Sunday, October 02, 2005

1110a - Traffic Violations

Note - If you're thinking about getting help, check out our New York Traffic Lawyer page.
Update (4/22/2009): A lot of people come to this post on a search for 1110a or something related to that. Section 1110(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law in NY says:
Every person shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device applicable to him placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this title.
As of 4/22/09, it's 2 points in NY, and the max fine (including surcharge) is $235. It counts for 2 points in NJ, and may count for points in some other states.
Update (6/23/2007): We have seen an 1110(a) show up on a NJ driving record and it counted for two points. We now think that the best NY 2-point deal for a NJ driver and a NY ticket is V&T Law §1175 - obstructing an intersection. We have seen such a violation on NJ records and there were no points.
We get a lot of cases with speeding or other traffic tickets involving out-of-state drivers. A big concern is how the result here will affect their license in their home state.

This can be confusing, and there is no solid source of info for the various questions that come up. We're doing a research project now to get firmer answers, but I thought I'd mention some initial things.

We get most of our out-of-state clients from New Jersey and Massachusetts, and also from Quebec and Ontario, as well as other US states.

Interstate handling of traffic convictions is covered by "compacts". For a discussion of the compacts, see this link from the AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators).

New York participates in both the Drivers License Compact (DLC) and the NonResident Violator Compact (NRVC). New Jersey also participates in both. Massachusetts does not participate in the DLC. New York also has direct reciprocity with Ontario and Quebec, but not with any US states.

Under the DLC, NY is supposed to report traffic convictions to the DLC, and member states are notified of their drivers' convictions. Since Massachusetts is not a member of the DLC, it would seem that moving violations in New York will not affect a Massachusetts license - this is our initial conclusion but we're still looking into it.

Massachusetts is a member of the NRVC. That seems to be about suspending your home state license if you fail to comply with the process in the state where you got a ticket (i.e. if you ignore the ticket or fail to pay the fine, etc.). But that doesn't sound like they get "surcharged". But their drivers manual claims they get notified by other states. And if you do get surcharged, your rates sky. You can lose 6 good driver credits and get whacked with 2 surcharge points. Total of 8 points, which raises your rates by about 50%. Ouch! And it's not clear what you would plead down to that would be safe. It looks like you can get surcharged even for non-moving violations.

New Jersey is a member of both compacts, and assigns 2 points for any out-of-state moving violation. This has its own problems. As a lawyer I usually try to negotiate a reduction for my clients. A common reduction might be from a 6-point speed (21-30 mph over the limit) to an "1110(a)" - "failure to obey a traffic control device", which is 2 points. But if NJ assigns 2 points for all out-of-state moving violations, then I should never take the 1110a because I'm not getting anything for my client. I should push for a non-moving violation or else try the case.

Except, it's not clear if 1110a would be recognized as a moving violation under NJ Law. Another, better provision might be 375(3), which is failure to dim headlamps (not lowering your highbeams when facing oncoming traffic). There does not seem to be a provision of NJ law that assigns points to anything like this. It's a 2-point violation in NY, but maybe NJ would not assign points for it. We're researching that as well.

Ontario, by the way, does have a specific provision for failure to dim headlights. Curiously, they do not seem to assign points for speeding 1-15 kph over the limit (approximately 1-10 mph over the limit). So maybe it's better to plead down to low speed ticket (3 points in NY) than the headlights or 1110(a). Except that Ontario doesn't seem to have a close fit to 1110a either.

We're working on getting these answers, and will post a further update when we get there, and we'll probably add a page on our main traffic ticket site too.

Coincidentally, I don't think New York assigns any points for traffic convictions in other states. I've seen 100+ NY driving records and never seen an out-of-state conviction listed. I haven't even seen Ontario or Quebec convictions, and I think those are supposed to affect your license.

Another question that would need to be answered is whether an insurance company in State X can raise your rates for a traffic ticket in another state. I don't think NY Law would allow that, but maybe other states would allow it.
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