9 Must-Know Traffic Tips for Your Trip to New York
If you’re planning a trip to New York City, there are several things to keep in mind about getting around that can help make your trip go a lot smoother. Because nothing can sour your trip to the Big Apple like getting a traffic ticket, knowing the rules of the road can ensure that the only tickets you get while visiting are to a concert or Broadway show.
So for those of you first timers unfamiliar with driving in NYC, here’s list of helpful traffic tips that can help you avoid a ticket, save you money on parking, and most importantly, make your trip safer, cheaper, and stress-free:
1. Avoid driving. One of the great things about New York is the plethora of readily-accessible options available to get around. Between subways, buses, trains, and taxi cabs, most New Yorkers themselves don’t drive their cars on a daily basis-and many don’t even own a car. With city traffic and parking costs, driving can turn out to be an expensive and inconvenient form of travel. If, however, your travel plans require you to drive, the rest of this list will serve you well.
2. Follow the speed limit. Currently, unless marked otherwise, the NYC speed limit is 30 mph on all city streets. But drivers beware-come November 7, 2014, the current 30 mph limit is being reduced to 25 mph. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to make the city’s streets safer for both motorists and pedestrians, which means increased patrols looking for speeding drivers. Since not knowing the speed limit is no excuse, keep your foot off the gas and your eyes open for NYPD traffic officers.
3. No turn on red and pay attention to signs. Unlike most cities across the US, New York City does not allow right turns on red unless there is a sign that clearly states otherwise. Also, there are many major avenues in NYC where you can’t turn left on green at certain hours of the day. Our main tip is pay attention to the signs, or the lack thereof, depending on which direction you need to turn.
4. Don’t use your cell phone while driving, or any handheld device for that matter. Under New York State law, drivers cannot use a handheld mobile device, send a text, or check or send an email while their car is in operation, unless it is to contact emergency services. While most know and realize the dangers of driving while texting or calling, many people do not realize that this rule also applies to any handheld device including iPods and even GPS devices. In New York a cell phone or electronic device ticket carries 5 points, nearly half way to a suspension of your New York driving privileges (even if you are from out of state).
5. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. People are everywhere in NYC and even if you have the right of way, there will typically be people in the crosswalk anyway. It’s easy to get distracted, so just make sure you are paying attention at all times and looking out for jaywalking pedestrians and kamikaze cyclists.
6. Remember where you park. If you’re lucky enough to find street parking in the city take a second to note the nearest cross-streets. Many NYC streets look similar and it’s very easy to lose track of where you parked. This is especially important if you’re parked at a meter-the last thing you want is to spend a long time looking for your car then finding it, finally, with an expensive parking ticket on the windshield.
7. Don’t get towed. Along with noting where you park, make sure to double check that your spot is legal. New York has many strange parking rules and parking in what seems like a legitimate spot on a certain day or time could mean a long, expensive trip to the NYPD impound lot. It’s a good idea to make a habit of walking up and down the street you parked on looking for signs with that street’s parking regulations.
8. Do your research on parking garages and look out for the fine print. After the two previous warnings about street parking, you may decide that a parking garage is your best bet. While parking in a garage is certainly cheaper than getting your car out of impound, parking garages can be quite expensive-and their rate signs can be deceptive if you are not careful. Pay close attention to the time limits and any other restrictions on those rate signs. Nyc.bestparking.com can be a helpful tool when navigating the best and cheapest garages to meet your needs in your location.
9. If you get a traffic ticket in NY, call The Rosenblum Law Firm. If you aren’t able to make it out of NY without getting a traffic ticket, the good news is that the Rosenblum Law Firm can help. Especially for Floridians who won’t be able to make the trip back to New York to fight their traffic ticket, the Rosenblum Law Firm can make the trip to court for you. Since drivers from Florida will receive the full amount of points on their Florida license for pleading guilty to a NY traffic ticket, having us go to court for you can help you preserve your driving record, and avoid the expensive consequences of pleading guilty.
For a free consultation with one of our experienced New York traffic attorneys, call us today.