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A recent news story covered a number of tragic cases regarding pedestrians who were killed in traffic accidents in New York City. Although the story angle was about the alleged injustice of situations in which drivers who were involved in fatal accidents were often not charged with crimes or had the charges against them dropped, there is another way to look at the story that can offer hope to those who have been accused of lesser traffic infractions.

According to the article, prosecutors and judges in New York City often are reluctant to press criminal charges against drivers who have killed pedestrians by running over them or pinning them against objects. The reasons for this claimed hesitancy to enforce the full measure of the law vary: in some instances, people have attributed it to a "culture of deference" to drivers in the city. In other cases, the existence of "The Rule of Two" has been mentioned, referring to an alleged policy on the part of prosecutors not to file charges against drivers until they have broken two traffic laws.

No matter what the reason may be for the claimed laxity in prosecuting the allegedly careless or even reckless drivers involved, the anger of those who have lost loved ones in car accidents in the city is palpable, and understandable.

But what does this also say for those who have been ticketed for much less serious matters, such as traffic violations in which no one was hurt?

Especially for those who normally obey traffic laws, being ticketed for the first time or for a minor violation of the law can seem like a daunting prospect: the fines and the points added to your driving record, which in turn raises the possibility of increased auto insurance premiums, can seem unfair. But if drivers accused of much more serious offenses can have the charges against them reduced or even dropped, you should take heart if you are considering contesting a traffic ticket. Especially with the assistance of a law firm that understands not only the traffic laws of New York, but also how the courts apply those laws, it may be possible to mount a successful defense.

Source: NYPress, "The Second Tragedy of Traffic Deaths," Jill Abramson, Dec. 3, 2014

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