New York Driving and Traffic Laws


If you are a New Yorker, you probably already know the traffic and driving laws for your state. But if you are moving to the area, or planning on a trip to the big apple, you should take a minute and acquaint your self with some of the rules of the road in the great state of New York.

There is really not a big chance of speeding when you are in the heart of the city as traffic congestion usually takes precedence. But if you are able to make a break, remember, they have police officers that are more mobile than what you may be used to.

Speeding accounts for nearly 30 percent of the fatalities in accidents involving New York drivers. Points are issued for speeding violations ranging from 3 to 11. Your license will be suspended when it reaches 11 points. Speeding tickets in New York can cost hundreds of dollars depending on how fast you were going when you were pulled over. Speed limits in school zones are strictly enforced, so keep your eyes open for signs letting you know that you are in a school zone.

New York is a click it or ticket state which means that the driver, front seat passenger and back seat passengers that are 16 years of age and under must wear their seat belt. And the law enforcement officer does not need any additional circumstance to pull you over.

All children under the age of four years old must be in an approved car seat while a passenger in a vehicle in New York. Children from four to six years of age must be in some kind of approved child restraint systems.

You are not allowed to use a hand held cellular phone while driving in New York. The use of a Bluetooth or earpiece is allowed as long as you do not have to hold the phone to your ear to speak on it. The only exception is if there is an emergency.

New York has a no tolerance law for anyone who is under 21 years of age and is caught driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. The penalties for DUIs varies with prior arrests and other factors, but they always can include loss of driving privileges, fines and possible jail time.

If you refuse to participate in the chemical test to determine if you are under the influence, you will receive a $500 fine and your driver’s license will be revoked for one year.

If you are a resident of New York, you must notify the DMV within 10 days of moving to a new location. This can be done at a DMV office, by phone or by mail, but not by email. If you do not notify them of your new address, you may miss out on important notifications that could possible result in your license being suspended.

And if you fail to maintain the legal mandatory levels of liability insurance in the state of New York, you must surrender your license until you are able to provide adequate proof of coverage. Be prepared and know the rules of the road where you live as well as wherever you may travel to.