Lights, Camera, Action: Bus Lane Cameras Up & Shooting


On November 9, I wrote a post entitled NYC Bus Lane Cameras Coming discussing how the MTA was going to install surveillance cameras on NYC bus lanes, record license plates of cars that illegally cross into them, and issue tickets to violators. These tickets will be a whopping $115 (much more than the $50 fine for tickets issued by red light cameras).

Well these cameras are now installed and will be operational this week on the East Side of Manhattan. Bus lanes on First and Second Avenue will be the first to be enforced with cameras. You can bet that many more bus lane cameras will be coming soon.

Motorists are allowed to use a bus lane only for permitted right turns and expeditious passenger pick ups or drop offs.

A bus lane camera ticket is like a parking ticket (i.e., no points and no driving record consequences). If a police officer issues a bus lane ticket, it also carries no points but will appear on your driver ‘s license (occasionally, police officers issue these tickets under VTL 1110a – disobey a traffic control device – which carries 2 points).

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20 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Matthew: Received a bus lane $50 (0 point) camera ticket under “§1111-C Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with bus lane restrictions”. Plate Type is incorrectly listed as “Passenger”; should be “MED”. Does that constitute grounds for dismissal?

    • Matthew Weiss
      October 18, 2021 6:14 pm

      Ben N,

      I doubt that you will win on this technicality. However, please don’t let me discourage you from trying.

      Matthew Weiss

  • Hello.

    I received a ticket for driving straight, east-bound through a roughly 20 foot stretch of “Bus Truck Only” in the LEFT lane of 14th Street at 7th Avenue. Is there a “Bus Truck Only” lanes in left lane, i.e., the non-turning lane?



    • Matthew Weiss
      March 3, 2020 6:27 pm


      You would to go back to that stretch and look at the pavement markings and signage to determine whether any driving restrictions were in place.

      Matthew Weiss

  • Simon Sanchez
    June 27, 2016 8:17 pm

    I live in California and I never being in NY but my car was used by a friend and I receive a ticket for driving in the bus line, how can I make this violation to be tranfered to the actual responsible?

    • Simon Sanchez,

      From what you write, it appears that this ticket was issued as 0-point ticket by a camera or traffic agent (rather than one issued by a police officer which now carries 2 points). This type of ticket is akin to a parking ticket. You, as owner, are responsible for it. Your only recourse is to contact (or sue) the driver for reimbursement.

      Matthew Weiss

  • i live in Pa over a month of said violation I recieved a bus lane violation in Brooklyn the notorious Nostrand Ave, the picture itself is of very bad quality except for their enhancement, in fact the quality is so bad I can’t see any numbers except for their enhanced version !
    Next recieving a ticket over a month of said violation makes it very difficult for me to remember anything about my travels on the street
    I used to live in the area where I recieved the ticket and wasn’t aware of any camera enforcement.
    This type of enforcement leaves no room for driver error, such as if the driver couldn’t turn down the street they intended to go but had to turn at the next block ! This is clearly an imperfect law that victimizes the people of NYC people that aren’t familiar with NYC driving laws.
    To pay $ 115.00 for an innocent mistake is outrageous and the Mayor and the city of NYC needs to fix it and apologize to the residents of NYC as well as those outsiders driving in NYC.
    Do I understand the purpose of the bus lanes, absolutely and I agreee there should be bus lanes but not at the expense of victimizing the residents and visitors of NYC.

    • M Askerneese,

      I’m sorry to hear about your misfortune. More than ever, NYC has ways to extract money from its residents. It is a shame especially given the high taxes that we also pay. I canon say much about your ticket but, at least, it carries 0 points.

      Matthew Weiss

  • Hi,
    I just got a ticket for being in a bus lane for more than 200 feet and not making an immediate right turn. I did make a right turn, which is why I was in the bus lane right before the corner. The image shows my car approaching the corner of 2nd ave and 63rd. That’s the only reason why I was in the lane. Can this be fought?

    (Thanks for a great site)

  • Hi I check my license plates periodically to make sure that there are no violations on it and noticed that I have 2 bus lane tickets in Brooklyn where I make the right turn to go to work . I never received the violation in writing in the mail so had no knowledge until today 1 was on 2/25/15& 3/12/15 in order for me to dispute or view the ticket it I have to put a pin and violation # in that I don’t have the first ticket already has $25 penalty on it . Who should I contact or what can I do to prove that I was only making a right turn

  • I received a “driving in the bus lane ticket,” 2 months ago from an officer. In violation of 412M. I am unable to get a definitive answer if this carries points. I have to go into court. I don’t mind paying the penalty as long as it doesn’t carry any points.

  • I think you’re forgetting about the parking on the other side of the bus lane. If you blocked the bus lane how would drivers parallel park or depart from a parking space? With the bus lane blocked it would be impossible to access those spaces to the right of the bus lane. I live on First Av., directly in front of those parking spaces and bus lane. I am unable to drop off passengers due to the bus lane. Parking is a nightmare due to the bus lane. I receive tickets when I depart from the parking spaces, cross the bus lane and move into the other lanes of traffic because I didn’t turn right from the bus lane.
    This system is an absurd import from the U.K. Sadly our mayor/king has another house in London and has decided to share the chaotic English traffic arrangements with New Yorkers. The recent traffic plans for NY are little more than a scam to create revenue by a rich and greedy mayor. They make working people suffer. While the hipsters ride bikes across the Williamsburg bridge and the mayor takes his helicopter to a Bono concert the rest of us are left with the very expensive bills. How can I fight these tickets? What are the legal defenses?

    • Anon,

      Thanks for your feedback. The issue of parking to the right of a lane lane is an interesting one. I do not think a motorist should be issued a New York traffic ticket if he or she is is simply crossing to or from a legal parking space. Further, I think this is a good defense if such a traffic ticket is issued.

  • a very quick NYC cabdriver
    December 9, 2010 3:42 pm

    This is an unfinished thought, but,

    what reason would a bus have to EVER leave those lanes?

    Because if there isn’t any, then they could’ve just put up those skinny, flimsy plastic ‘bollards’ that would prevent the vast majority of people from using that lane in the first place.

    People make right turns from the ‘next-to-rightmost’ lane all the time; in fact, I think many car drivers and most commercial drivers prefer to do so.

    Plastic bollards would be enough to prevent almost any vehicle – that isn’t a bus – from using that lane.

    On the other hand, cameras only penalize legally registered vehicles and their drivers.

    In other words, I suspect there will be a small demographic who might even feel safer to use the ‘bus lane’ with even greater frequency and audacity than they do now.

    Putting a camera in the kitchen doesn’t actually stop a kid from stealing the cookies. Childproofing the cabinets is a better idea, unless you’re hoping to catch the kid red-handed and penalize his allowance.

    • A Very Quick NYC,

      This is actually a really good idea. As long as there were openings for motorists who need to turn at approaching intersections, I think this would work very well. NYC DOT already uses them at various toll plazas to keep motorists from lane jumping so it makes a lot of sense. Of course, it won’t generate any revenue for the City so I am not optimistic that we’ll see the City adopting this solution soon.

      Thanks for the idea. Nicely done!

  • I hope the cameras are catching the slew of arrrogant yellow cab and private limo black Lincoln Towncar drivers who still blatantly cruise in the bus lanes in an attempt to outrun traffic in the other lanes. I’ve personally witnessed this on numerous occasions on 5th Ave and the general attitude of these drivers simply shows their lack of obeying traffic laws. If the city starts cracking down on these crazy and arrogant cab drivers, it will generate a lot of revenue.


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