A recent investigation by the New York Daily News found that as nearly two-thirds of New York City school buses “have been issued at least one speeding or red light camera ticket since 2014.” Of the city’s 10,497 registered school buses, 6,895 (or 65%) have received tickets.
Of those 6,895 buses that received tickets for speeding or red light violations, 86 received “20 or more,” per the Daily News, and all 6,895 were issued their tickets for moving violations in school zones. As the report notes, traffic violence involving school buses has killed “at least nine people” in New York City since 2014, when Bill de Blasio became mayor and launched his administration’s Vision Zero campaign to eliminate deaths from vehicle accidents. One such death was in February of this year, when a bus driver hit a 6-year-old boy in Brooklyn. In the previous February, a 10-year-old girl died after a driver hit her at a Brooklyn crosswalk.
How many tickets have the city’s school buses received? The Daily News found a of 26,339 speeding or red light violation tickets. Of those, 13,370 were issued since 2019, “the year state lawmakers approved legislation allowing the city to install hundreds of new red light and speed cameras in school.” Bus operator Fortuna Bus Co.’s fleet includes 42 school buses that have received an average of 446 tickets, “making it the city’s most reckless fleet.” The operator’s owner reportedly blamed the tickets on the implementation of enforcement cameras in school zones around the city, telling the Daily News, “There are too many cameras in Brooklyn… My drivers are good. They are not dangerous. Everything will be OK. I will tell them to stop speeding.”
A second major offender is Y&M Transit Corp, whose fleet reportedly includes “235 buses that have 1,765 speeding tickets and 349 red light camera tickets since 2013,” including 408 tickets received this year. In an interview with the Daily news, the fleet’s owner attributed the problem to the buses’ drivers.
In a statement about the raft of speeding tickets against school buses, a spokesperson for New York City’s Department of Education told the Daily News, “Safety is our top priority and no bus drivers should be driving above the speed limit… All bus vendors and their drivers complete rigorous safety training, have clean driving records before being hired, and for context, we complete over 9,000 routes a day.”
More information on the problem of school buses with speeding and traffic violations in New York City is available via the New York Daily News.