Following Too Closely (Tailgating) Tickets

It happens quite often, especially if you are a "Type A" personality.  You are making good time in the fast lane, when you come up behind a driver who just is not in the same hurry as you.  So you decide to send that driver a message by following too close with the hopes he or she will mover over.  Or maybe you are tailgating to ensure that another driver does not change lanes in front of you.  Or maybe you just were not paying attention.  Whatever your reason, tailgating is an unsafe practice, and carries stiff penalties in New York.

Tailgating should be avoided at all times.  The New York DMV estimates that four out of ten accidents is a rear-end collision.  One way to avoid tailgating is to follow the two second rule.  Pick an object on the side of the road like a tree or street sign.  Start counting when the car in front of you reaches the object.  You are following too closely if you pass the object before counting to two.  Remember that stopping distance can be affected by a variety of factors like vehicle weight, and road conditions.  Thus, the amount of time you use should be adjusted as necessary for each individual situation.  For instance, you should allow more time if you are driving a heavy vehicle (like a Suburban) or following a lighter vehicle (like a Corvette).  It is generally recommended to use a four second rule in rainy weather, and a ten second rule in snow/ice.

Tailgating in New York is governed by NY VTL 1129 which requires that:

[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway

Thus, there is no exact rule as to what constitutes following too closely.  Rather it is a subjective determination made by the police officer who determines that you have not been reasonable and prudent. 

The penalties for tailgating tickets in New York are quite harsh.  The penalties include:

  • 4 points on your driving record
  • Up to $150 fine
  • $93 surcharge
  • Up to 15 days in jail
  • Possibility of increased insurance premiums

The penalties increase for repeat offenders.  Get a second conviction within 18 months of the first, and the fine and jail time increase to $300 and 45 days, respectively.  Get a third conviction within 18 months, and the fine and fail time increase to $450 and 90 days.

Contact A Following Too Closely Ticket Attorney

Contact the Shelton Law firm if you receive a ticket for following too closely.  The Shelton Law Firm knows how to defend clients charged with following too closely or tailgating.  With our money back guarantee you can relax and we will do all the work.  We will go to court on your behalf and fight to reduce your points, reduce your fines and avoid increases in your insurance rate.  With the Shelton Law Firm on your side, you have the peace of mind to know that your tailgating ticket attorney will zealously defend your rights.