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Via Garibaldi 8

A Look At The Plunging Number Of Summonses For Bus Lane Violations

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A LOOK AT THE PLUNGING NUMBER OF SUMMONSES FOR BUS LANE VIOLATIONS

VIDEO: http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/transit/2018/03/15/nyc-number-of-summonses-bus-lane-violations-declining-lack-enforcement-advocates-say

By Jose Martinez  |  March 14, 2018 @9:37 PM

There are more than 100 miles of bus-only lanes in the city, more than double the figure from the start of the decade.

The goal is to give more buses a clear path, speeding the trips of riders.

But the increase in the number of bus lanes in the city has been accompanied by a dramatic drop in police enforcement of cars and trucks creeping into them.

"At the beginning, they were doing it, you know what I mean? Giving people tickets, you know, in the bus lane. But very rarely, I don't see that no more," one commuter said.

The numbers back that up. In 2012, the NYPD issued 7,756 summonses bus lane violations.

But just five years later, that figure plunged to 2,020 summonses.

The NYPD declined to answer why it is not writing as many tickets — which come with a fine ranging from $115 to $150 — for the violations, saying only, "A vehicle cannot be parked in a bus lane for any period of time."

Along Fordham Road in the Bronx, a bustling bus corridor for more than 100,000 riders and the city's busiest route, the Bx12, bus riders say they noticed how cars and trucks routinely drive into the bus lane without punishment by the police.

"They don't respect the bus," one bus rider along the road said.

"It should be for bus only," said another.

The lack of police enforcement is undercutting efforts by the MTA and the city transportation department to reverse a decline in average bus speeds, a problem putting more pressure on drivers to meet schedules.

A recent survey by Transport Worker Union Local 100 found that nothing stresses out bus drivers more than having to contend with double-parked cars.

Transit Center, an advocacy group, has been posting videos online of bus lanes that are blocked, many times by police vehicles.

"No matter what neighborhood or time of day, you'll see cops using bus lanes as places to park. This is unacceptable," said Hayley Richardson of Transit Center. "[It] really sends the message that they don't care about bus riders."

Bus lane cameras installed by the transportation department have flagged an increasing number of drivers. There were more than 133,000 violations in 2017, up nearly 15,000 in two years.

But the cameras are placed only along a dozen routes. Advocates say the police must do more.

"The bus lanes are useless until New York City DOT and the NYPD get on the same page," Richardson said.

On the same page so fewer are using the same lanes.

Source: http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/transit/2018/03/15/nyc-number-of-summonses-bus-lane-violations-declining-lack-enforcement-advocates-say

Edited by Cait Sith

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Very true. UNlike the speed cameras, which I think are overly "big brother-y", the bus lane cams make sense to be used more widely. 

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The MTA/DOT can't expand the areas where bus lane cameras are used; under state law, they can currently only be used on 16 routes around the city. And only from 7 AM to 7 PM. And the law, which was enacted in 2010 and renewed in 2015, only lasts for 5 years, so it'll expire again in 2020 if Albany doesn't renew it. 

Here's the full law: http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/vehicle-and-traffic-law/vat-sect-1111-c.html 

Quote

4. Within the city of New York, such bus lane photo devices shall only be operated on designated bus lanes within the bus rapid transit program and only from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  

...

(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

...

2. “bus lane photo device” shall mean a device that is capable of operating independently of an enforcement officer and produces one or more images of each vehicle at the time it is in violation of bus lane restrictions.

3. “bus lane restrictions” shall mean restrictions on the use of designated traffic lanes by vehicles other than buses imposed on routes within a bus rapid transit program by local law and signs erected by the department of transportation of a city that establishes such a program pursuant to this section.

4. “Bus Rapid Transit Phase I plan” shall mean the following five bus rapid transit routes as designated by the New York city department of transportation:  Fordham Road, First/Second Avenue, Nostrand Avenue, Thirty-Fourth Street, Hylan Boulevard, and an undesignated route in the borough of Queens not to exceed ten miles.

5. “bus rapid transit program” shall mean up to ten routes designated by the New York city department of transportation in consultation with the applicable mass transit agency, in addition to the Bus Rapid Transit Phase I plan routes, that operate on designated bus lanes and that may include upgraded signage, enhanced road markings, minimum bus stop spacing, off-board fare payment, traffic signal priority for buses, and any other enhancement that increases bus speed or reliability.

The law restricting bus lane cameras to SBS routes of course means that other busy bus lane corridors like Jamaica Avenue, Victory Blvd, Livingston St or 5/Madison Aves can't be watched. 

Edited by Mysterious2train

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$100-$150 fine??

Nah son. Make that fine $350 per incident and mate it with the same cameras that they use for EZPass and I betcha it’ll either keep the lanes free or bring enough revenue to stop this congestion charge.

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3 hours ago, Deucey said:

$100-$150 fine??

Nah son. Make that fine $350 per incident and mate it with the same cameras that they use for EZPass and I betcha it’ll either keep the lanes free or bring enough revenue to stop this congestion charge.

That's a great idea. Would a $350 fine discourage dollar vans from using the bus lanes (the Utica Avenue bus lanes)?

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20 hours ago, Mysterious2train said:

The MTA/DOT can't expand the areas where bus lane cameras are used; under state law, they can currently only be used on 16 routes around the city. And only from 7 AM to 7 PM. And the law, which was enacted in 2010 and renewed in 2015, only lasts for 5 years, so it'll expire again in 2020 if Albany doesn't renew it. 

Here's the full law: http://codes.findlaw.com/ny/vehicle-and-traffic-law/vat-sect-1111-c.html 

The law restricting bus lane cameras to SBS routes of course means that other busy bus lane corridors like Jamaica Avenue, Victory Blvd, Livingston St or 5/Madison Aves can't be watched. 

Why can't they mount the cameras onto the buses themselves to patrol the bus lanes? It would be a lot simpler than having the cameras on the post and hoping that those in the middle of the block do not enter the lane illegally.

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31 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Why can't they mount the cameras onto the buses themselves to patrol the bus lanes? It would be a lot simpler than having the cameras on the post and hoping that those in the middle of the block do not enter the lane illegally.

I believe there are cameras on the front windows. 

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1 hour ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Why can't they mount the cameras onto the buses themselves to patrol the bus lanes? It would be a lot simpler than having the cameras on the post and hoping that those in the middle of the block do not enter the lane illegally.

Unreasonable Search and Seizure. 

You have a right to self-defense - aka confronting your accuser, and not knowing ahead of time where the camera is makes it an unreasonable search.

Its how California and other cities had red light cameras without warning signs posted ahead of the intersection removed.

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1 hour ago, Brillant93 said:

I believe there are cameras on the front windows. 

There are... Doesn't seem to deter people. What will deter people is enforcement. There's a big difference between being caught and the possibility of being caught and if the odds are low, more people will risk it.

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1 hour ago, Deucey said:

Unreasonable Search and Seizure. 

You have a right to self-defense - aka confronting your accuser, and not knowing ahead of time where the camera is makes it an unreasonable search.

Its how California and other cities had red light cameras without warning signs posted ahead of the intersection removed.

This doesn't really seem like an "unreasonable search" to me. The state law explicitly allows cameras mounted on buses. It puts clear limits on how the cameras can be used, to protect the privacy of people on the street. It requires the DOT to provide notices of new cameras being activated during the first 60 days of operation and also put up signs mentioning that cameras are being used, which the DOT does. The law only requires that signs be placed "at regular intervals".

Quote

 

(a) 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the city of New York is hereby authorized and empowered to establish a bus rapid transit program imposing monetary liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply with bus lane restrictions in such city in accordance with the provisions of this section.  The New York city department of transportation or applicable mass transit agency, for purposes of the implementation of such program, shall operate bus lane photo devices only within designated bus lanes in such bus rapid transit program. Such bus lane photo devices may be stationary or mobile and shall be activated at locations determined by such department of transportation and/or on buses selected by such department of transportation in consultation with the applicable mass transit agency.

2. Any image or images captured by bus lane photo devices shall be inadmissible in any disciplinary proceeding convened by the applicable mass transit agency or any subsidiary thereof and any proceeding initiated by the department involving licensure privileges of bus operators.  Any mobile bus lane photo device mounted on a bus shall be directed outwardly from such bus to capture images of vehicles operated in violation of bus lane restrictions, and images produced by such device shall not be used for any other purpose in the absence of a court order requiring such images to be produced.

3. The city of New York shall adopt and enforce measures to protect the privacy of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists whose identity and identifying information may be captured by a bus lane photo device.  Such measures shall include:

(i) utilization of necessary technologies to ensure, to the extent practicable, that images produced by such bus lane photo devices shall not include images that identify the driver, the passengers, or the contents of the vehicle, provided, however, that no notice of liability issued pursuant to this section shall be dismissed solely because an image allows for the identification of the driver, the passengers or other contents of a vehicle;

(ii) a prohibition on the use or dissemination of vehicles' license plate information and other information and images captured by bus lane photo devices except: (A) as required to establish liability under this section or collect payment of penalties; (B) as required by court order;  or (C) as otherwise required by law;

(iii) the installation of signage at regular intervals within restricted bus lanes stating that bus lane photo devices are used to enforce restrictions on vehicular traffic in bus lanes;  and

(iv) oversight procedures to ensure compliance with the aforementioned privacy protection measures.

4. Within the city of New York, such bus lane photo devices shall only be operated on designated bus lanes within the bus rapid transit program and only from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Warning notices of violation will be issued during the first sixty days that bus lane photo devices are operated on each route in the bus rapid transit program that is established after June fifteenth, two thousand fifteen.

 

 

  bus-lane-cameras.jpg?w=420

 

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