New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 601 - Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injury to Certain Animals Without Reporting
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.
There are various traffic laws about leaving the scene of an accident. This article is about leaving the scene of an accident between a car and an animal.New York laws are very specific. You only need to stop if the accident is between a “horse, dog, cat or animal classified as cattle.” This excludes deer, which is the most typical accident between car and animal.
The exact wording of the statute is as follows:
"Any person operating a motor vehicle which shall strike and injure any horse, dog, cat or animal classified as cattle shall stop and endeavor to locate the owner or custodian of such animal or a police, peace or judicial officer of the vicinity, and take any other reasonable and appropriate action so that the animal may have necessary attention, and shall also promptly report the matter to such owner, custodian or officer (or if no one of such has been located, then to a police officer of some other nearby community), exhibiting his or her license and insurance identification card for such vehicle, when such card is required pursuant to articles six and eight of this chapter, giving his or her name and residence, including street and street number, insurance carrier and insurance identification information and license number. In addition to the foregoing, any such person shall also: (i) produce the proof of insurance coverage required pursuant to article forty-four-B of this chapter if such person is a TNC driver operating a TNC vehicle at the time of the incident who was (A) logged on to the TNC's digital network but not engaged in a TNC pre-arranged trip or (B) was engaged in a TNC pre-arranged trip; and (ii) disclose whether he or she, at the time such incident occurred, was (A) logged on to the TNC's digital network but not engaged in a TNC pre-arranged trip or (B) was engaged in a TNC pre-arranged trip. Violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for a first offense and by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred fifty dollars for a second offense and each subsequent offense; provided, however where the animal that has been struck and injured is a guide dog, hearing dog or service dog, as such terms are defined in section forty-seven-b of the civil rights law which is actually engaged in aiding or guiding a person with a disability, a violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred fifty dollars for a first offense and by a fine of not less than one hundred fifty dollars nor more than three hundred dollars for a second offense and each subsequent offense."
A conviction of this violation will put three points on your driving record. The maximum fine is $150 + $93 surcharge (assuming no other points on record). However, the costs end up much higher in the form of car insurance payments. When your bi-annual car insurance comes up, your car insurance company will check your driving record. If they see a violation like leaving the scene of an accident, they will, in all likelihood, increase your insurance rates exponentially.
There are various methods of avoiding the points associated with the violation. Call the Benjamin Goldman Law Office to discuss your case. We can help even if the charges are accurate.
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