People v. Putzer

CourtNew York Villiage Court
Citation110 Misc.2d 162,442 N.Y.S.2d 36
Decision Date08 July 1981
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of New York, v. David S. PUTZER, Defendant.

Page 36

442 N.Y.S.2d 36
110 Misc.2d 162
PEOPLE of the State of New York,
v.
David S. PUTZER, Defendant.
Village Court of Ellenville.
July 8, 1981.

Page 37

David S. Putzer, defendant pro se.

JEFFREY KAPLAN, Village Justice.

On May 19, 1981, David S. Putzer, the defendant herein, was lawfully stopped while operating his motor vehicle in the Village of Ellenville, New York. Upon visual inspection by Patrolman Ronald Rosner of the Ellenville Police Department, the defendant was issued a uniform traffic ticket pursuant to § 375 Subdivision 35(c) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York for operating a motor vehicle with an unsafe tire.

The defendant pled not guilty to the charge and at trial objected to the issuance of an unsafe tire ticket based solely upon the visual inspection of the officer.

Although it is fairly common practice for the issuance of a uniform traffic ticket pursuant to § 375 Subdivision 35(c) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, there does not appear to be any recorded cases of record which respond to the defense raised by the defendant herein. § 375(35)(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law authorizes the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to establish standards "for the use of tires on vehicles operated in this state." Section 375(35)(c) prohibits any person from operating a motor vehicle "on a public highway if such vehicle is equipped with tires that do not meet the standards established by the Commissioner ...".

Pursuant to § 375 Subdivision 35(a) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles established § 51.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles prohibiting the use of a motor vehicle upon the public highways of New York State on any tire having "less than 2/32 of an inch tread groove pattern depth remaining at both points of which gauge readings are required by § 51.6 of this Part".

§ 51.6 establishes the method of measuring tread groove pattern depth.

"Tire tread groove pattern depth shall be measured by a tread depth gauge of a type calibrated in thirty-seconds of an inch. Readings shall be taken in a major tread groove of the tire nearest to the center at two points of the circumference not closer than 15 inches ..." (Emphasis supplied)

Thus, it is clear from reviewing the Commissioner's regulation that a uniform traffic ticket can only be issued under § 375(35)(c) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law when the tire tread groove has been measured by a tread depth gauge in...

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