New York VTL § 1170 or NY VTL § 1171 Failure to Obey Train Signal Defense Lawyer

Charged with VTL § 1170 or NY VTL § 1171 failure to obey train signal in New York?

The New York State failure to obey or stop at a train signal attorneys at Palumbo & Associates, P.C., have the skill and experience in representing drivers accused in the technical area of failure to stop at or obey a train signal, NY VTL § 1170. If you have been arrested or charged with failing to stop at or obey a train signal, NY VTL § 1170, contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can help. Our New York traffic court defense lawyers and attorneys can represent you when charged with not obeying a train signal anywhere in New York State.

NY VTL § 1170 – the statute

Obedience to a train signal is strictly enforced. Under NY VTL § 1170, when either an audible or visible sign is giving warning of the approach of a train, the motorist must stop at least 15 feet from the sign. A motorist must also stop if they hear a train audible signal, or if they can see a train approaching. In addition, it is prohibited to drive through, around, or under and gate or barrier at a railroad crossing while down, or while being opened or closed.

Violating this law while operating a school bus, a regular bus carrying passengers, while carrying as cargo flammable liquids, or having as passengers in your vehicle children under the age of 18 are aggravating factors, and the charges will be upgraded to misdemeanors. Moreover, in the event that there is a violation of this statute that causes physical injury, serious physical injury, or death then the charges will be upgraded to a Class “E” felony.

Under NY Penal Law § 10, Physical injury is defined as impairment of physical condition or substantial pain. Serious physical injury means injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or causes death, disfigurement, loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ, or protracted impairment of health.

NY VTL § 1171 – the statute

Notwithstanding the above, under NY VTL § 1171 the following drivers must always stop at rail road crossings:

  • Driver of any bus carrying passengers
  • Driver of any school bus
  • All commercial vehicles of 10,000 pounds or more
  • the driver of any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than ten thousand pounds that transports division 2.3 chlorine or is a cargo tank used to transport hazardous materials
  • Any motor vehicle required to be marked or placarded by either the United States department of transportation or the New York state department of transportation
  • Any vehicle carrying explosive or flammable substances as cargo
  • Certain slow moving or low clearance commercial vehicles

For such vehicles, they shall cross at a speed whereby they do not have to change gears while crossing the train tracks. In addition, under NY VTL § 1176 no motorist shall drive onto the railroad tracks unless there is enough undercarriage clearance and adequate space on the opposite side of the roadway to accommodate the entire vehicle without overhanging over the tracks.

Defenses to NY VTL § 1170 & NY VTL § 1171, failure to stop at a train signal

If charged with NY § VTL § 1170, failure to stop at a train signal, the consequences can be severe. You are facing a large insurance increase and, if you have a commercial license loss of your CDL privileges or job. Our office will strive to perfect your defense and attempt to negotiate a plea or take your case to trial. Call us today for a free phone consultation to see how we can best defend your case and protect your driving history and insurance rates!


Our law office offers convenience, ease, and certitude of a positive outcome. We will represent you in any court in the State of New York. we get your court appearance waived so you do not have to take time off. We give you piece of mind by giving you a money back guarantee.

Call us toll free at 1-877-99-NO-TIX (1-877-996-6849) or e-mail. We need your name, the name of the court, the charge(s), and if a speeding ticket the speed limit and the speed charged. You can e-mail us, scan and e-mail the ticket, or fax it to us at 914-777-2999. Don’t wait, do it today!