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NYC Bike Ticket worth fighting?

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NYC Bike Ticket worth fighting?

Old 07-26-18, 09:07 AM
  #1  
DoYouDiverge
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NYC Bike Ticket worth fighting?

Got my first $190 red light ticket on 113th and 7th ave, Upper Manhattan.
Although I do run red lights very carefully I am pretty sure the light was green/yellow before getting pulled over for a red light violation.
It's my first offense and I am wondering if it's worth pleading not guilty and going to court.
The best outcome is the cop doesn't appear. A better outcome is some reduced fine but if it's just to save ~$50 it's not worth my time going to court and being in that gloomy environment.

Any advice or experience shared would be appreciated.
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Old 07-26-18, 09:30 AM
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Most of the time if you show up they will reduce it. It's up to you on what your time is worth!
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Old 07-26-18, 11:14 AM
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If it's worth the time to go to court, just plead stupid and apologize, with the explanation as you've stated here. Sometimes the judge will reduce.

If cop doesn't show, they may delay and delay until they get the cop in one time for a bunch of stuff folks are contesting. That happened to me on a car speeding ticket. Judge threw the book at me. I go slower now.
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Old 07-26-18, 11:17 AM
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Is there not a burden of proof in traffic court? [/facetious]
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Old 07-26-18, 11:46 AM
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I feel like the anti-bike sentiment is a bit on the high side here in NYC lately. And that court experience is not likely to be a "great day." I think you're kinda betting on the judge's mood for the day...
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Old 07-26-18, 01:09 PM
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If you just paid the fine, would that count as a moving violation on your driver's license record? If yes, I'd definitely fight it and hope to at least get it reduced to a nonmoving violation. If you don't have a driver's license, probably best to just pay it.
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Old 07-26-18, 01:25 PM
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If the cop had set up some sort of speed trap, and was in the same spot all day ticketing a bunch of people for the same thing, everyone he cites will have court the same court date, and the cop is 99.999% likely to show up. There's big money involved in those kind of operations, hundreds of thousands of $$$ for the city.

If the citation was a one-off, where the cop cited you and then went back to whatever he was doing before, the odds of a no-show are much greater. Sometimes, if it's a citation for something out of the ordinary, the cop won't remember writing you up, and will ask the judge to dismiss, but that is rare. Also, vacations are frequently taken during the summer months, also increasing the odds of a no-show..

However, if you show up to court, and the cop is also present, I would try to work out a deal before the case gets called. Because if you go to trial, it will be the cop's word against yours as to what color the light was when you crossed the limit line, and cops always win those disputes in traffic court. And when you lose your case under those circumstances, you might find the fines a bit higher, or at least that has been my experience, YMMV.

Last edited by Colnago Mixte; 07-26-18 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 07-26-18, 05:37 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
If you just paid the fine, would that count as a moving violation on your driver's license record?
Not in NY. No points for bicycle infractions.
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Old 07-26-18, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Not in NY. No points for bicycle infractions.
Just pay it.... tickets are a revenue source and the courts know it.

BTW, i got pulled over last week and for a red light and got a warning. I guess Nassau cops are a bit nicer.
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Old 07-26-18, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
. I guess Nassau cops are a bit nicer.
Yes they certainly are, in my experiences. Less crap to deal with I assume, likely a LOT fewer idiots on bikes on L.I. thus they have greater tolerance.

As well, every few months the word comes down in the NYPD that itís time to start writing bike tickets. Nassau doesnít ever do that as far as I can tell.
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Old 07-27-18, 11:08 AM
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I just got a "pedestrian in cross-walk" ticket in my car in the middle of a slum neighborhood. Ped was well on the other side of the street. Totally safe maneuver.
This is a De Blasio class war thing. Turnstyle jumping, public drug use, public urination get a free pass, but no tolerance for minor vehicle infractions.
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Old 07-27-18, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by zowie View Post
I just got a "pedestrian in cross-walk" ticket in my car in the middle of a slum neighborhood. Ped was well on the other side of the street. Totally safe maneuver.
This is a De Blasio class war thing. Turnstyle jumping, public drug use, public urination get a free pass, but no tolerance for minor vehicle infractions.
I am pleased to read that you got this ticket. Many more people should get them.

There are no "minor" vehicle infractions. Driver misconduct is a menace; this is the type of law-breaking that has the greatest impact on the daily lives of New Yorkers. Drivers routinely speed, blow stop signs, turn without signalling, open their doors without looking, double park, and encroach in bike lanes. In addition, at every red light, the lead car is stopped well beyond the stopping line, not infrequently encroaching on the crosswalk.

Drivers are out of control. They break laws constantly because they know that there is almost no chance of getting caught. And, should they get caught, no meaningful penalties exist, even if they kill someone. (Pro tip: if you want to kill someone, do it with your car. As long as you stay at the scene you won't be charged.) Most drivers don't even accept the notion that they are supposed to follow the law. That how far gone things are, and how normalised driver misconduct has become.

We need drastic changes in enforcement priorities, with traffic-related enforcement moved to the very top of the list. These automobile-driving sociopaths have been a protected class for far too long. We need them to feel a sense of responsibility, even fear, every time they get behind the wheel.

Finally, what a "slum neighbourhood" has to do with anything I don't know, except that it reveals the idea that traffic laws shouldn't apply where poor people live. To combat attitudes as offensive as that we absolutely need some class war. (Though for leadership I would not count on de Blasio, who has utterly failed to live up to his lovely campaign rhetoric.)
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Old 07-27-18, 05:00 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Not in NY. No points for bicycle infractions.
It still shows up on your abstract. In 1990 I got a ticket for running a red light on a bike. I was 20 and I ignored it. My license was suspended and I got arrested driving my car. Yeah it may not give points but it is on your record.
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Old 01-25-19, 12:01 PM
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What happens if you just ignore the ticket and throw it out?
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Old 01-25-19, 12:15 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by DynoD500_SR20-d View Post
It still shows up on your abstract. In 1990 I got a ticket for running a red light on a bike. I was 20 and I ignored it. My license was suspended and I got arrested driving my car. Yeah it may not give points but it is on your record.
Yes, it's on the abstract, but you admit to having ignored it and that's something entirely different. A judge, even a NYC Traffic Court administrative law judge cannot use that no point cycling violation to "add up the violations" as it were, in the event you were to have gotten subsequent moving violations while driving.

That's not to say that having acquired multiple red light violations while cycling isn't going to have a judge throw the book at you with high fines. They gave some leeway with that.
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Old 01-25-19, 06:53 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
I am pleased to read that you got this ticket. Many more people should get them.

There are no "minor" vehicle infractions. Driver misconduct is a menace; this is the type of law-breaking that has the greatest impact on the daily lives of New Yorkers. Drivers routinely speed, blow stop signs, turn without signalling, open their doors without looking, double park, and encroach in bike lanes. In addition, at every red light, the lead car is stopped well beyond the stopping line, not infrequently encroaching on the crosswalk.

Drivers are out of control. They break laws constantly because they know that there is almost no chance of getting caught. And, should they get caught, no meaningful penalties exist, even if they kill someone. (Pro tip: if you want to kill someone, do it with your car. As long as you stay at the scene you won't be charged.) Most drivers don't even accept the notion that they are supposed to follow the law. That how far gone things are, and how normalised driver misconduct has become.

We need drastic changes in enforcement priorities, with traffic-related enforcement moved to the very top of the list. These automobile-driving sociopaths have been a protected class for far too long. We need them to feel a sense of responsibility, even fear, every time they get behind the wheel.

Finally, what a "slum neighbourhood" has to do with anything I don't know, except that it reveals the idea that traffic laws shouldn't apply where poor people live. To combat attitudes as offensive as that we absolutely need some class war. (Though for leadership I would not count on de Blasio, who has utterly failed to live up to his lovely campaign rhetoric.)
lighten up Francis.
Oof
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Old 01-26-19, 08:19 AM
  #17  
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fight it, tooth & nail. be resolute. you can do it. prepare. good luck

edit: never mind, you've already made your decision, based on when this was posted. wonder what your decision was!
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Old 01-26-19, 08:25 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
we need to feel a sense of responsibility, even fear, every time we get behind the wheel
I agree w this sentiment
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Old 01-26-19, 08:33 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by LPA View Post
What happens if you just ignore the ticket and throw it out?
The judge will issue a bench warrant for the personís arrest.

Ignoring a ticket, which is a promise to appear in court, is a really bad idea.
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Old 01-26-19, 09:19 AM
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You need luck. Traffic court is a crap shoot. Sometimes the cop doesn't show. Sometimes he or she decides to give you a break. Sometimes the judge is in a mood where everyone gets a break. Many years ago I contested a red light ticket I received while driving. I contested it only because I didn't have the money to pay and asking for court date bought me another 45 days. Needed an excuse, so I said the light went from green to red without a yellow phase. A lame excuse, but I figured I had to say something. The judge asked the cop if he could see the light well enough to verify if my story was true. The cop said no, so he dismissed the ticket. I got l very lucky.

If you have the time, it's worth taking a chance if there is no downside. Here, they've instituted a 'downside' where you pay a higher fine if you contest the case and lose. I think they add 'court costs' which makes it legal because they are not technically imposing a disparate penalty. But if you pay the same either way, roll the dice.
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Old 01-26-19, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
fight it, tooth & nail. be resolute. you can do it. prepare. good luck

edit: never mind, you've already made your decision, based on when this was posted. wonder what your decision was!
You have to fight them because the ticket will be much higher next time around. I've been given a summons twice, once for riding on the sidewalk and breaking a red light.

The sidewalk ticket was tossed out by the judge and never disputed by the officer. The red light ticket was a different story. Turns out, there are a number of "Traffic Lawyers" at the court house willing to take your case for slightly over 100 dollars! Once the officer meets them, they turn right back around. You would be surprised how many tickets these men routinely get discharged on a daily basis.
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Old 01-27-19, 03:02 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
You have to fight them because the ticket will be much higher next time around. I've been given a summons twice, once for riding on the sidewalk and breaking a red light.
Turns out, there are a number of "Traffic Lawyers" at the court house willing to take your case for slightly over 100 dollars! Once the officer meets them, they turn right back around. You would be surprised how many tickets these men routinely get discharged on a daily basis.
What a racket!

These lawyers probably play on the same team as the cops who write the tickets.

Has the cost of living in NYC ever been reasonable, say compared to Minneapolis? (my guess is this is also quite high)
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Old 01-28-19, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
IDriver misconduct is a menace; this is the type of law-breaking that has the greatest impact on the daily lives of New Yorkers.
This is so funny. My experience is very different - by and large pedestrians are the biggest problem in NYC and make driving a complete pain. They don't give a s..t about traffic lights, signs and rules, routinely cross streets on red lights and outside of crosswalks. I'd LOVE to see pedestrians get ticketed for their offenses - this will probably solve like 80% of traffic jams in Manhattan.

PS. In Bronx both pedestrians and drivers are crazy.
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Old 01-28-19, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
This is so funny. My experience is very different - by and large pedestrians are the biggest problem in NYC and make driving a complete pain. They don't give a s..t about traffic lights, signs and rules, routinely cross streets on red lights and outside of crosswalks. I'd LOVE to see pedestrians get ticketed for their offenses - this will probably solve like 80% of traffic jams in Manhattan.

PS. In Bronx both pedestrians and drivers are crazy.
This is a very true statement. I've always thought that NYC could rake in gazillions if they gave tickets to jaywalkers in Manhattan.

It's unfortunate in some ways that DeBlasio is now starting a crackdown on vehicles that stop or park in the bus only lanes. When asked if the crackdown was also going to target vehicles stopped in bike lanes, he said No, this was only for bus lanes. Sigh. Bloomberg got it. DeBlasio is a moron.
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Old 01-29-19, 08:29 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Ferdinand NYC View Post
I am pleased to read that you got this ticket. Many more people should get them.
+1. That sort of thing can set up a dangerous situation for pedestrians. I cannot tell you how many times in Philly I have choose between walking in front of a car blocking a crosswalk and risk exposing myself to cross traffic and walking behind the offending car, exposing myself to getting sandwiched between the two cars by an approaching, inattentive driver.

And in NYC, public urination is treated like a traffic violation. Considering you cannot kill or injure someone by peeing on the sidewalk, one would think traffic law violations would be criminalized before public urination.
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