How Does the City of New York Define a Commercial Vehicle?

I’m often asked , What constitutes a commercial vehicle? Well, for those who do business within the five boroughs of New York City, Section 4-01(b)(i) of the NYC Traffic Rules states as follows:

For the purposes of parking, standing and stopping rules, a vehicle
shall not be deemed a commercial vehicle or a truck unless:

(A) it bears commercial plates; and

(B) it is permanently altered by having all seats and seat
fittings, except the front seats, removed to facilitate the
transportation of property, except that for vehicles designed with a
passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition, the
seating capacity within the cab shall not be considered in
determining whether the vehicle is properly altered; and

(C) it displays the registrant’s name and address permanently
affixed in characters at least three inches high on both sides of the
vehicle, with such display being in a color contrasting with that of
the vehicle and placed approximately midway vertically on doors
or side panels.

(ii) For the purposes of rules other than parking, stopping and standing
rules, a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the
transportation of property, or for the provision of commercial services and
bearing commercial plates shall be deemed a commercial vehicle.
(iii) Vehicles bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from
other states or countries shall not be deemed trucks or commercial
vehicles unless they are permanently altered and marked as required in
(i)(B) and (C) of this definition, above.

In the next post I will discuss the issue of door lettering with regard to leased vehicles.

Standing Advice to My Clients for Their Drivers When Tri-axle Trucks are Detained for Weighing by TEA Truck Enforcement.

I’ve personally witnessed at a weigh station that vehicles equipped with tri-axles in the rear being improperly weighed by the NYC Truck Enforcement Agents (not NYPD Highway, Task Force Units or TBTA). What is happening is that drivers who are driving with their tag axle in the down position or who had to raise the axle while immediately turning a corner are then being told to raise the axle for weighing. The usual result is that a tri-axle grouping that is either perfectly legal or maybe slightly overweight (with the fine under less than $1,000.00) is instead transformed into a $7,000.00 tandem axle overweight violation.

I advise my clients to instruct their tri-axle drivers to do the following in order to increase our chances of beating these summonses:

1) Instruct the drivers to keep the tag axle down, especially going through tollbooths.

2) If detained immediately after making a turn, the driver should try to get the tag axle down ASAP. If the traffic agent objects, the driver should protest that this is the manner the truck was being driven and the axle must be raised on turns for safety reasons (if the tag axle is non-steerable).

3) If detained at a weigh station and the vehicle’s tag axle is down when detained, unless threatened with arrest, have the driver refuse to raise the tag axle. Note: If any of my clients’ drivers is given a yellow summons for failure to comply I will defend that summons as part of the overweight fee at no additional charge.

4) Warn the drivers about backing up or engaging the parking brake. On some trucks this action will automatically raise the tag axle – a trick several NYC Traffic Enforcement Agents seem to know all too well.

5) Keep disposable cameras and video cameras on your trucks. Instruct the drivers to photograph whatever they can of the agents weighing the trucks, especially getting pictures of the officers faces, the vehicle plate and the condition of the tires and mud flaps (to show that tires were not bulging or ballooned out. Do keep in mind, however, that because of post 9/11 concerns, filming on bridges and tunnels is often prohibited.

If anybody has any questions on this issue please feel free to contact me.

7 Ways To Avoid A New York Truck Ticket

Prevention is often the best approach to avoiding a New York truck ticket. What follows are several suggestions for avoiding a New York truck ticket in the first place:

  • Make certain that all of the equipment is in suitable working order. This will help you to avoid police stops and frequent inspections.
  • You’ll want to be sure you know your routes. In the event you are driving within New York City, you should be conscious that you are staying within the approved trucking routes.
  • Be certain that your drivers are aware that commercial trucks are not allowed to use New York City parkways.
  • Check that your loads are secure. Loose cargo should be secured with a tarp, inside a container, or other device.
  • Loose or falling debris is a great way to get stopped by law enforcement. Being aware of your cargo is an important step in avoiding this sort of stop.
  • Commercial trucks need to be properly marked. This includes the name and address of your company as well as proper lettering on both sides of the vehicle.
  • It’s important to understand that companies are not allowed to be represented in court by employees or officers of that company. Instead, a New York Truck Ticket lawyer should be retained to represent the company.

With over 20 years of experience, Frank Cocozzelli works to protect commercial driver’s licenses and avoid large fines and other penalties in courts throughout New York City and New York State. Protect your rights by contacting a trusted, experienced New York truck ticket law attorney. Call Frank Cocozzelli at (516) 435-3800 or contact us via our online submission form on the right.

Frank Cocozzelli Launches New York Truck Ticket Law Website

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