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3 choices that can constitute reckless driving in New York

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Some types of traffic violations are very black and white. The law in New York requires that motorists use their turn signals when merging into another line of traffic, passing a vehicle or turning a corner. Anyone who fails to use their signal could end up with a ticket or may be liable for a crash.

Other types of traffic violations are somewhat open to interpretation. The law imposes a broad rule that police officers and the courts need to interpret. Reckless driving is one such offense. It makes it illegal to unreasonably endanger others or interfere with the free and proper use of the roads. Several different types of behavior, including the three choices below, could lead to allegations of reckless driving in New York.

Street racing

It is illegal to race on public roads because of how dangerous racing can be. Drivers engaged in a race may fail to properly monitor their surroundings. They may also drive at highly unsafe speeds. Anyone caught racing in public, whether on surface streets or interstates, might end up facing accusations of reckless driving.

Excessive speeding

A race involving another vehicle is not necessary for excessive speed to lead to reckless driving charges. The greater than number of miles per hour (mph) that someone exceeds the posted speed limit, the more likely it is that police officers and the courts may view their speeding as reckless conduct. Someone traveling at 30 mph over the speed limit in a residential neighborhood, for example, could face reckless driving charges because of the obvious danger that comes with their choices.

Rolling through instead of stopping

Drivers need to stop when they approach red street lights and may need to stop when they notice the light turn yellow. They also need to stop when there are stop signs posted at an intersection. Some people try to perform rolling stops instead of coming to a complete stop. Doing so can be incredibly risky, especially if they fail to notice a smaller vehicle, like a motorcycle, approaching the intersection.

The failure to conform to traffic rules in a manner that has a clear impact on someone’s overall risk levels is enough to warrant reckless driving charges. That being said, motorists can potentially reframe a situation that led to their arrest with the help of a defense attorney. The decision to fight reckless driving charges could help someone retain their driver’s license and avoid a criminal record that could turn up every time they undergo a background check.

Ultimately, understanding the relatively broad definition of reckless driving could help New York motorists better respond to accusations that they have driven in a highly unsafe manner.