Friday, September 17, 2021
Contact: Scott Gastel/Brian Zumhagen (212) 839-4850
DOT to Begin Issuing Warnings Along Merrick Boulevard to Vehicles that Violate Bus Lane Restrictions
Sixty-day warning period begins next Tuesday, September 21st, after which cameras will begin issuing violations
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that starting next Tuesday, September 21, 2021, it will begin a 60-day warning period for bus lane violations along Merrick Boulevard in Queens.
The Merrick Boulevard bus lanes between Hillside Avenue and Springfield Boulevard are part of Mayor de Blasio’s Better Buses initiative to improve bus speeds and expand automated camera enforcement of bus lanes, two critical ways to keep New Yorkers moving as the city continues to recover.
DOT recently conducted a review of the 24/7 Merrick Boulevard bus lane hours and adjusted those current regulations to weekdays from 6 A.M. to 7 P.M. This change was based on feedback from the project’s Community Advisory Board, area elected officials and local residents. DOT informed elected officials and other stakeholders earlier this month. Accordingly, bus lane cameras will be active from 6 A.M. to 7 P.M Monday-Friday.
With the activation of bus lane cameras, Merrick Boulevard, with its Q4, Q5, Q84, Q85, N4 and N4X bus routes, becomes the 30th corridor to gain the benefits of automated enforcement.
The corridor now has signage indicating that the bus lanes are camera-enforced. DOT issues warnings to motorists for at least 60 days prior to issuing violations, per State law, when the cameras are first operated to ensure that drivers are informed about the program. Since violations are issued against the vehicle, not the driver, points are not deducted from motorists’ licenses. A single violation will cost $50; under a state law passed in 2019, fines increase for bus lane violations incurred in a single year – to as much as $250 for a fifth offense.
Due to new state legislation passed in 2019, the City is now allowed to expand the bus lane camera program as needed. The program was previously limited to only 16 routes. Additional camera-enforced routes will be added over time. DOT also works with the NYPD to enforce bus lanes citywide.