Hello everybody… This month, I want to talk about how to handle a New York stop sign ticket at DMV or TLC. The law regarding stop sign violations is found in section 1172a of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL or VATL).

The VTL or VATL is the statutory scheme where the rules of the road for motor vehicles is found at Title 7 of the VTL or VTAL. The VTAL goes from section 100 to section 3015 and is divided into 12 titles and 50 articles. As stated, Title 7 of the VTL contains the rules of the road (sections 1100 to 1289). More specifically, for our purposes, VTL section 1172a governs stop sign violations and what constitutes a stop sign violation in the State of New York.

In addition to the VTL or VTAL, the Department of Motor vehicles may pass rules and regulations contained in Title 15 of NY Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR). 15 NYCRR section 131.3 contains the point values for violations of the rules of the road in NY State. All violations are deemed to carry two points unless otherwise stated in 15 NYCRR section 131.3. Section 6 paragraph (iii) of 15 NYCRR states that the “following violations shall be assigned a point total of three points… any violation in[cluding] a… stop sign…” A stop sign ticket therefore carries 3 DMV points, if you are found guilty of such a violation.

Section 1172a states, “[e]xcept when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, then shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or in the event there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of the approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering the intersection.”

In addition to points, there is a monetary fine for an 1172a violation, which increases with each subsequent violation in 18 months – from $150 to $450 for maximum fines, plus surcharges for a first to a third violation in 18 months. Points are calculated for suspension purposes at DMV, only if you are guilty of the offense and only for 18 months of the offense at DMV. For insurance and TLC purposes, points are counted from the date you are found guilty.

TLC incorporates section 1172 of the VTL or VTAL under TLC rules which are found in 35 RCNY (Rules of the City of New York) section 80 for rules of the road for drivers at TLC. More specifically, 35 RCNY section 80-13(a)(3)(viii) makes an 1172a stop sign violation also a violation of TLC rules and provides 3 TLC points for such a violation, along with a fine of $300, if pled guilty before a hearing, and $400 if after a hearing. If you receive a stop sign ticket from TLC, you will receive 3 points against your TLC license, plus the fine mentioned above if you are found guilty.

Stop sign tickets are problematic for TLC drivers and must be defended in court, even if you feel you might have done something wrong. For instance, with TLC tickets in many instances, it might be possible to plea bargain with TLC to save you 3 points AND reduce the accordant fine if your record with TLC is good and you use a representative or lawyer like myself to make a plea bargain with TLC.

There are also defenses for fighting 1172a violations at DMV court.

Be smart and consult with a lawyer if you receive a stop sign ticket from police or the TLC.

Thank you for reading my article. Until next month, be well.