The facts and myths of traffic tickets

July 02, 2019 06:36 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — We're not supposed to do it, but just about all of us are guilty of speeding at some point. Is it really bad luck or just a coincidence if we happen to see sirens and lights in the rear-view mirror? 

The short answer is no.


“Obviously we always tell people they need to obey the posted speed limit sign," said Sgt. Peter Zambuto of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. "However, there are leeways."

He's heard it all when it comes to rumors about tickets. Perhaps the most common is don't speed at the end of the month.

“A big myth is that police departments, officers and agencies have quotas,” Zambuto added. “Quotas have been ruled illegal and unconstitutional so there is no quota. There’s not a set number of tickets we have to write each month, each day, or each hour worked.”

News10NBC spoke with Adam Rosenblum. He runs a major traffic violations law firm and oversees the group’s site called

“This is probably one of the most widely held myths about traffic ticket quotas and ‘Oh, the cops are, ya know, giving out a lot of tickets because they need to fill the month-end quota,’ but interestingly enough, the data really doesn’t support that,” Rosenblum added.

Rosenblum's firm studies trends from the DMV. He says the goal isn't to encourage drivers to go too fast — it's for transparency.

He’s debunked some myths and proven others to be true in looking at numbers for New York in recent years. So is it really true that you'll get stopped if you go more than 10 mph over the limit?

“Less than 2% of speeding tickets were issued for drivers going 10 mph or less over the speed limit,” Rosenblum said. “If you look at numbers from 11 over to 30 over, we’re talking about an over 2,000% increase.”

Zambuto says there is some truth to that, but it's not a hard line. The fact is, it's difficult to tell exactly just how fast you're really going, and law enforcement groups know that.

“You replace your tires, you don’t have the exact tire size, your speedometer is not calibrated, so if you’re driving the speed limit and some of those other factors are in effect and you go over, you’re gonna be over a few miles an hour,” Zambuto explained. “If you try to do 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit and you still have those effects, now you’re doing 20 to 25 mph over the speed limit.”

As for when you are most likely get stopped for speeding, according to the law firm's study, Fridays are the worst. Mondays and Tuesdays are light, especially between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

In Monroe County, has Rochester as the city with the most speeding tickets in 2018. Brighton ranks second.

Click here to take a look at the data compiled by the law firm.


Brennan Somers

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