New York State Targets Aggressive Driving

The pace of life continues to grow more hectic and one of the more disturbing trends we are seeing is an increase in aggressive driving. Frustrated drivers engage in risky behavior and confrontations often occur.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, one-third of all motor vehicle crashes, and two-thirds of the fatalities are connected to aggressive driving. The situation is so bad that the New York Division of State Police has an Aggressive Driving Program. Under the program, areas that have higher than normal crash rates are targeted for enforcement of the aggressive driving law. In addition, speed limits are being strictly enforced and aggressive driving behavior is being ticketed. Unmarked cars are being used to catch aggressive drivers.

Aggressive driving is defined as the “operation of a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or safety of the other users of the streets and highways.”

Some acts of aggressive driving that can be ticketed include:

  • Ignoring signals or signs such as at railroad crossings
  • Running stop signs
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Excessive passing
  • Making an unsafe lane change
  • Failing to signal
  • Weaving or other erratic driving
  • Running a red lights

Recently, New York changed its Move Over Law so that drivers now must use due care when approaching tow trucks, snow plows, and maintenance vehicles as well as police, fire, and ambulances that have emergency lighting and must reduce their speed. On parkways and highways, drivers must move from the lane next to the emergency vehicle unless there is a traffic hazard in doing so.

Victims of aggressive driving or those injured by a failure to move over have the right to seek compensation for their injuries.