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July 25 2014 by Ira Legal Question

Hi Ira, here's what NYC bike law expert Steve Vaccaro had to say:

“Failure to yield” is a slippery concept that is not defined anywhere, but in my view it includes, at a minimum, failure to change course and/or speed when you and a pedestrian are on a collision course (forcing the pedestrian to do so to avoid a collision). If you are guilty of failure to yield or can’t afford to take the time to fight the ticket, you can pay the applicable fine less the $88 motorist-only surcharge. But don’t pay online, pay by mail! If you pay online, the DMV computer will (unlawfully) insist that you pay the $88 surcharge, and apply points to your driver’s license to boot!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

August 1 2014 by Anonymous Legal Question

Here's what NYC bike crash lawyer Steve Vaccaro had to say: 

(You don’t state in your question that you actually were riding counterflow, so we express no opinion as to whether as a matter of personal ethics you should pay the ticket.)  It is likely worth pleading not guilty to the ticket because at the start of every DMV hearing, the officer must recite certain facts, including the location of the location of the violation. The officer is not allowed to read from the ticket when reciting; he or she must work from notes or memory. If the recitation does not match the ticket, say “move to dismiss for facial insufficiency,” and the ticket should be dismissed!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

July 23 2014 by Joey Legal Question

Hi Joey, here's what New York bike lawyer Steve Vaccaro had to say:

My question is, did you walk your bike through the red light with the other pedestrians, or did you ride through? If you walked the bike, I would fight the ticket. Even though NYPD have been handing out tickets to pedestrians lately, I’m not sure any of those have actually stuck. But if you rode your bike through the red, it seems like you committed the violation (in addition to riding on the sidewalk). If you pay the fine, make sure to pay by mail, and to deduct the $88 motorist-only surcharge from the amount paid ($190, not $278). If you pay online, the DMV computer will (unlawfully) insist that you pay the $88 surcharge, and apply points to your driver’s license to boot!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

July 3 2014 by John Legal Question

Hi John, here's what bicycle lawyers Vaccaro & White had to say:

Assuming you did not endanger persons or property, you should have gotten a violation under 19-176(b), not a misdemeanor charge under 19-176(c). You can challenge this by going to criminal court and demanding to see the “information” — the brief description of the factual basis for the charge the police officer is required to write out. If the information does not refer to persons or property that you endangered, you can have the legal aid attorney who will be there to represent you move to dismiss for facial insufficiency. At that point, the judge may just bump the charge down to 19-176(b) (which is often what the judges do anyway, even when the information supports a 19-176(c) charge of endangering persons or property). If you want to prove your innocence rather than just pleading guilty to (or taking a dismissal for administrative convenience on) the violation, you will have to come back on a second day for a trial.

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

June 27 2014 by Jeremy Legal Question

Hi Jeremy, here's an answer from New York bicycle law experts Vaccaro & White:

If you got a ticket for failure to keep right when you passed a car on the right, then the ticket sounds bogus. Moreover, if the violation charged is VTL 1234, that provision doesn’t apply in New York City, so the ticket is doubly bogus. The only valid ticket for passing on the right is when you attempt to do so when there is insufficient space for two “lines” of traffic. It’s not clear whether that law is referring to enough space for two “lines” of motor vehicle traffic, or a “line” of bicycle traffic to the right of the motor vehicle traffic.

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

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