VTL 1180(c) - Speeding in a School Zone
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.
The information here is not about any tickets that came in the mail from a speed camera. This article is about speeding tickets that resulted from a traffic stop. Camera tickets do not carry the same high fines associated with a ticket issued at a traffic stop. More importantly, camera tickets are issued against the car owner, not the driver. Hence, they do not appear on any driving record, there are no points associated with camera tickets, and they do not impact car insurance rates. The Benjamin Goldman Law Office does not provide legal services for camera tickets. We provide legal services for any traffic tickets issued by a police officer.
There are various types of speeding charges. Perhaps the most serious is 1180 (c), “Speeding in a School Zone”. It is more serious for several reasons: (1) the violation stays on your record for longer than a regular speeding ticket. (2) Insurance companies raise their rates higher than they would raise their rates for a regular speeding violation (3) The fines can be doubled. This means possible fines for school zone speeding tickets are as follows:
- Speeding 1-10 MPH over the limit, maximum fine is $393
- Speeding 11-30 MPH over the limit, maximum fine is $693
- Speeding 31+ MPH over the limit, maximum fine is $1293.
This assumes the ticketed motorist has an otherwise perfect driving record. With prior violations these fines can be even higher. This also does not account for Driver Responsibility Assessment Fees that may be due to the DMV. Contrary to urban legend, only the fine can be doubled, not the points. For obvious reasons, prosecutors and judges typically treat these violations much harsher than regular speeding violations.
However, there are defenses to this violation, and several conditions must be satisfied before the government establishes a prima facie case of speeding in a school zone. The relevant wording of the statute is:
NY Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1180
(c) Except as provided in subdivision (g) of this section, whenever maximum school speed limits have been established on a highway adjacent to a school as authorized in section sixteen hundred twenty, sixteen hundred twenty-two, sixteen hundred thirty, sixteen hundred forty-three or sixteen hundred sixty-two-a, no person shall drive in excess of such maximum school speed limits during:
(1) school days at times indicated on the school zone speed limit sign, provided, however, that such times shall be between the hours of seven o'clock A.M. and six o'clock P.M. or alternative times within such hours; or
(2) a period when the beacons attached to the school zone speed limit sign are flashing and such sign is equipped with a notice that indicates that the school zone speed limit is in effect when such beacons are flashing, provided, however, that such beacons shall only flash during student activities at the school and up to thirty minutes immediately before and up to thirty minutes immediately after such student activities.
. . .
4. Every person convicted of a violation of subdivision (c) of this section when such violation occurs in a school speed zone during a school day between the hours of seven o'clock A.M. and six o'clock P.M., shall be punished as follows:
(i) Where the court or tribunal records or enters that the speed upon which the conviction was based exceeded the applicable speed limit by not more than ten miles per hour, by a fine of not less than ninety nor more than three hundred dollars;
(ii) Where the court or tribunal records or enters that the speed upon which the conviction was based exceeded the applicable speed limit by more than ten miles per hour but not more than thirty miles per hour, by a fine of not less than one hundred eighty nor more than six hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than fifteen days or by both such fine and imprisonment;
(iii) Where the court or tribunal records or enters that the speed upon which the conviction was based exceeded the applicable speed limit by more than thirty miles per hour, by a fine of not less than three hundred sixty nor more than one thousand two hundred dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The Benjamin Goldman Law Office has considerable experience defending motorists with school zone speeding tickets. Our lawyers fight these charges aggressively using all tactical and procedural techniques in our legal arsenal. We have been able to get our clients out of these charges. If you had the misfortune of being charged with a school zone speeding violation, all is not lost. We are a phone call away and we provide motorists with free consultations.