What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York
1. I live on a house directly along the Bronx River Parkway (BRP) in White Plains, NY. To leave the house, I have go north along the parkway and get off either Exit 21 (Downtown White Plains) or Exit 22 (Westchester County Center). Having a residential area on the BRP is definitely an exception to the rule, since NY parkways are supposed to be limited-access freeways.
2. Every Sunday during late spring and summer, Westchester County has Bike Sundays when they close the parkway to vehicular traffic, and open it only to bikes. This is from 10 am to 2 pm. During this time, there are traffic cones on the middle of the two northbound lanes starting from the nearest parkway entrance (south of my house) to the last house on the parkway.
3. Up until now, I have no idea whether I can leave my house during that 10 am to 2 pm window, by going south on the "coned-in" lane to the parkway entrance. I haven't done that yet, and on days when I have to get out of the house, I either leave before 10 am, or wait until after 2 pm.
4. Today I decided to leave the house minutes after 2 pm. There were no more bikes on the parkway. There were cars already on the southbound lanes BUT, the traffic cones are still there on the northbound side.
5. My first mistake: I drove past the traffic cones. My second mistake: I didn't take Exit 21, but instead drove on and planned to exit at Exit 22 (Westchester County Center).
6. The northbound Exit 22 was blocked by a couple of police cars. The officer hailed me to stop. I explained that I lived on a house along the parkway and that I thought that the Bike Sundays event were already over since it was past 2 PM and that I saw cars on the southbound lane already.
7. The officer said since the cones were still there that I should not have driven past them. He gave me a ticket. The violation box checked was "Laws of Westchester". The type of violation was listed under "Other" as "712.261 Disobey Signs". This is my first ticket.
8. There was apparently a graduation ceremony at the County Center, and there was a heavy traffic going into the parking lot. Said traffic has to cross the parkway at Exit 22 to enter the parking lot, and I guess to facilitate the traffic, they had to keep the northbound exit closed (where the officers are situated).
I looked up 712.261:
and the corresponding penalty:Chapter 712. Article II. Sec. 712.261. Obedience to parkway police, special police and signs.
No person shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with or obey the direction or command of any Westchester County Parkway policeman or special Westchester County parkway policeman, indicated by gesture or otherwise, or comply with or obey any instruction, direction, regulation, warning or prohibition written or printed, displayed or appearing on any sign or placard on any part of County-owned property. The directions on any such sign or placard may be disregarded only on order of a parkway policeman or special parkway policeman.
The officer said that since this is a violation of the Laws of Westchester, if found guilty, this would not add points to my NY DMV record. Is this correct? If so, should I just plead guilty?Chapter 712. Article VII. Sec. 712.651. Enforcement and penalty.
1. Any person who violates any provisions of the foregoing ordinances except Article IV and Article V shall be guilty of an offense and shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding $100.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
With regards to the "Disobey Sign" violation, technically there was no sign --- just traffic cones. And if there was a sign, it would have said that the parkway is closed from 10 am to 2 pm due to the Bike Sundays event.
The other side of the ticket says I could plead guilty by mail with explanation. If I do plead guilty, and send an explanation (mainly the stuff I wrote above), are my reasons enough to waive the fine?
I don't have a problem taking time off to attend a hearing, if necessary, but would you guys advise me to go through it, if there are no points at stake, and a maximum of $100 in fine? I do want to minimize the fine if possible.
Sorry for the long winded post. This is my first ticket, and I'm not familiar with the implications of pleading guilty (even with no points) on my driving record/insurance premium. If you got to this point, thanks for reading.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?