MTA Tests Cameras to Deter Illegal Use of Bus Lanes

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New York City Transit will try out mobile video cameras in a move that may eventually lead to ticketing more drivers who illegally use bus-only lanes. Over the next 10 months the agency will test the cameras by mounting them on the front of two buses on the Bx12 line in the Bronx.

The Bx12 is the city's first Select Bus Service route, a special limited-stop route that uses various innovations to reduce travel time by 20 percent. Steve Plochochi, a transit official, says drivers who use bus lanes slow down buses, "because as cars and taxis move in and out of the lane, that interrupts our flow of traffic."

State law doesn't allow buses to use mobile cameras to crack down on drivers. A bill was introduced to change that. In the meantime, the pilot project won't use the information to ticket drivers.

Instead, the trial period will test software to distinguish between cars traveling in the bus lane, which is illegal, and those merely making a quick stop or a right turn, which is legal.

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