People v. Magovern

CourtNew York Villiage Court
Citation80 Misc.2d 968,365 N.Y.S.2d 139
Decision Date04 March 1975
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. Frederick J. MAGOVERN, Defendant.

Page 139

365 N.Y.S.2d 139
80 Misc.2d 968
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
Frederick J. MAGOVERN, Defendant.
Village Court of Rockville Centre, Nassau County.
March 4, 1975.

Page 140

Ernest E. Belfi, Dist. Atty., for people.

Frederick J. Magovern, pro se.

ALBERT A. RUBIN, Village Justice.

This is a case of first impression.

The facts are not in dispute. Frederick J. Magovern, an attorney who represented himself at the trial on February 20, 1975, received a summons from a member of the Rockville Centre Police Department for an alleged violation of Section 1221 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law, which section simply states 'Driving through safety zone prohibited. No vehicle shall at any time be driven through or within a safety zone.'

The patrolman testified and defendant did not deny, that Mr. Magovern exited from Water Street, a Village street, on to Long Beach Road, a Nassau County road, and proceeded north and in so doing crossed two safety zones. On cross-examination, defendant elicited from the patrolman that at the time of the alleged violation, there were no signs, nor were there any pedestrians in the street.

The defendant moved to dismiss on two grounds:

(1) The safety zone section has to be read in conjunction with Section 141, which states: 'Safety zone. The area or space officially set apart within a roadway for the exclusive use of pedestrians and

Page 141

which is protected or is so marked or indicated by adequate signs as to be plainly visible at all times while set apart as a safety zone.'; and

(2) The New York State Uniform Manual requires signs to be posted on all safety zones.

Mr. Magovern then testified that he had in fact crossed these 'painted lines' on the road, but contended that such [80 Misc.2d 969] crossing was not a violation of Section 1221. Decision was reserved on the motion and the case.

Not only has a fact situation such as this never arisen in a reported decision, but as far as can be determined from the Official Reports and Shepardizing, this point has never even been raised in a reported decision.

The intersection of Long Beach Road, Water Street and Oceanside Road is a very interesting situation in that it combines a Village Street with two County roads. It is most unique in that it operates without any traffic signals. The Court has been advised by traffic engineers that signs in themselves at intersections such as this do pose a hazard.

I do not consider these islands as 'safety...

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