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Total traffic injuries increased around 2 percent from 2012 to 2013, while pedestrian injuries went up 5 percent and cyclist injuries rose 8 percent. There were 294 total traffic fatalities in 2013, an 8 percent rise from 2012, when 271 people were killed. More people died in New York City traffic crashes last year than in any of the past five years.
Traffic deaths are more subject to random variation than traffic injuries, and there were some especially large swings in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities last year. Last year, 65 percent of people killed in traffic were pedestrians and cyclists, compared to 56 percent in 2012.
Last Friday, New York State DMV responded to mounting evidence that it has been systematically cheating cyclists by imposing motorist-only surcharges and license points for bicycling violations, contrary to state law.
On September 2, State Senator Brad Hoylman wrote a letter to DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala demanding that she respond to the August 12 charges against the DMV in Streetsblog. DMV finally broke its month-long silence by responding to Senator Hoylman in a letter delivered last Friday. Commissioner Fiala’s letter details DMV’s extensive efforts to identify all of the cyclists affected by improper ticket coding. New York City cyclists have filed a class action lawsuit against the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for administering penalties for traffic violations that by law apply only to motorists. The agency acknowledged to Vaccaro that it was violating the law, and agreed to refund the improper surcharge for two of Vaccaro’s clients, but did not indicate that it would do the same for other cyclists, or correct its procedures going forward.
In the complaint, one of the plaintiffs says he pled guilty and paid the correct fine, then received a DMV notice threatening to suspend his license and apply additional fines if he didn’t pay the surcharge as well.
The complaint says DMV directed all plaintiffs to pay the motorist surcharge and accept three license points as a condition of pleading guilty. Vaccaro filed a freedom of information request for data on how many cyclists may be entitled to refunds, a number that the complaint says may be in the hundreds of thousands. The process starts with 14 to 20 hours of technical training, sometimes more, Cooley says, including a test with 30 multiple-choice questions that determines whether you know how to react to any conceivable situation in traffic. State Senator Brad Hoylman is asking the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to stop issuing improper fines and adding drivers license points for bicycling tickets. Hoylman also wants DMV to refund money to cyclists who were wrongly fined, and rescind points that should not have been attached to their licenses.
The DMV acknowledged in a letter to Vaccaro that the agency was violating the law, and agreed to refund the improper surcharge for two of Vaccaro’s clients, but did not indicate that it would do the same for other cyclists, or change its procedures going forward. Hoylman, who represents a large swath of Manhattan, is the ranking member of the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee. I am asking that DMV immediately end the practice of unlawfully charging bicyclists surcharge fees and levying points on their driver licenses, and that the agency alter its online payment system and pre-printed traffic summons forms to clearly reflect bicyclists’ exemption from surcharge fees and driver license points. The New York State DMV admits that it is incorrectly overcharging cyclists for traffic violations and wrongly adding points to their drivers licenses, but the agency hasn’t agreed to stop doing it. In his most recent Streetsblog column, attorney Steve Vaccaro pointed out that the DMV’s online payment system does not distinguish between bikes and motor vehicles.
The DMV agreed to refund the surcharge for two of Vaccaro’s clients, but the letter did not indicate that the agency would fix its web site, or give other cyclists their money back and remove license points they shouldn’t have. The problem arises when cyclists make their plea and pay the fine online, as most who receive traffic tickets in New York City do. Yet the DMV’s own rules with respect to surcharges and license points make crystal clear that they do not apply to cyclists. A judge sentenced a convicted drunk driver to just 90 days in jail and a six-month license suspension for killing a pedestrian in the Bronx. Riley worked as a barber and had a young son. “My family is now torn apart because a drunk driver took his life away,” Riley’s sister told the Post. Johnson was charged by Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson with manslaughter, homicide, speeding, reckless driving, leaving the scene, and separate counts of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Last December a jury acquitted Johnson of manslaughter, homicide, and leaving the scene, finding him guilty on one count of driving drunk and one count of driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol.
Rivera, joined in the courtroom by nearly a dozen friends and relatives, read a statement before the court and called on Mayor de Blasio and other elected officials to toughen vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving laws. Governor Cuomo announced this week that the state Department of Motor Vehicles will make additional traffic violation data available to prosecutors, but it’s too soon to tell if the change will help make more cases against dangerous drivers. A Monday press release from Cuomo’s office said prosecutors will in the future be able to obtain information on traffic charges dating back 10 years, even if the original charge was reduced through a plea bargain.
Many times when a motorist goes to court, the original ticket is pled down to a lesser charge. A speeding ticket can add three to 11 license points and can result in DMV action against a license, the press release says. John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany, which advocates for transparency in state government, said the policy change was a positive step, but doubted it would make a difference in the number of prosecutions. When a driver in New York loses his license, it’s up to the state Department of Motor Vehicles to decide when, or if, he gets it back. The New York State DMV may put the man who killed Clara Heyworth while driving without a license back behind the wheel. Anthony Webb hit Clara Heyworth with a Honda Accord in the early morning hours of July 10, 2011, as she crossed Vanderbilt Avenue near Dekalb Avenue to meet her husband, Jacob Stevens. By contrast, Berger’s attitude toward Webb was, for the most part, casual, if not cordial. Berger asked Webb for a forensic analysis of the crash and the crash scene — how fast Webb was driving, the presence of street lights, whether cars were parked on the street, which direction Heyworth was walking, where she landed after the collision, and how the car was damaged. When Webb hesitated, or struggled to answer, Berger asked leading questions, or filled in the answers himself: “What did you do when you heard the thump, if anything? Though Webb told Berger that Heyworth was crossing from his right, according to Stevens she was crossing from his left. Webb told Berger, however, that he was found not guilty of drunk driving, and that he had consumed no alcohol before the crash. As I read the letter I had a sense of bewilderment mixed with anger as I scanned it from top to bottom. Of course the absurdity of this all is that I have never driven a single mile in New York in my life, let alone this past August. Still, I am not 100% sure that this isn’t the legitimate state of New York contacting me to pay this ticket.

One more piece of information that is worth considering: this past May I wrote about a fake Facebook profile that utilized my name and likeness. If anyone out there has any information on what this all could be about, could you please let me know? Amy Tam and Hsi-Pei Liao speak to reporters after the New York State DMV failed to take action against the driver’s license of the man who killed their daughter Allison. An administrative law judge for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles today deferred a decision concerning the driver’s license of the motorist who killed 3-year-old Allison Liao. In a packed hearing room at a DMV office in Jamaica, Sidney Fuchs watched video that showed an SUV driven by Ahmad Abu-Zayedeh run over Allison as she and her grandmother, Chin Hua Liao, crossed Main Street in Flushing, in a crosswalk with a walk signal. Fuchs twice asked Abu-Zayedeh if he wished to testify on his own behalf and, through his attorney, Abu-Zayedeh twice declined to speak. Fuchs refused to consider documentation offered by the Liao’s attorney, Steve Vaccaro, that Abu-Zayedeh had alcohol in his system an hour after the crash. Supporters of Allison’s family displayed posters outside the DMV hearing room and on the street.
The DMV threw out the tickets NYPD issued to Abu-Zayedeh last July in a hearing that lasted less than a minute.
There will be a vigil for Allison this evening at the site of the crash, Main Street at Cherry Avenue, beginning at 6:30.
The presence of so many supporters at such an inconvenient place and time was so greatly appreciated by the Liaos. Those who couldn’t attend may want to mark their calendars for the January 27th safety hearing of Leonardo Degianni.
The Degianni hearing will be held January 27th, 9:00 am, at 2 Washington Street, near Battery Park. I watched the video, even thou the pedestrian had the right of way but why didnt tjey stop when they see the car already in front of them turning??? Maybe the same way the turning car supposedly didn’t see them they didn’t see the car? The law clearly states that crossing pedestrians with a walk signal have the right-of-way over turning cars. I feel like you didn’t actually watch the video, which is understandable because it is horrifying. Word On The Street “In all honestly, the workload frequently placed on volunteer CB members is often so large that only the retired or financially independent can put in the time without burning out. If America is the greatest country in the world, than, the rest of the world must really suck!
Consumers need protection, real protection against lobbyist, these huge corporations that have absolutely no regard for the working class people, except to use us, and hire us for cheap labor, lobbyist must be stopped. Middle class America voted for all you wonderful politicians, we put you into office to take care of us, the American people, yet we continue to be a neglected society, neglected here and now.
All told, drivers injured 11,398 pedestrians and 3,817 cyclists last year — the highest totals in any of the last five years. Pedestrian deaths increased from 135 in 2012 to 183 in 2013, marking the highest death toll in the last five years after four years of declining fatalities, while cyclist deaths dropped from 17 to 9. Then on September 17, I filed suit against the DMV on behalf of six cyclists as putative representatives of a statewide class of thousands of cyclists who faced excessive and improper penalties for bicycling violations.
DMV says it has reviewed 25 years’ worth of bicycle traffic tickets — including 50,000 bicycle tickets issued in the last five years alone.
Cyclists owe great thanks to Senator Hoylman for focusing Commissioner Fiala’s attention on the problem, and to the commissioner for her willingness to admit mistakes and to take the problem seriously. The DMV online ticket payment system does not distinguish between bikes and motor vehicles. The plaintiffs seek to be a representative class for cyclists statewide whom the DMV penalized improperly. The complaint alleges that DMV failed to train employees to distinguish between cyclist and motorist tickets. Cyclists who believe they were unlawfully penalized by DMV are encouraged to contact Vaccaro’s firm. That’s followed by at least twelve 90-minute training sessions behind the wheel, including four on the Auotbahn and three at night.
This means that cyclists who plead guilty and pay traffic tickets online are billed an $88 surcharge that doesn’t apply to bike violations, and get points on their drivers licenses that don’t legally apply.
As a result, cyclists who plead guilty and pay traffic tickets online are stuck with an $88 surcharge that doesn’t apply to bike violations, and are getting points on their licenses that don’t legally apply. In the meantime, if you believe you were overcharged or wrongly given license points by DMV within the last two years, you can contact Vaccaro’s office.
Usually the big question in these discussions is whether to plead guilty, not how to plead guilty. The specific provisions of law that exempt cyclists from the $88 surcharge and from points are set forth in a letter we recently sent to the DMV demanding that it cease and desist from applying these unlawful penalties. Iacovetta sentenced him to 90 days, three years probation, and $870 in fines, according to court records. Affected charges include violations resulting in license points, drug- and alcohol-related offenses, and aggravated unlicensed operation. Often this is done because the prosecutor or the court is not aware that the driver has a pattern of dangerous driving behaviors. Based on a recent hearing attended by Streetsblog, the DMV adjudication process at times relies primarily on testimony from drivers involved in fatal crashes, rather than police reports or other evidence.
Heyworth, 28, died the next day. Webb, 43, was charged with driving while intoxicated, operation of a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and assault, among other violations. When a breath test was administered an hour after the crash, it indicated Webb had a blood alcohol content of .07, according a lawsuit filed by Stevens against NYPD. This detail was accepted at face value until Vaccaro was permitted to ask questions toward the end of the hearing.

When I opened up my box yesterday I immediately noticed my newest TIME magazine issue and an orange envelope that carried my Halloween card from my parents. Nowhere on the letter can you find my social security number, my vehicle information, or my license number. But for the sake of argument let’s not even worry about whether this letter is authentic or not. Of course I will be making a call to the New York DMV tomorrow but any advice in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. And he heard from police investigators, including the officer who summonsed Abu-Zayedeh for failure to yield and careless driving. Fuchs rejected a request from Abu-Zayedeh’s attorney to dismiss the video, which Abu-Zayedeh has refused to watch, on the grounds that the person who gave it to police was not at the hearing to vouch for its authenticity. Though police concluded that Allison and Chin Hua had the right of way, neither NYPD nor Queens District Attorney Richard Brown filed criminal charges against him.
Allison’s family learned of the hearing months later, during a deposition for the civil suit. However, before making completely false statements about its content, you should perhaps watch it. While sometimes pedestrians may have contributory neglicence, it is clearly not the case in this instance.
If you recently replaced your document and haven't received it in the mail yet, and are trying to do an online transaction, the number from your old document won't work.
DMV admitted that it was violating the law and agreed to refund the improper surcharge to two cyclists, but did not indicate that it would do the same for other cyclists, or change its procedures going forward. Only after repeated inquiries did a DMV staffer agree to revisit whether the surcharge applied to bike tickets.
The suit seeks damages for increased auto insurance premiums that resulted from the wrongful application of license points, as well as changes to the DMV traffic ticket form and web site to prevent cyclists from improper penalties in the future.
Fill out some paperwork and pop on over to the DMV to take a 20-question test for your learner’s permit. If your instructor isn’t satisfied, you could be sent back for additional training sessions.
But now it appears that if you pay your fine online for a moving violation while cycling, you’ll probably be paying an $88 surcharge that you shouldn’t be, and getting points on your license that don’t belong there. The second is that drivers are often able to get away with speeding by pleading down to an unrelated charge.
As an example, it is common practice for courts and prosecutors to allow motorists charged with speeding offenses to plead those charges down to lesser offenses such as parking violations.
But after NYPD bungled its investigation of the crash, all charges were dropped except unlicensed driving and driving without an insurance card, to which Webb pled guilty. Prosecutors working for former Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes dropped the drunk driving charge against Webb because the 88th Precinct had not calibrated the breath test machine for four years.
It informed me that I had received a ticket in Brooklyn this past August for driving with tinted glass windows. The problem I have is that someone has my information and is using it to get away with traffic violations (if the ticket is real) or to scam the heck out of me (if the ticket is fake). Ignoring evidence that the victims were crossing with a walk signal, Brown’s vehicular crimes supervisor Charles A. Grandma and Allison were walking slowly and predictably on green light as any traffic law abiding citizen would do. And if you learn on an automatic transmission instead of standard, your license prohibits you from driving anything but an automatic.
So unless the New York State DMV takes action to keep him off the road, Johnson could driving again before long.
The machine was later found to be working properly, and prosecutors were publicly admonished by a judge for not pursuing the charge. I almost discarded it in the garbage can at my apartment complex, thinking it was one of the numerous unmarked envelopes I receive from magazine companies all the time asking me to re-subscribe.
It notified me that my privilege to drive in New York would be suspended in mid-November because I failed to appear to answer to the ticket. Sidney looked up the ticket number on the New York DMV website and it couldn’t find a record of it.
Testagrossa said in a December 2013 letter that the DA didn’t prosecute Abu-Zayedeh because he had a green light and stayed at the scene. It is beyond me what else they or anyone else could have done differently to avoid the accident. However, before I could toss it in the trash I noticed that it had a curious return address. It went on to further say that if I did not pay up by mid-December I would be automatically convicted of the charge and I would be fined even more money. The grandmother probably had her hands full watching her granddaughter, so she may not have seen the car, either, until it ran the kid over. Milliseconds later, he sucked Allison under the front left tire of the vehicle, wrenching her from her grandmother’s grasp. The New York Taxpayer needs a break, so how about it, give us a€?New Yorkersa€? a break from all the dirty pollution, congestion, and corruption, and bring everything closer to the White House.
He then proceeds to roll over her with the rear tire, while her grandmother falls to the ground.

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