Traffic laws to ponder

“You are sentenced to $150 fine and 15 days in jail!”

“For what? I had the walk signal when I crossed Main Street.”

“For not walking upon the right half of the crosswalk!”

This could happen. Section 1155 of Vehicle and Traffic Law requires that pedestrians move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks. Sound weird? Well, think of New York City, where you might have 50 to 100 pedestrians crossing a street at the same time. Crosswalks could get very congested.

Here are some more traffic laws most drivers aren’t aware of. Section 1216 — coasting prohibited: “The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral, nor with the clutch disengaged.”

Like ice cream? Remember the ice cream truck that used to sell ice cream to the kids in the neighborhood? Section 1211 (c) of VTL states: “The driver of a motor vehicle engaged in retail sales of frozen desserts (i.e., ice cream) directly to pedestrians shall not back the same to make or attempt to make a sale.” And in Section 1225-b, a driver of a vehicle engaged in retail sale of desserts cannot do so “unless such motor vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped,” and “unless such sales occurs from the side of the vehicle away from moving traffic and as near as possible to the curb or shoulder of the roadway,” and cannot sell “to any person standing in the roadway.”

Now that school has resumed, here’s another interesting law, Section 1223-a, “School buses; required identification.” School buses purchased, leased or acquired after Sept. 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. Bet you thought it was just a nice gesture on the school district to do so, but it’s the law. Look for it on the rear door of buses.

We have a lot of Amish buggies in this area. VTL Section 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.”

Have you gone to your car in the parking lot of a shopping center and found an advertisement for something under your windshield wiper? Well, placing anything under the windshield wiper is illegal, per Section 375(1)(b)(i): “The attaching to windshields and windshield wipers of handbills and other forms of advertisements, is hereby prohibited.”

Hopefully you’ll never need to have a friend tow your car, but if you do, make sure the tow rope is no longer than 16 feet, per Section 375(29)(b)(5)(c): “No vehicle shall be towed by a rope or other non-rigid connection which is longer than 16 feet.”

And would you believe Vehicle and Traffic Law applies to riding horses? It does. Section 1105 states: “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.”

These are just some of the laws that most drivers don’t realize. Enjoy them for what they are!


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