New York § VTL 1180A: Speed Not Reasonable and Prudent

‣ About VTL 1180A

(a) No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.

New York is so strict that you can get a ticket for speeding even if you were not speeding. Yes, it’s true and I’ll explain: If, for example, there’s a snow storm making it impossible to see and dangerous to drive and you’re still cruising at 65mph with the radio blasting, it may no longer be reasonable or prudent to travel at the speed limit under those circumstances. In a situation like that, even if the speed limit is still technically 65mph, you can be ticketed for VTL 1180A.

It is not a very common ticket and is usually given to drivers involved in a solo car accident, usually when they slide off the road or hit a deer, tree, or traffic sign in messy weather. After the crash, an officer will show up at the scene of an accident to make sure you were not DWI (driving while intoxicated) and cite you with this ticket assuming you were not driving at a reasonable speed (otherwise you wouldn’t have slid into the ditch or been able to swerve and avoid killing Bambi).

Potential Penalties: $45 – $150 Fine (+$150 if second conviction in 18 months), $80 – $85 State Surcharge, 3-11 Points, DMV Assessment Fees, Max. 15 days in jail.


‣ More VTL 1180A Information:… – An Interesting case from April 2011 in the Muttontown Justice Court (Nassau County) involving a charge of VTL 1180A where the charges were dismissed. There’s a lot of good information in this unusual written opinion in a local traffic ticket trial about what is requires to be included in a Supporting Deposition, how your rights differ in a traffic violation case (versus criminal charges), and technicalities for dismissing tickets. If nothing else, it’s always a good mental exercise to read a court opinion.