Top Traffic Laws Specific to NYC

Traffic laws vary from state to state. New York City, in particular, has a set of traffic laws that are separate from New York State as well as the rest of the country. If you are planning on driving in the Big Apple, here are a few traffic laws that you should be aware of.

No Turing on the Red Light

While turning right on the red light is usually allowed in New York State as well as around the country, turning on the red is a violation of New York City’s traffic laws. The only borough where you may be permitted to turn on the red is Staten Island. This is due to lower traffic and pedestrian volume on the island.

Cell Phone Use

New York City has strict mobile phone and portable electronic device laws. Using a handheld device while driving is considered illegal. This includes:

  • Talking on a handheld mobile phone
  • Texting, reading, browsing, saving or transmitting any data on your phone
  • Playing mobile games
  • Taking or viewing pictures

The exception to this law applies to GPS devices, hands-free mobile devices, and handheld electronics that are attached to the vehicle’s surface.

The 100-Foot Rule

According to New York State law, drivers must signal and be at least 100 feet away before switching lanes. This is called the 100-Foot Rule. Negligence of this law may result in an accident, in addition to the ticket that may follow.


Parking in NYC can be very complicated.  If you don’t pay attention to the signs around you, you make be facing a ticket, or your car may be towed away. All of NYC has been designated as a Tow Away Zone. This basically means a vehicle that is missing inspection stickers, expired registration, stopping or standing where it is not permitted are all ground for your car to be towed.

In NYC there are also alternate side regulations which are for street cleaning. However, on certain holidays these rules become suspended. The website has a calendar of all these holidays. In addition, it is important to remember that it is illegal to park within 15 feet of either side of a fire hydrant.

By becoming aware of the rules and regulations for driving in New York City, you will be prepared to take on the city. While these rules can be a bit complicated to comprehend, a car accident in NYC can also be very complicated because of the traffic laws specific to NYC. It would be in your best interest to have an attorney who is familiar with the local laws. At Car Accident Cases, we can connect you with an experienced lawyer within the NYC area. Contact us online or by phone for a case evaluation today.

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