Blocking the box, or gridlocking, can be a major problem on congested city streets in New York. Intersections blocked by car and pedestrian traffic can create long delays and contribute to gridlocked conditions in neighboring intersections, snarling traffic for blocks in each direction.
Entering an intersection without sufficient space beyond the far crosswalk to accommodate your vehicle is often referred to as “blocking the box.” When the light changes and vehicles cannot leave the intersection, the traffic with the right-of-way cannot enter. Vehicles in the area formed by the four crosswalks are blocking the movement of traffic, causing a backup.
This only refers to traffic moving forward through an intersection. Vehicles attempting to make a turn are not subject to this type of ticket in New York City. If police issue you a ticket, you’ll end up paying a hefty fine.
That is, if you don’t contest the ticket.
Police don’t need to pull you over to issue you a ticket for blocking a crosswalk, although that can (and does) still happen. Because an officer pulling over violators can further disrupt the flow of already-congested traffic, the state legislature made changes to the New York gridlocking law in 2008. Since this change, both police officers and parking enforcement agents are able to issue tickets for blocking a crosswalk.
Because an officer pulling over violators can further disrupt the flow of already-congested traffic, the state legislature made changes to the New York gridlocking law in 2008. Since this change, both police officers and parking enforcement agents are able to issue tickets for blocking a crosswalk.
What does this mean for NYC drivers?
The number of enforcement agents watching for violators has increased. Traffic enforcement agents use handheld devices to enter your license plate in the system, and you may find an unexpected ticket in your mailbox days or weeks after the alleged violation.
This means there’s an increased likelihood of being caught if you stop up traffic in NYC.
No matter what type of ticket you get, it may seem like the best thing to do is to go online to pay your fine or drop a check in the mail with your ticket.
But that may not be a good idea.
By paying the fine without contesting the ticket, you are admitting guilt. You’re handing over money that you may legally be able to keep. It might be in your best interest to fight the ticket, whether an officer pulled you over or you received a notice in the mail.
The current fine for this type of ticket through traffic enforcement is $115. If a police officer issues you a moving violation, the fine can be up to $150 and add two points to your license. In some cases, there may be surcharges, fees or late fines in addition to the cost of the ticket.
As you probably know, any points on your driver’s license may cause your insurance company to raise your premiums for as long as three years. Additionally, accumulating six points in any 18-month period means you’ll also have to pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee. This will cost you another $300 or more over the next three years.
As you can see, the moving violation carries additional costs beyond fines and surcharges by adding points to your driver’s license. The parking violation, while less costly, is still a punch in the pocketbook you may not deserve. If you decide to contest your ticket, working with an experienced NYC traffic ticket lawyer can increase your chances of beating the ticket.
A dedicated traffic ticket attorney like James Medows will know which defenses hold the most weight and how they apply to your case. Your attorney may be able to impress upon a judge that you are not guilty of stopping within an intersection under New York law because:
These are just some examples.
I’m attorney James Medows, and I’m here to help. My cell phone is my business line. You can phone or text me any time, at 917-856-1247.
Tell me your story and I’ll tell you how I can help you.