Image of a row of parking notices under a windshield wiper for a blog on top 5 New York driving laws people break

Most drivers in New York practice defensive driving while breaking driving laws only on occasion. As experienced drivers, we do our best to arrive safely at our destination without harming ourselves, our vehicles or others. However, even the best NY drivers, make mistakes and even break driving laws from time to time.

Below are the top five New York driving laws that people break.

1. Driving with no driver’s license, a suspended or revoked license.

Have you ever forgotten to renew your driver’s license? While we do our best to be responsible, we all have busy lives, and there are times when there’s a lapse for one reason or another. No matter what state you live in, you must have a valid license. New residents are allowed 30 days to apply for a New York driver’s license. License holders have 60 days to renew their New York license when it expires. Foreigners may drive on their valid home country’s license or an international driving permit.


2. Distracted Driving

Most of the time, when we are driving and are distracted, we don’t even realize it. Sometimes it is an innocent thing that happens, like figuring out what radio station you should turn to. We need to remember there is severe danger imposed by driving distracted and try to avoid:

• Paying extra attention to children and pets in a vehicle
• Focusing on our digital maps or paper maps
• Eating and drinking in the car
• Picking up a dropped item
• Talking on the phone
• Texting
• Checking email or social media


3. OMVI and driving impaired

Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired (OMVI) is still a problem even after decades of hearing public service announcements about it. Accidents and deaths have resulted from it. Many drivers that suffer from impairment are unaware of how debilitating the impairment is. They may also be unaware of how much danger they are putting others in.


4. Speeding

Speed limits change from town to town and you must be alert to when they change. This way you can avoid a traffic ticket as well as maintain a safe speed. However, it is key to remember that the speed limit is for normal road and weather conditions.

When weather conditions are not favorable, it is your responsibility to adjust your speed to maintain safety. Tickets are issued for driving above the speed limit sign, driving at speeds that are not safe in the weather conditions and driving too slowly.

Speed laws and rules are made to keep people safe. Speeding is a serious problem. Do your best to slow down and maintain a legal and safe speed at all times. Defensive driving courses can help reduce future accidents, tickets, and fines.


5. Move Over Act

It’s not just a common courtesy or great idea; it’s the law. Every driver needs to move over and change lanes when an emergency vehicle is flashing its lights. To avoid colliding with a police car, fire truck, ambulance or tow truck that is parked, stopped on the shoulder or any portion of the highway, New Yorkers are required by law to move from the lane beside the emergency vehicle. Unless traffic or other hazards prevent you from doing this safely – make sure you move over!


Safe Driving Habits

Driving laws are here for the safety and benefit of everyone. Consequences for not obeying driving laws can include injury, damage to property or your vehicle, and even death. You can also have fines, a suspended or revoked license, tickets and even lawsuits when things go wrong. Safe driving habits and defensive driving is necessary.

In New York, you can take a defensive driving course every 18 months for ticket dismissal and point reduction. You can take it once every 3 years for a 10% discount on your car insurance. The course will also help you maintain the best driving skills possible.