NYC Buses Will Help Police Crack Down On Bad Drivers

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The number of automated cameras in use is set to more than double by next year.

As part of the updated New York State budget, the bustling city will be expanding the use of automated cameras on buses that can catch out all kinds of transgressions from bad drivers.

Buses in congested New York City are the slowest in the country, often due to blocked bus lanes, giving them ample opportunity to capture law-breakers. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) already uses around 450 bus-mounted cameras to spot vehicles that are blocking or parking in bus lanes.

This measure has proven so successful that the use of more cameras will allow authorities to issue fines for everything from blocking bus stops to blocking bike lanes, intersections, or crosswalks.

As Hell Gate reports, the goal is to more than double the number of cameras to 1,000 by 2024.


As of May 1, automated enforcement cameras were activated on Bx35 buses, with fines set to begin on June 30.

"With more cameras on our bus lanes, the better our message gets across - bus lanes are for buses," said NYC Transit President Richard Davey.

According to a statement on the MTA site, only 19% of violators that have received tickets due to the automated enforcement have received a second ticket. Through March, over 61,000 fines were already issued after bus lane enforcement cameras were activated in the fourth quarter of 2022.

During certain hours, drivers could face fines of between $50 and $250 for blocking a bus lane, with the maximum penalty applying to repeat offenders. MTA says that the average speed of buses along relevant routes has already increased by 3%.

NYCT Bus/Twitter

A YouTube video released by MTA demonstrates how the bus-mounted cameras work in more detail. As you can see, a bus equipped with the tech does not necessarily have to be directly behind an offending vehicle in a bus lane to capture an image that leads to a fine.

New York City is proving to be a leader in deploying new technologies to keep the roads safe. Last month, we saw how the NYPD will be using GPS trackers that can be shot out of guns to attach to, and thereby track, a getaway car. These trackers can also deploy from the front of police vehicles like the Ford Explorer, and circumvents the danger posed by high-speed pursuits.

A more recent proposal from the city's mayor, Eric Adams, involved giving out Apple AirTag real-time tracking devices to owners of Hyundai and Kia models to manage the scourge of thefts of these easy-to-steal Korean models.

Yael Clusman/Unsplash

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