Monday, February 28, 2011

Police: The Good Guys?

Police are not always the good guys. This is just stunning.

I routinely encounter prosecutors insisting on confiscating items from defendants, though nothing as bad as this one. For some reason they seem to like my clients' laptops though.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New point violations - cell phones and texting

Just read that cell phone violations will now count for 2 points on a NY driving record. The recent texting law also carries 2 points.

Also, there is a new law this year requiring cars to "move over" when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. Read more at the Utica Observer Dispatch.

You can also read about the cell phone points change on the Times Union. Please note that I disagree with so many things in the article I actually sent an e-mail to the reporter. Here were my comments:

1. Cell phones on the road are not a "deadly epidemic". Traffic deaths are down dramatically over the years: USA Today.

Considering that 20 years ago cell phones were almost non-existent and now are everywhere, the idea that they're a deadly epidemic should mean a lot more deaths, not less.

2. Points are not an incentive to drivers before they get the ticket. Most have no idea what the points are until after. The point system is also idiotic. Example:

Points for going 76 in a 65: 4 points
Points for running a red light: 3 points

Most people would agree that running a red light is more dangerous than going 76 in a 65.

3. Repeat offenders will still get reductions on cell phone tickets. I represent many drivers, some with clean records and others with horrendous records. Sometimes the record doesn't matter at all, and sometimes the clean record means a better deal, but I get reductions on almost every case, probably 99% or more.

4. Following on that, this line is utter nonsense:
"After a driver pleads down once ... the driver stands little chance of avoiding the points for a second offense."

If you plead a cell phone ticket down to a parking ticket, the parking ticket doesn't show up on a driving record. So neither the prosecutor not the judge will know about it. Even if it happened in the same court, they still probably wouldn't notice.

5. A cell phone ticket should not increase insurance premiums if it's the only thing on your record. Insurance Law § 2335 sets the rules on what tickets can raise rates. It could raise rates if you had something else on your record, but that gets complicated to explain.

6. You get your license suspended if you get 11 points in 18 months, but if you take defensive driving that knocks off 4 points (but only for that specific purpose). So it's rare to see a suspension for less than 15 points (you get notice of the suspension before it kicks in, so you can usually take the class in time). You can also get revoked if you get three speeding convictions (or two work-zone speeding convictions) in 18 months. Revoked is worse than suspended in a couple ways.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Courts and the Super Bowl effect

How does the Super Bowl affect web traffic? The picture below shows web traffic by hour on our traffic court website. The blue line is for this Sunday and the green line is for the previous Sunday. Traffic did drop noticeably during the game, but not by nearly as much as I would have expected. It was about a 20-30% drop. I checked last year and the numbers were similar.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Traffic Court - Growth Continues

Our Traffic Court website continues rapid growth. The image below shows we had nearly 300,000 visits in January, compared to 170,000 the year before. That is 74% growth. Going back to January of 2007, we had 19,000 visits.

Other milestones in January include 70,000 visits in a week. That happened twice. We had only done 60,000 once before. We also had our first day with over 14,000 visits and that happened six times. But even more outstanding, we had a day with over 16,000 visits, and darn close to 17,000.

Top 10 courts for the month include some regulars from California, Ohio and New Jersey along with a busy court in Nassau County NY:

1. Moreno Valley Superior Court
2. Rancho Cucamonga Superior Court
3. Temecula Superior Court
4. Berea Municipal Court
5. Jersey City Municipal Court
6. San Bernardino Superior Court
7. Victorville Superior Court
8. Nassau County District Court
9. Parma Municipal Court
10. Indio Superior Court

Another amazing detail is the breadth of the site. The top 2 pages were viewed over 3000 times, while over 1000 pages were visited at least 100 times each.

Revenue on the site is also growing and we are close to making some changes in the site's internal search engine and in our traffic lawyer directory.

Hopefully we will find more attorney advertisers. If you're a traffic or criminal lawyer in Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Connecticut or Massachusetts, each state gets over 10,000 visits a month and there's plenty of opportunity. We give free trials so you have nothing to lose.