Out of 62 New York State counties, Onondaga County recently ranked 11th in issuing the most amount of traffic tickets per capita in 2017, according to new data from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles and an analysis from the Rosenblum Law Firm, which also reveals where drivers are more likely to receive speeding tickets, best times to drive to avoid those tickets, the season during which ticket rates decrease, drunk/impaired driving rates and how to not get a ticket in New York.
In Onondaga County, with a population of 465,398 people, 86,791 traffic tickets were issued in 2017 and 81,791 drivers were ticketed — or about 82 percent of the population.
For eastern suburbs listed outside Syracuse, 1,461 total traffic tickets were issued in Manlius and 1,042 were issued in DeWitt.
“New York hands out more traffic citations than almost every other state,” said Adam H. Rosenblum, Esq., the firm’s principal attorney. “Ticketed drivers face hefty fines, points against their license, loss of license and in severe cases, jail time. By analyzing the data, we are able to tell people when they should take extra precautions.”
The analysis of the data by the firm found that Herkimer, Nassau and Dutchess counties were the top three areas where drivers most often get speeding tickets in New York, while drivers in Essex, Montgomery and Manhattan are least likely to get ticketed for speeding.
“Of course, we just want our clients, and all drivers in New York, to drive safely. I drive these roads as does my family,” said Rosenblum. “That being said, we also want to give people the best chance at avoiding the costly hassle of receiving a speeding ticket.”
County statistics from 2009 to 2017
For Onondaga County, the amount of traffic tickets issued slightly decreased from 2009 to 2017, from 139,012 tickets to 86,422 tickets, according to Traffictickets.com.
Speeding tickets steadily decreased by about 33 percent, with its peak being 25,052 tickets in 2009 and its second lowest point being in 2017 with 16,748 tickets issued. About 68 percent of these drivers were convicted for a non-speeding violation.
From 2009 to 2017, speeding in school zones hit its third highest point in 2017 with 1,516 tickets issued, experiencing a 28 percent increase in tickets compared to those issued in 2016.
Speeding in work zone tickets, however, have dramatically dropped — from 1,875 tickets issued in 2009 to 176 tickets issued in 2017.
From 2009 to 2017, seat belt tickets also steadily decreased by about 37 percent and impairment tickets decreased by about 33 percent.
Most impairment tickets were issued from Friday through Sunday, with the most tickets issued between midnight to 3 a.m. and the least amount issued between 6 to 9 a.m. The least amount of impairment tickets were generally issued on Mondays.
Vehicle accidents from 2009 to 2017 have maintained a steady average of 9,841 accidents every month, with total crashes by month overwhelmingly occurring during December, which documented 1,595 crashes compared to its average 791 crashes per month.
Total crashes by weekday tend to happen on Fridays — but not by much. Compared to Sundays, which documented 998 crashes from 2009 to 2017, crashes on Fridays increased by 643 crashes. On average, about 1,357 crashes occurred on any given day in the county.
Nearly 53 percent of those drivers were male and a little over 54 percent of overall drivers were between the ages of 21 to 49.
18 percent of crashes were caused by drivers following too closely, 16.5 percent of crashes were caused by driver distractions, another 16.5 percent of crashes were caused by failure to yield to the right-of-way and 12.3 percent of crashes were caused by speeding.
While incidents of impaired driving did not differ much throughout the year, an average of 121 incidents are reported each month. However, from 2016 to 2017, Onondaga County experienced a 24.4 percent decrease in impaired driving accidents.
The rate of motorcycle crashes have decreased slightly by 11 percent from 2016 to 2017, and have decreased by 25 percent from its highest point in 2012 with 180 accidents to 135 in 2017
The total bicycle and motor vehicle crashes, however, have increased by about 18 percent from 2016 to 2017, and compared to 2009’s crashes, decreased by about 24 percent in 2017.
From 2009, 2017 received the lowest amount of cell phone and texting tickets issued, from its peak at 11,228 tickets in 2010 to 2,831 tickets in 2017.
While incidents of driver distractions have generally decreased from 2009 to 2017, rates of speeding have generally increased slightly, with an overall increase of about 10 percent every year. In 2017 there were 1,228 cases of speeding in crashes, compared to its lowest point in 2012 with 1,045 cases.
In almost 20 percent of cases, crashes were caused by defective brakes, and in 15.5 percent of cases they were caused by inadequate tires or tire failure.
As for environmental factors, 48.3 percent of crashes were caused by slippery pavement, almost 35 percent by animals and a little less than nine percent because of obstructed view.
Alcohol was an overwhelming factor in crashes, though the least amount of drunk driving cases from 2009 to 2017 were documented in 2017 with 221 cases, compared to its highest point in 2012 with 308.
From 2009 to 2017, an average of about 20 crashes were caused by being under the influence of drugs, compared to an average of about 285 crashes being caused by drunk driving.
According to the conviction rate for drunk driving, over 54 percent were convicted on a different impairment violation and almost 34 percent were convicted on the same impairment violation. Less than eight percent of cases were dismissed/acquitted.
For the drug conviction rate, less than 50 percent were convicted on a different impairment violation and less than 33 percent were convicted on the same impairment violation. About 15.6 percent of cases were dismissed/acquitted.
New York drivers can learn more about state and county traffic ticket and accident data at Traffictickets.com/data/.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
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