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Special problems a company commercial driver faces when pulled over in New York

Police Car Front HoodI have been representing New York motorists charged with traffic violations for quite some time. I have represented numerous out of state long haul drivers against allegations under both New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) and New York’s Transportation Law (“TL”). The TL incorporates the federal motor carrier regulations as it pertains to equipment and log book regulations and requirements.

I have represented numerous companies, drivers, and owner/operators on allegations of equipment violations. They are usually written like any ticket. If the driver is the owner the driver is named as the defendant, and if the driver works for a company the company is named as the defendant. The ticket is then returned to the court for prosecution. Along with the equipment violation a document is given to the driver similar to the one posted here. This form is to document equipment violation repairs which I then present to the prosecutor and court. The more violations that were repaired the better deal I can get for my client in court.

However I want you to take a close look at the document here.
Sample vehicle exam form The driver, my client, was pulled over for speeding. This equipment remediation form merely documents that the driver was issued a NY VTL speeding ticket. It directs that the driver forward it to the vehicle owner, who is the driver’s employer.

In all of my years of representing New York motorists I have never seen anything like this. Either someone is charged with an equipment violation or not. Here there is nothing about any alleged equipment violation but merely informs that a speeding ticket was written. I contacted the court and confirmed that the only charges my client faces is the speeding. I then called the NYS DMV and they could not enlighten me. I then contacted the NYS Dept. of Transportation, and informed me that if they do not receive the form back signed they would send another copy to the owner of the vehicle.

This is beyond unfair. The driver has not been convicted of anything and is being compelled by the State of NY to tell his employer. I asked the DOT how much time they allot to get the form back before sending it directly to the company, but to no surprise they would not answer that question.

So this is how I believe this issue should be handled. First off, hire a lawyer conversant in traffic tickets. Our office can do everything for you without the need for you to come to our office or back to NY to court. Second, make sure to give your lawyer all of the papers and tickets you received from the cop. I would suspect that other drivers got similar forms and rather than hand it over to me turned it into their company. The best way I think to handle this issue is to resolve the underlying issue as quickly as possible and then send the form into the company WITH the certificate of disposition. In this case my client has a clean record and there is a good chance that I can resolve this with a non-moving violation parking ticket plea bargain. I’d rather have my client send this form in with the disposition showing a non-moving violation than without.

Of course a driver should always adhere to the reporting requirements of his or her employer regardless of whether the State of NY compels disclosure. Most drivers, like any employee, are terminable at will, which means that an employer needs no reason to fire an employee. So violation of an internal reporting requirement could lead to dismissal. However, if we could resolve the case before any reporting deadline by the company that would be the way to go.

If you have been accused of a traffic violation anywhere in NY State, give us a call at 1-877-99-NO-TIX (1-877-996-6849) or we can be found at