In New York, drivers are required to slow down for emergency vehicles displaying red or white emergency lights on all types roads. If you are on a parkway or highway, however, you are required to move over and slow down for emergency or hazard vehicles with flashing lights, so long as you can move over safely. This includes moving over for police cars and hazard vehicles that may be stopped to help another driver on the road.
As a result of these changes to the traffic laws, many drivers are ticketed without knowing that they were doing anything illegal. However, a lack of knowledge of the traffic laws is not a defense. Unless you successfully fight your ticket, you will still be required to pay the fine as set by the local court.
How do you avoid getting a ticket?
When you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights, slow down and change lanes, if possible. If you are on a multi-lane parkway or highway, you must move from the lane adjacent to the emergency vehicle, unless you are unable to move over safely.
What do you do if you get a ticket?
You can contest your ticket. There are instructions on how to contest or pay your ticket on the ticket itself. In the lower left corner of the ticket, there should be a date listed and the address of the local court. To contest the ticket, you should follow the steps outlined on your ticket to plead not guilty and mail it in before the deadline.
When you contest a ticket, you are required to appear in court. However, an attorney can appear on your behalf and help you through this process. It is important to work with a local defense attorney who knows the local courts. Every town court in the Hudson Valley handles traffic tickets differently.