What Happens When You Speed in a Work Zone in New York?
Highway workers risk their lives every day. The job is extremely dangerous—even when everyone is following all of the traffic laws. In fact, in 2021 there were dozens of catastrophic injuries and deaths caused by speeding in work zones.
That’s why getting a speeding ticket in a work zone is so serious. You’re being accused of committing an extremely serious act.
What is a Work Zone?
It’s a zone that is clearly marked as being used or occupied by construction crews. The law gives the “agency having jurisdiction over the affected street or highway” the right to establish special work area speed limits which are lower than normally posted speed limits.
These speed limits may not drop lower than 25 miles per hour.
It’s more important to be aware of work zones than ever, as New York has begun installing speed cameras along highway work zones. These cameras will take photos of license plates and simply mail you a ticket. If you want to fight these automated tickets then you’ll need to work with an attorney who understands how automated traffic tickets may be defeated.
The most immediate penalty is that your fines will be doubled. A work zone speeding ticket can be as high as $600, though the most expensive speeding tickets are reserved for those who are doing more than 31 mph over the speed limit.
In towns like Monroe and Goshen you can see additional penalties and surcharges. You might also see court surcharges. The DMV might also issue a driver responsibility assessment fee of $300 or more. If you get more than 6 points you’ll be assessed an additional $75.
All these fines and fees can really add up.
Speeding in a work zone can cost you anywhere from 3 to 11 points on your driver’s license. 1 to 10 miles over the speed limit will get you 3 points, whereas going 40 miles or more could get you up to 11 points.
Note that driver’s license suspensions are common in work zone convictions. Once you’ve been convicted more than twice your driver’s license will be suspended for 60 days.
If you injure or kill a worker in a work zone it’s much more likely that you’ll be convicted of reckless driving, which is a misdemeanor and can carry up to 30 days in jail for your first offense. It can carry up to 90 for your second and up to 180 for your third.
If you are found to be intoxicated after hitting someone in a work zone you could also be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This is a Class D felony which carries a 7-year prison sentence.
Fight Your Ticket
In addition to all the other listed penalties, you can expect up to a 30% increase in your auto insurance rates if you plead guilty to your work zone speeding ticket without fighting it.
We may be able to help you get your ticket dismissed, or we may be able to get it dropped to a lower offense with a smaller penalty. For example, in some cases it might be wise to talk an 11 mph speeding charge with a $300 ticket and 4 points on the license down to a smaller $150 1-10 mile per hour speeding ticket that adds only 3 points to your license.
We can also help defend you in the event that your work zone speeding ticket turns into a criminal case.
Contact us for a consultation today.