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  • by Eli Moore, Westchester County Traffic Attorney

What You Don't Know About Traffic Laws Can Cost You!

Whether you're a new driver or have driven for years, like many people, you may be unaware of certain traffic rules and regulations. Here are some of the most common traffic law truths that trip people up--and result in their getting charged with a traffic violation:

1. Your license plates can be taken away and your car registration can be suspended if there is a lapse in your auto insurance payments. Any lapse in insurance coverage will result in registration suspension for a period of time equal to the length of the lapse. My advice: pay car insurance premiums via automatic deductions from your checking or credit card account so that you don’t risk being late in sending in a check or online payment.

2. You can get a traffic summons if you toot your horn too loudly! This is a subjective judgment on the part of the police officerat the scene. My recommendation: if you're driving behind a slowpoke or being irritated by a driver in another way, err on the side of patience. Only use your horn in a situation when your safety or that of another driver or a pedestrian is at risk.

3. You can get a traffic violation for using your cellphone even when using it through a Bluetooth wireless connection. The bottom line is: you are not allowed to hold a cellphone in your hand while driving, even if stopped in traffic. Even if you’re not texting or on a phone call while driving, but just holding it to follow GPS, note that the act of holding the phone is a traffic violation. My strong suggestion: Buy a cellphone holder that can be attached to the front console of your car and keep the phone there at all times.

4.You can get a ticket for double parking. It doesn't matter if you'rea suburban parent picking up your child after school or a New York City resident double parking while you run into the pizza store to pick up your order—the police can issue a moving traffic violation for blocking the roads by double parking.

5. You can exercise your right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test if stopped by the police upon suspicion of drunk driving. Be aware however, that a refusal will result in an immediate surrender on the scene of your license and driving privileges And you can still be arrested for DWI without a breathalyzer test or other measure of blood alcohol level.

6. You can get a ticket if you stop in the middle of the crosswalk at a red light. It’s true that there isn’t always a white line at a red light. Avoid being charged with a traffic violation by always leaving plenty of room for pedestrians to cross at an intersection.

Be safe, stay out of legal trouble, and save money by staying up-to-date about traffic laws. Subscribe to my blog updates at For a free phone consultation,contact Eli

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