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  1. #1
    misterbill is offline Junior Member
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    Son had accident, got "Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent" 1180A In New York

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY

    My son got into an accident on the Taconic Parkway in a particularly bad area where there are routinely accidents (winding road). He somehow went off the road, spun around and landed backwards next to a tree (car was totalled because it was 10 years old, but he was very lucky to be uninjured). He says he was not speeding and I believe him because I have told him not to speed on the Taconic and certainly in that area.

    There happened to be a police car in the center median (it is a divided road at that point) at the time of the accident because there was a car fire on the other side of the road. I don't think it is beyond the realm of possibilities that the police car's headlights facing him distracted him and contributed to the accident.

    Anyway the cop gave him a speeding ticket (talk about adding insult to injury), "Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent" 1180A. I'm assuming the basis was that if he had been driving at a reasonable speed he would not have had the accident (the rescue people told me there are accidents on this stretch all the time, which I already knew, and the weather was fine). There is no sign in this area which says to drive at below the posted speed limit (55). I figure I will fight it since the only thing worse for my insurance than a 20 year old with an accident is a 20 year old with a speeding ticket (fortunately, he is scheduled to take a defensive driving class this week, so the points will go away but presumably not the insurance surcharge and definitely not the ticket fees if he is found guilty). Should I just ask for a deposition or should I write a letter explaining the facts and dispute it?
    Last edited by misterbill; 07-11-2011 at 01:58 AM.
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? NY

    My son got into an accident on the Taconic Parkway in a particularly bad area where there are routinely accidents (winding road). He somehow went off the road, spun around and landed backwards next to a tree (car was totalled because it was 10 years old, but he was very lucky to be uninjured). He says he was not speeding and I believe him because I have told him not to speed on the Taconic and certainly in that area.

    There happened to be a police car in the center median (it is a divided road at that point) at the time of the accident because there was a car fire on the other side of the road. I don't think it is beyond the realm of possibilities that the police car's headlights facing him distracted him and contributed to the accident.

    Anyway the cop gave him a speeding ticket (talk about adding insult to injury), "Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent" 1180A. I'm assuming the basis was that if he had been driving at a reasonable speed he would not have had the accident (the rescue people told me there are accidents on this stretch all the time, which I already knew, and the weather was fine). There is no sign in this area which says to drive at below the posted speed limit (55). I figure I will fight it since the only thing worse for my insurance than a 20 year old with an accident is a 20 year old with a speeding ticket (fortunately, he is scheduled to take a defensive driving class this week, so the points will go away but presumably not the insurance surcharge and definitely not the ticket fees if he is found guilty). Should I just ask for a deposition or should I write a letter explaining the facts and dispute it?
    You have nothing to fight. Your adult son received the ticket. And, based on your description of the accident, the ticket seems valid.
  3. #3
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    What are you disputing? Had he been driving slower, he would not have wrecked. Would you prefer the officer have written it for the more serious ticket, reckless operation?
  4. #4
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    One definition of "speed not reasonable" in NY:
    He somehow went off the road, spun around and landed backwards next to a tree
    A local lawyer might be the best (only?) bet. They ought to be able to plea it down to a 2-point violation (e.g. failure to obey traffic control device or some such.

    Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  5. #5
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    He says he was not speeding and I believe him because I have told him not to speed on the Taconic and certainly in that area.
    I think that's a little naive on your part.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    There happened to be a police car in the center median...I don't think it is beyond the realm of possibilities that the police car's headlights facing him distracted him and contributed to the accident.
    That's a weak defense, to say the least. I drive the Taconic all the time in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties. There is mostly no median and at night it's non-stop headlights coming at you. If that all did not distract him why would a police (I assume NYS Trooper) car's headlights cause him to drive off the road?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    ...(the rescue people told me there are accidents on this stretch all the time, which I already knew, and the weather was fine). There is no sign in this area which says to drive at below the posted speed limit (55)...
    Just because accidents are prevalent on this stretch of road doesn't mean it's normal to have an accident and should be accepted. And there do NOT need to be any signs about anything to be charged and found guilty of 1180(a).

    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    (fortunately, he is scheduled to take a defensive driving class this week, so the points will go away
    No, the points will be added to his driving record AFTER the course is completed. Generally to receive that benefit you need to take the class afterwards. However, the points don't mean anything at all. People just don't understand points and what they mean.

    The three points for an 1180(a) appear on the driving record and only mean something to the DMV - they accumulate and count ONLY for suspension purposes as well as the Driver Responsibility Assessment.
    Insurance companies have their OWN points systems and track convictions differently. For instance, DMV assesses no points for a driver seat belt violation, but some insurance companies might hold the conviction against you - they don't care how many DMV points you get as a result of a conviction for a particular offense.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    Should I just ask for a deposition or should I write a letter explaining the facts and dispute it?

    Your son is charged not you. You can write all the letters you want but the court will ignore them. You were not a witness so you have no input.

    Instead of wasting time writing letters, your son needs to appear on his arraignment date and speak to the prosecutor about cutting a deal.
  6. #6
    misterbill is offline Junior Member
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    Well obviously I did not get a response here that I had hoped for but I guess you folks are right. Anyway, we are pleading not guilty by mail and requesting a deposition.

    I have another question. I noticed that for the plate # on the ticket, he entered my first name (which is not the plate #). Is there any chance that makes the ticket defective and invalid?
    Last edited by misterbill; 07-12-2011 at 11:00 AM.
  7. #7
    misterbill is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighwayMan View Post
    No, the points will be added to his driving record AFTER the course is completed. Generally to receive that benefit you need to take the class afterwards. However, the points don't mean anything at all. People just don't understand points and what they mean.
    My understanding from having taken the defensive driving course several times was that taking it after the date of the ticket but before the points were assessed DID apply. I guess it's possible that is wrong but I have been told it multiple times. In any event, he is taking it for the insurance discount, anyway.
  8. #8
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterbill View Post
    Well obviously I did not get a response here that I had hoped for but I guess you folks are right. Anyway, we are pleading not guilty by mail and requesting a deposition.

    I have another question. I noticed that for the plate # on the ticket, he entered my first name (which is not the plate #). Is there any chance that makes the ticket defective and invalid?
    The notice of violation is not evidence against you (the officer's testimony is), thus, trivial errors on the notice are inconsequential. At best, you may try to use it to show the officer's general "careless" behavior if you are pursuing a "it wasn't me - the cop made a mistake" defense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  9. #9
    misterbill is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty View Post
    The notice of violation is not evidence against you (the officer's testimony is), thus, trivial errors on the notice are inconsequential. At best, you may try to use it to show the officer's general "careless" behavior if you are pursuing a "it wasn't me - the cop made a mistake" defense.
    But I recall reading that for parking tickets (which may be something entirely different), people have been able to get the ticket dismissed if information about the car is wrong on the ticket.

    "It wasn't me" won't work since they have my son's drivers license info. It's the car info that is wrong.
  10. #10
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    The parking ticket is issued against the vehicle. Your son's ticket was issued to him, a human being. As long as he is properly identified that's really all that counts.

    What agency issued this? Was it the State Police? It's strange that you did not get a supporting deposition with the ticket.

    Again, the points mean nothing unless your son is going to make getting traffic tickets a habit. Regardless of whether the points are removed (and by the way they STILL show up on a driver history regardless) the insurance company can and will count violations such as this one against a driver.

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