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One of the most common arguments for fighting a speeding ticket is to say that you did not know the speed limit in that area or see a speed limit sign. Be forewarned: as of Nov. 7, the speed limit on New York City streets will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the reduction as part of Vision Zero, designed to reduce fatalities in New York City due to traffic violations. Statistics show that speed is the leading cause of accidents in New York City, and that 25 percent of fatalities on those roads can be attributed at least in part to excessive speed. Even a 5 mph reduction in speed can save up to 50 percent of the pedestrian lives now being lost on New York City streets.

The change will be significant on New York City streets because 95 percent of those streets currently have speed limits of 30 mph or more. When the change takes place, that percentage will practically be a 180-degree change, with 90 percent of those streets with a speed limit of 25 mph or less.

The "I didn't know" defense will be difficult to prove as the city has undertaken a major publicity campaign and will spend $500,000 over the next year to speed limit increase signage.

When a city undertakes a new initiative like Vision Zero, the efforts to enforce the new laws will likely increase significantly, in turn increasing your chances of being ticketed for traffic violations. That increased enforcement may also lead to more mistakes with ticketing for violations.

Regardless of the reason for your ticket for a traffic violation, be aware of the long-term consequences of pleading guilty to the violation or even just paying the fine. Each violation can increase your insurance rates and even build up points that could lead to the loss of your license. Multiple reported violations can even affect your employment, especially if your job description involves a need to drive.

Do not take ticketing lightly; the advice of an attorney whose practice is focused on traffic violation defense can help you determine the best course of action to protect your rights as a motorist on New York streets.

Source: Yeshiva World, "ALERT: NYC's New Speed Limit Is 25 MPH Starting November 7," Oct. 27, 2014

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