Traffic laws most drivers aren’t aware of, part 2

Several weeks ago this weekly article discussed several traffic laws that most drivers aren’t aware of. Some are from decades ago and aren’t as necessary with today’s vehicles as in decades ago – some are just not very applicable in this North Country but nevertheless are still part of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL). Here are some more.

Section 375. Equipment. Subsection (2) (a) (2) states that if a vehicle was manufactured prior to 1/1/1952, only one taillight is required.

1146-a. Approaching horses. Subsection (3) states: “No driver of a vehicle shall sound the horn when approaching or passing a horse on a public highway.”

1263. Carrying articles. “No person riding or leading a horse shall carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents such person from keeping at least one hand upon the reins.”

1224. Abandoned vehicles. There are many sub-sections under this section of VTL but here are a few interesting ones. 1. A motor vehicle shall be deemed to be an abandoned vehicle if left unattended (a) “with no number plates affixed thereto, for more than six hours on any highway or other public place; (b) for more than 24 hours on any highway or other public place, except a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted; (c) for more than 48 hours, after the parking of such vehicle shall have become illegal, if left on a portion of a highway or public place on which parking is legally permitted; (d) for more than 96 hours on property of another if left without permission of the owner.” Complicated, isn’t it.

1223-a. School buses; required identification. School buses purchased, leased, or acquired after 9/1/1997 shall have the area code and telephone number of the owner and/or operator printed in 3-inch bold type on the rear of such vehicle. Look for it.

1105. Traffic laws apply to persons riding animals etc. “Every person riding an animal or driving an animal-drawn vehicle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this title, except those provisions which by their nature can have no application.

375(1) (b) (i); “The attaching to windshields and windshield wipers of handbills and other forms of advertisements, is hereby prohibited.”

375(29) (b) (5) (c); “No vehicle shall be towed by a rope or other non-rigid connection which is longer than 16 feet.”

New York state vehicle and traffic law can be interesting. It is also confusing, mainly because it is written in legal language which will normally stand up in court. Sometimes I can read and re-read a section several times and still be confused. I guess that’s why we need lawyers and judges to interpret what is written.

For more articles on traffic law and safety, go to the traffic safety board’s website at: and click on “Traffic Safety Board” under departments then look for Did You Know articles under “services.” You may also email me with any comments, questions or suggestions at