You can also try to beat a traffic ticket by showing up in court and pleading innocent. In America, we have an adversarial system of justice. This means that if you choose to go to trial, you and the prosecutor or the officer who stopped you will face off in court. Both of you will try to prove your cases beyond a reasonable doubt. If you can create a reasonable doubt that you committed the violation in question, you may be able to get the charges dropped.
If you do decide to fight your ticket, you need to have a good, solid defense prepared. You don't want your traffic ticket trial to turn into the courtroom version of "He Said, She Said." You need to be able to say something more eloquent than "He's wrong. I wasn't speeding," when you confront the officer that wrote you the ticket. In fact, you may be better off hiring a traffic ticket attorney. Attorneys have a good understanding of the law and of what constitutes a credible defense to the charge of speeding. You are much more likely to beat your traffic ticket with an attorney's help!
Taking a defensive driving class can help blunt some of the consequences of getting a speeding ticket. Not only will it give you a discount on your insurance to help offset the rate hike you will probably experience when your insurance company finds out, it will also take 4 points away from your driver's license. You can only take a defensive driving course for point reduction once every 18 months, and it won't stop the state from assessing Driver Responsibility surcharges on you. However, if you rack up 11 points in 18 months, the DMV will suspend your license. Taking a defensive driving class can prevent that from happening.
You may also be able to negotiate a reduced fine or reduced charges if you take a defensive driving class. However, that depends on the prosecutor and the judge. There is no guarantee that you will be given either of those options. You should be able to get a list of state-approved New York traffic schools from the court, however. Driving University is your best bet for defensive driving because our classroom material is written to be easy to understand and fun to learn. To sign up for a defensive driving course with Driving University
- The penalties for speeding in New York may seem harsh, but you should remember that speeding is dangerous. Going too fast affects your driving in the following ways:
- Makes it harder to steer around curves and making it easier to lose control of your vehicle.
- Increases the distance your car goes during the time it takes you to see a hazard on the road ahead, process the information, and tell your foot to hit the brakes.
- Increases the distance your car travels before it comes to a stop after you hit the brakes.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 30% of all fatal crashes nationwide in 2005 were caused by speeding. The death toll was 13,113 people, people who might still be alive today if someone had just lightened up on the gas pedal a little bit! Of those 13,113 people, 456 were New Yorkers. In terms of the number of speeding-related fatalities in 2005, New York ranked 8th in the nation.