Are Speed Traps Legal in New York City?

When it comes to enforcing the speed limit, law enforcement officers can use a number of tools and tactics to get the job done. One of the several ways you can get busted for speeding is if you are caught by a speed trap.

What Is a Speed Trap, Anyway?

Put simply, a speed trap is a police officer’s attempt to hide or blend into the environment so that they can shoot passing vehicles with a radar gun. The obvious goal of a speed trap is to catch drivers who are speeding and would continue to do so if they didn’t spot a police officer in the area.

If you’ve ever encountered a situation where drivers around you all of a sudden obey the speed limit precisely because there’s a police officer in the area, the purpose of a speed trap is to avoid this behavior. The police ostensibly want drivers to obey the speed limit because it’s the law, not because they’re afraid of getting a ticket (although it’s a strong motivator!).

Speed Traps Are Legal

If speed traps sound sneaky to you, it’s because they are! Speed traps can be set up pretty much anywhere, such as behind large signs, on the shoulder of the road, under an overpass, in a vacant parking lot, etc. They’ll usually be located in areas where the police know that speeding is an issue.

Again, the goal of a speed trap is to catch speeding drivers by hiding (either literally or in plain sight) – and it’s 100% legal! Both NYPD and New York State Police can – and do – use speed traps to issue speeding tickets.

Penalties for Speeding in New York City

Penalties for speeding in NYC can include fines, points against one’s driving record, and even jail time. The possible penalties one may face are determined by what their speed was recorded as beyond the legal limit.

The following is a breakdown of potential speeding penalties in New York City:

  • 1-10 mph over the speed limit: $90-$150 in fines, 3 points, up to 15 days in jail.
  • 11-20 mph over the speed limit: $180-$300 in fines, 4 points, up to 30 days in jail.
  • 21-30 mph over the speed limit: $180-$300 in fines, 6 points, up to 30 days in jail.
  • 31-40 mph over the speed limit: $360-$600 in fines, 8 points, up to 30 days in jail.
  • 41+ mph over the speed limit: $360-$600 in fines, 11 points, 30-90 days in jail.

Drivers can also be cited for “inappropriate speeds” which are more subjective in nature. These may include penalties of $45-$150 in fines, 3 points, and up to 15 days in jail.

We’ll Help You Fight Your Ticket!

Speeding tickets are very common in New York City, and many of them come from speed traps. Even if speed traps are legal law enforcement tactics, it doesn’t mean that you were always at fault for speeding.

Stites Law can help you fight your speeding ticket by fully investigating the alleged violation. Your speeding ticket could have been the result of malfunctioning equipment, errors in the officer’s judgment, and other factors that may limit your liability for the ticket.

Reach out to Stites Law to learn more about what we can help you accomplish. Get in touch with our team by contacting us online or by calling (212) 729-0472">(212) 729-0472.
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