County – $3,317,544
Covering 62.8 square miles, Wallkill was established in 1772. The 2010 census showed just over 27,400 people living in the town, 36.5% under the age of 18. A bit of trivia: Woodstock was supposed to be held in Wallkill but town officials got worried about the potential crowd at the festival and said no. Woodstock was held 40 miles northwest of the city in Bethel.
3) Town of Tonawanda – Erie County – $2,103,769
It’s a bit amazing that the town is able to pull in millions in fines when it only covers 4.1 square miles. If history interests you, here’s a tidbit. The town was home to the Tonawanda Kardex Lumbermen, a football team active for only five years with a single game in the National Football League.
4) Town of Colonie – Albany County – $2,067,641
Colonie has a population of more than 80,000 people and covers nearly 60 square miles. The town if full of historic sites like Albany Rural Cemetery, Hedge Lawn, Louis Menand House, and Simmons Stone House. The area was incorporated as a town in 1895 and has grown in population yearly.
5) Town of Newburgh – Orange County – $1,714,499
With approximately 30,000 people living in a town that covers almost 47 square miles, it is called the Crossroads of the Northeast. Stewart International Airport partially lies in the town and it is hoped that one day it will take over some of the traffic at major airports in the state, particularly in New York City. Eric Carr, former drummer with the band Kiss, is buried here.
How to Avoid Getting an NYC Ticket
If we’re being honest, there are just some days that you aren’t going to do anything to avoid a ticket. A perfect storm occurs — you were speeding, you got caught, you had an attitude, the officer was in a bad mood — it all adds up to you getting a citation.
On a normal day, however, there are some common sense things you can do to avoid being getting an NYC traffic ticket.
- Expired Tags: Make sure that your tags are up to date. There’s a difference between renewing slipping your mind for a week and not getting new tags until next year’s birthday. When it’s time to renew your plates, do it.
- Obey the Limit: The speed limit is in place because it is what has been determined safe. Some cops have a magic number. For example, they won’t pull anyone over unless they are going 11 mph over the limit. For other officers the number is lower, for others its greater. Don’t play a guessing game. Just stick to the limit.
- Be Polite: Don’t get surly with the cop who pulls you over, even if you think the reason for the stop is ridiculous. Mind your manners and you may just find yourself being handed a warning instead of a fine.
- Keep It Clean: A clean, semi-new car blends in. An old car with broken out side windows and duct tape over the brake lights draws attention. You don’t have to drive a million dollar car to stay off radar, but keeping your car in good working order and relatively clean can make it more invisible.
Don’t Fight Your NYC Traffic Ticket Alone
If you do happen to receive a traffic citation in New York, you have the right to fight your charges. We are an NYC traffic ticket attorney and we are ready to fight tirelessly for your rights.
Whether you are fighting a minor infraction or a major charge, we are here to stand by your side. Call our office today for a free case evaluation. We will discuss the details of your charge and advise you how we can be of assistance.