OBJECTIVE: To report common traffic violations in bus drivers and the factors that influence those violations in urban China. METHODS: We conducted an observational study to record three types of traffic violations among bus drivers in Changsha City, China: illegal stopping at bus stations, violating traffic light signals, and distracted driving. The behaviors of bus drivers on 32 routes (20% of bus routes in the city) were observed. A two-level Poisson regression examined factors that predicted bus driver violations. RESULTS: The incidence of illegal stopping at bus stations was 20.2%. Illegal stopping was less frequent on weekends, sunny days, and at stations with cameras, with adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of 0.81, 0.65 and 0.89, respectively. The incidence of violating traffic light signals was 2.2%, and was lower on cloudy than sunny days (adjusted IRR: 0.60). The incidence of distracted driving was 3.3%. The incidence of distracted driving was less common on cloudy days, rainy or snowy days, and foggy/windy/dusty days compared to sunny days, with adjusted IRRs of 0.54, 0.55 and 0.07, respectively. CONCLUSION: Traffic violations are common in bus drivers in urban China and they are associated with the date, weather, and presence of traffic cameras at bus station. Further studies are recommended to understand the behavioral mechanisms that may explain bus driver violations and to develop feasible prevention measures.