Get ready to slow down or risk getting a speeding ticket without ever being pulled over by a police officer in New York State. In September 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that is now going into effect.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1180-E allows for automated speed monitoring in certain construction zones around the state. The program, which is a joint effort by the State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Thruway Authority (NYSTA), will last for five years.

The NYSDOT and the NYSTA may impose a fine on the registered owner of a vehicle speeding in a work zone on a controlled access highway.

Because the speed detection is automated, the owner of the vehicle (the person who holds the registration) will receive the fine. So, if your family member or friend is driving your car, you will be the one held responsible.

There will be 30 zones launching this month and they will move around the state over the next five years.

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How Does New York State's Automated Speed Enforcement Program Work?

My guess is that there are going to be a lot of upset people in New York. The program is going to punish the registered owner of the car, regardless of who is driving it.

Here's how the program works:

1. An automated radar system will identify vehicles traveling at or above the posted speed limit, which will trigger the system to capture photos and the speed of the vehicle
2. A series of photos will be captured to show the distance and time of travel
3. Data - time, date, posted speed, vehicle speed, location, lane, and direction of travel - will be collected for the vehicle
4. License plate info will be collected and used to determine the registered owner of the vehicle
5. A New York State Certified Technician will review the violation and verify that the data is correct
6. A Notice of Liability is then generated and sent via first-class mail to the registered owner of the vehicle

There will be signage warning drivers that automated speed detection is being used in the area.


How Much Can Drivers Expect To Pay In Fines Issued By New York's Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Program?

There will be a 30-day warning period for drivers, then the fines will kick in.

First Violation: $50 fine
Second Violation: $75 fine (if within 18 months of the first violation)
Third Violation or More: $100 fine (if within 18 months of the first violation)

The owners of vehicles registered in New York State will receive their Notice of Liability within 14 business days. Vehicles registered to out-of-state owners will be sent within 45 business days. If the fine is not paid, a hold may be put on the vehicle's registration.

It seems like there is A LOT that can go wrong with this program. The first problem is that the registered vehicle owner gets fined, not the driver. The second problem is that if your address is not up-to-date or is listed incorrectly, you risk not receiving the Notice of Liability. The third problem is that there could be calibration issues with the radar. There is no mention of how often the calibrations will be checked for accuracy.


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The penalties for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are pretty harsh in New York according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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