The signs are clearly marked: only cars with three or more passengers are permitted to use an HOV lane during rush hours on the Staten Island Expressway. And yet, plenty of drivers flout the rules.
The HOV lane was launched in 2015, and was recently extended over the Verrazano Bridge – so it’s now possible to ride in the same lane from Staten Island through Brooklyn, all the way to the Battery Tunnel. The lane is supposed to encourage people to share cars or take buses, thus easing congestion and reducing travel times.
From January to June, 2,776 tickets for HOV lane abuses were issued by the NYPD. State police gave out 300 more since October. And between June and July, when the HOV lane opened on the Verrazano Bridge, bridge cops have given out 80 tickets.
Borough President James Oddo thinks traffic cameras could help stop HOV lane abuse. Many Staten Islanders are not thrilled with the idea, others grudgingly agree it would help, and that something needs to be done.
If officials act on the idea of installing traffic cameras on the HOV lane, it would take some time and require legislative action.