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What Is Reckless Driving in New York?


A driver’s license is a badge of honor for many New York youths. When they are able to get their driver’s license, most teens feel rush of freedom that they have never before experienced in their lives. Driving is a skill that many adults continue to use as they age so that they can get to their jobs, travel where they want to go, and help their families.

Some people say that driving is a privilege. A person’s ability to drive can be taken away when they fail to follow the rules of the road. Traffic offenses are alleged violations of New York law that apply to the rules of driving. These rules can govern how fast vehicles are driven, how drivers should act when they approach intersections, and what they should do regarding specific signage posted on the roads.

Reckless driving is a punishable offense in New York but the law has a somewhat confusing definition for the allegedly dangerous act. According to state code, reckless driving happens when a driver operates their motor vehicle in “a manner which unreasonably interferes with the free and proper use of the public highway, or unreasonably endangers users of the public highway.”

What is unreasonable interference? And what does it mean to endanger users of public highways? A reckless driving charge may come down to the discretion of a law enforcement official who witnesses a person driving on a state road or highway.

Reckless driving charges can result in criminal punishments. The state code states that reckless driving charges are misdemeanors, but depending on the conduct alleged a person could face even more serious consequences. When confronted with reckless driving charges or other traffic offenses readers may wish to talk to their trusted criminal defense attorneys about their options.