City/State-Wide

The DOT’s Newest Way to Raid Your Bank

Enforcement by Entrapment

by John Falcone III

Red light camera locations are indicated by “camera” icons, bus lane cameras are indicated by “bus” icons, and traffic flow monitors are indicated by the “water faucet” icons. School zone camera locations are currently being kept quiet by the DOT.

Red light camera locations are indicated by “camera” icons, bus lane cameras are indicated by “bus” icons, and traffic flow monitors are indicated by the “water faucet” icons. School zone camera locations are currently being kept quiet by the DOT.

If you think you know where all of those pesky traffic cameras are on Staten Island, think again.

Sure, there are plenty intersections that have red light cameras which many Island motorists are aware of; the corner of Hylan Boulevard and Burbank Avenue in front of Shoprite, the intersection of Travis Avenue and Richmond Avenue by Barnes and Noble, and there is one just outside of campus to terrorize students on their way to classes at the corner of Victory Boulevard and Morani Street. But, in addition to the many red light cameras that have popped up throughout the Island over the years, drivers now have to deal with a slew of bus lane cameras, traffic flow monitors, and speed cameras.

School Zone Speed Cameras

Thanks to Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” traffic initiative, a plan that he has implemented with the goal of reducing the city’s traffic fatalities to zero in the next 10 years, you need to pay extra attention to your speed when you are near a school. Yours truly found this out the hard way recently, as I was blatantly entrapped by one of these cameras outside of St. Charles Catholic elementary school near the corner of Tysens Lane and Hylan Blvd. Before you send hate mail to The Banner about its staff trying to justify breaking the law, hear me out.

Having lived in the area of this intersection for a while, I knew of the red light camera which was located at this intersection, so one afternoon a few months ago I approached the intersection and saw that the light was about to change, so I sped up and cleared the intersection.

Little did I know that this camera was now doubling as one of de Blasio’s vaunted speed cameras. It caught me doing the ungodly speed of 51 in a 35.

I figured all of this out when I received a $50 summons in the mail a few weeks later.

Traffic_CamDon’t worry, however, if you aren’t caught picking up the pace to avoid a red light ticket, you might be nabbed by attempting to turn through a bus lane.

Bus Lane Cameras

The summer of 2013 saw the launch of the MTA’s S79 SBS (Select Bus Service) bus line, which utilized hard to miss red painted bus lanes to help buses cut through rush hour traffic.

In order to enforce these “bus only” lanes, the DOT (Dept. of Transportation) installed 10 bus lane cameras which photograph your license plate and send a $115 fine to your mailbox. Massive controversy erupted over this last fall when in their first two months these cameras issued more than 7,000 violations totaling over $800,000 in fines. Many of the tickets issued were done so by cameras which Island politicians have said are placed at points where they are guaranteed to catch a motorist who wasn’t trying to flaunt the law, but simply trying to drive.

“Sometimes it’s physically impossible for you to safely navigate yourself from the right lane that you turned into…which is the bus lane, to the center lane,” Borough President James Oddo told the Staten Island Advance. “Now you’ve failed [exit the bus lane,] you get a ticket.”

Traffic Flow Monitors

As if being entrapped by speed cameras and bus lane cameras isn’t enough of a burden for Island drivers, your movements are also being monitored.
In the spring of 2013, the DOT installed at least 5 EZ-Pass scanning devices at major intersections along Hyland Blvd. The DOT claims the system is in place to help monitor traffic and make adjustments to traffic light sequencing. The DOT also claims that your individual EZ-Pass tag information is scrambled, though it admits that all of our movements are conveniently posted on the internet.

“Readers collect aggregate traffic information only, which is scrambled and does not identify individual motorists,” said DOT spokesman Nicholas Mosquera. “This data [is] viewable by anyone in the public on http://www.nyctmc.org and at http://www.511ny.org.”

Comprehensive Map

Though the locations of school zone speed cameras are kept under wraps by the DOT, many motorists will soon be finding out the hard way where they are.

In order to help you avoid red light tickets, bus lane tickets and unwanted EZ-Pass scanning, the map below shows known locations of traffic enforcement cameras on the Island.

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3 replies »

  1. ***SPEED CAMERA at Hylan Blvd & Tysens Lane
    Richmondtown Preparatory School, located at 2707 Hylan Blvd is CLOSED for Spring Break from Wednesday April 16th to Monday April 28th. The speed camera law states that the cameras can only be operated on school days. Since the school is not in session the law states the speed camera located at Hylan Blvd & Tysens Ln should not be operating during this time period. (This camera has a previous history of being out of calibration leading to ticket dismissals)
    ****Speed Cameras in NYC School Zones: What motorists need to know. (Locations & the law)
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/michael-reilly/speed-cameras-in-nyc-school-zones-what-motorists-need-to-know-locations-the-law/562491430454869
    I am not advocating speeding but I am advocating for NYC DOT to operate the speed cameras within the guidelines authorized under the law.
    Please use caution and obey posted speed limit signs.

  2. ****ATTENTION: IF YOU RECEIVED A CAMERA TICKET FOR THE RED BUS LANES YOU MAY BE ABLE TO FIGHT IT
    August 30, 2013 at 1:52am
    ****ATTENTION: IF YOU RECEIVED A CAMERA TICKET IN THE RED BUS LANES
    STATEN ISLAND MOTORISTS (and other NYC residents)
    If you received a ticket in the Red Bus Lanes According to the NYC DOT/MTA Select Bus Service Law passed by the NYS Legislature during the 2009-2010 session (A9709) many of the violations may not comply with the law.
    ****THIS ONLY APPLIES TO CAMERA ENFORCED VIOLATIONS*****
    The LAW clearly states on page 53 Lines 14,15,16
    WITHIN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, SUCH BUS LANE PHOTO DEVICES SHALL ONLY
    BE OPERATED ON DESIGNATED BUS LANES THAT ARE SELECT BUS SERVICE LANES WITHIN THE BUS RAPID TRANSIT DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM AND ONLY DURING WEEKDAYS FROM 7:00 A.M. TO 7:00 P.M. So if you received a violation on HYLAN BLVD in the direction of Grasmere between 6AM and 6:59AM the violation should be invalid and you should Fight the ticket. Print out the law and deliver it to the Parking Violations Bureau. (Link to law below)
    RICHMOND AVENUE: If you received a ticket for driving in the BUS LANES ON RICHMOND AVE on the weekend or for a time outside 7AM & 7PM during a weekday you should fight the ticket. Print out the law linked below) Current signs on Richmond Ave DO NOT designate the limited time of 7AM to 7PM for camera enforcement.
    ****THIS ONLY APPLIES TO CAMERA ENFORCED VIOLATIONS*****
    IF A POLICE OFFICER ISSUES YOU A SUMMONS IN PERSON FOR DRIVING IN THE BUS LANES DURING THE POSTED SIGNS IT WILL MOST LIKELY BE UPHELD IN TRAFFIC COURT AND YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE FINE.
    Link to the Bus Lane Camera Enforcement law:
    http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=S06609&term=2009&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Votes=Y&Memo=Y&Text=Y

  3. ***Staten Island Bus Lane Cameras are operational***
    If you drive in the bus lane without making the next available right turn you are subject to a $115 fine.
    The bus lane cameras are being installed. The cameras will monitor the bus lanes to ensure vehicles make a right turn when in the bus lane. If the vehicle continues straight in the lane a summons will be mailed to the vehicles registered owner. The cameras are a live feed with a DOT employee monitoring them. The DOT employee determines if there were circumstances that made the driver enter the lane and not make the next right turn. If the DOT employee determines there was a reasonable situation no violation. If no reason just riding the lane then violation issued.
    ****Staten Island Bus Lane Camera Locations:
    Hylan Blvd (Grasmere Bound – Buses Only weekdays 6AM – 9AM) Hunter Ave ; Atlantic Ave ; Midland Ave ; Seaview Ave ; Burgher Ave
    Hylan Blvd (Tottenville Bound – Buses Only weekdays 3PM – 7PM)
    Old Town Rd ; Jefferson Ave ; Cromwell Ave ;
    Richmond Ave – Buses Only all hours (Staten Island Mall area)
    Northbound at Yukon Ave (just before entrance to Best Buy)
    Southbound at Forest Hill Rd. (opposite Costco, just before Red Lane ends)
    On August 5, 2013 I submitted a FOIL (Freedom of information law) request to NYC DOT & Dept. of Finance for the number of violations recorded at each bus lane camera location beginning when they turned on in late June. There are 10 camera locations in Staten Island (locations listed in photo details). From April 2011 through March 2012 there were 73000 bus lane camera violations issued for 20 cameras in the Bronx & Manhattan. These cameras resulted in $7.3 million in fines collected. Just imagine how many fines will be collected from the Staten Island cameras. The lanes and cameras are just another revenue generating TAX on the residents of Staten Island. S.I. represents 2% of NYC’s population but has 6% of the registered cars. Those statistics illustrate how poor Staten Island’s public transit is. The red lanes have yielded a mere 5 to 8 minute improvement on the S79. The fines for violating the bus lane appear to be the biggest drive behind this program.
    Photo attached
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4881097141505&set=a.1142118669380.2021965.1119845507&type=3&theater

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