Car taillight closeup.

Failed to Use/Improper Use – 4 Way Flash. VTL 1163 (e)

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.

Failure to use your hazards when required is a 2 point ticket in New York State. The maximum fine is $243. This violation will appear on your driving record and may affect your insurance rates.

Motorists are rarely ever stopped for this violation. The reason is obvious because you are only required to use when already stopped! However this ticket is often issued as a “roadside reduction”. Meaning the police officer pulls you over for a more serious violation but gives you a ticket for 1163E instead of a ticket for the more serious violation. This charge only makes sense if in fact you did not put on your hazards when pulled over, but we had cases where our clients maintained they had their hazards on but were ticketed anyway.

Drivers often do not want to fight this ticket for one reason or another. This can be a mistake. This violation can often easily be reduced to a no point ticket. Our firm has successfully handled a number of these tickets. Feel free to reach out and discuss before you take any action with your ticket.

The wording of the statute is as follows:

The driver of a vehicle equipped with simultaneously flashing signals as provided for in subdivision eighteen-a of section three hundred seventy-five shall use such signals when the vehicle is stopped or disabled on a public highway, except when such vehicle is stopped in compliance with a traffic-control device or when legally parked. The driver of a vehicle so equipped may use such signals whenever necessary to warn the operators of following vehicles of the presence of a traffic hazard ahead of the signaling vehicle, or to warn the operators of other vehicles that the signaling vehicle may itself constitute a traffic hazard, taking into account traffic and highway conditions. No person shall use such signals for any other purpose.