Public transport lane/facility violation monitoring


ITS-based applications can be used to monitor public transport lanes and facilities, in order to detect and act against traffic violations or encroachment. (For security surveillance of public transport facilities, see Security Applications below).

The facilities which are monitored include:

  • Busways and dedicated bus roads
  • Bus lanes
  • Bus parking and waiting areas
  • Bus gate priority areas

Monitoring of priority lanes and facilities is carried out for a number of reasons:

  • To detect moving violations and initiate enforcement/penalties
  • To gather justification for increased on-site enforcement by police and traffic authorities
  • To identify encroachments and parking, and to initiate corrective action
  • To detect vehicle breakdowns and have them removed/replaced
  • To detect unsafe situations, and mobilise remedial action

ITS-based monitoring is based on cameras, with three common deployment scenarios:

  • Avail of the CCTV network of the traffic authority
  • Install dedicated cameras and recording devices for monitoring the public transport lanes/facilities
  • Install cameras on the front or rear of buses to view the lane in front or behind them

Violation detection is done using one of three approaches:

  • CCTV footage is reviewed by transit personnel either in real-time or post-event, and observed violations are noted
  • A photograph, video or still image is taken:
    • For roadside units, when a vehicle is detected in the restricted area that is not identified as a bus
    • For bus-mounted cameras, when a button is pressed by the driver
  • Image processing applications automatically scan the CCTV footage either in real-time or post-event, detecting possible violations

In order to process violations, the number plate of the vehicle must be identified. Number Plate Recognition software is used to automate the task.

Technologies, data and resources

The technologies utilised for public transport vehicle lane monitoring include:

  • Roadside CCTV
  • Roadside cameras, linked to vehicle detectors
  • Vehicle-mounted cameras
  • Image procession software
  • Number plate recognition software
  • Image storage media

Databases of violations are established to support prosecutions.

Advantages and Cautions

The primary advantages of ITS-supported monitoring of public transport lanes/facilities are to:

  • Provide cost-effective continuous and comprehensive monitoring of public transport facilities, which could not be done to the same extent manually
  • Gather presentable evidence for prosecution of violations
  • Detect problem areas and target on-street violation detection and deterrence resources
  • Automate the tedious and time-consuming process of reviewing CCTV footage

The principal cautions in relation to ITS-supported monitoring of public transport lanes/facilities are:

  • Image processing and number plate recognition may not function well in conditions of low ambient light, or of rain/snow.
  • Continuity of evidence rules need to be understood, and compliant procedures established for capture, storage and handling of images and information. Failure to do so is likely to result in evidence being inadmissible in Court.
  • Costs of maintaining CCTV systems can be high
  • Good working relationships are required with the traffic authorities, traffic police and the legal system to establish an effective legal deterrent

Relevant Case Studies

Dublin, Florence