MANHATTAN, New York City (WABC) -- The MTA launched the next phase of its bus lane camera enforcement Friday, ticketing drivers who illegally blocked the lane and slowed down traffic along the M15 Select Bus line.
The first tickets were issued at First Avenue and East 59th Street beginning at 10:45 a.m.
"We want to build on this," acting MTA bus President Craig Cipriano said. "We want to let motorists know to stay out of our bus lanes."
More than 15,000 violations were recorded during the 60-day trial period, with thousands of warnings issued to drivers who illegally stood in bus lanes since the fixed-post and bus-mounted cameras were put into operation in October.
The camera system is designed to catch vehicles that block bus lanes in an effort to speed up bus service. The M15, for example, averages just 4.8 miles an hour, barely faster than a brisk walking pace.
While drivers may cross into the bus lane to make turns at intersections, the cameras automatically capture any vehicle that's standing in a bus lane or at a bus stop for more than five minutes.
Fines will range from $50 to $250.
The automated bus lane enforcement system has been installed on 51 buses on the M15 select bus service route and will be coming to the B44 and M14 routes this fall.
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Bus lane camera enforcement begins along M15 bus route in Manhattan