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Law Office of Lynne A. Papazian
Family Law, Vehicle and Traffic Matters, And More In Albany, New York

Making illegal U-turns

Getting a ticket in New York for making an illegal U-turn is not unusual. In fact, such traffic tickets are written fairly often. What exactly qualifies as a U-turn will depend on the jurisdiction in which the individual was driving, the specific driving conditions, the applicable statute and other factors.

Drivers should avoid making U-turns in areas in which there are signs that strictly advise against it. It is also not advisable to make U-turns in the middle of a street or intersection.

The factors that determine whether a U-turn is illegal or unsafe tend to differ from state to state. The traffic laws in some states allow drivers to make U-turns only when the circumstances make it reasonably safe to execute the maneuver. In other states, the traffic laws explicitly prohibit U-turns near curves where the visibility is limited to just a few hundred feet, or next to the crest of a hill.

There are also states in which it is illegal to move across double yellow lines in the middle of the roadway. Drivers who execute U-turns at intersections where there are clearly marked signs that indicate U-turns are forbidden have committed a traffic violation and may be given a traffic ticket with a hefty fine.

An attorney who handles traffic cases may work to mitigate the charges and penalties for clients who are accused of committing traffic violations. Legal counsel could consider the circumstances during which the alleged violation occurred, take into account a client's driving record and negotiate with the proper authorities to lessen the penalties so that the client's driver's license will not be suspended. If necessary, the attorney can even advocate on behalf of a client in court.

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