Cameras’ future uncertain
Auckland’s red-light cameras have been snapping impatient drivers for nearly a year but their future is uncertain.
At its June meeting the Auckland City Council’s transport committee will assess information showing potential changes in driver behaviour as a result of the cameras.
The project was launched in May last year with two cameras, but now three red-light cameras rotate through 10 sites.
Transport committee deputy chairman John Lister says the behaviour of Aucklanders had made red-light cameras necessary.
“It is obviously working because behaviour has changed. We are very happy with it,” he says.
Lesley Wallace of national police headquarters says more than 2200 infringement notices were issued in Auckland between May 2008 and February this year.
Those include failing to stop for flashing red lights, turning against a red arrow and crossing against the red lights, she says.
City road safety manager Karen Hay says the final evaluation of the pilot will be completed later this year and will be used to start discussions about funding.
“This is still a pilot project and until the full evaluation is complete and considered, the future of red-light cameras is not known.”
The initial outlay for the pilot was $800,000.
“The pilot was funded as a one off and future funding mechanisms need to be determined,” she says.
The project has been a partnership between the council and police, with motorists being fined $150 if they run a red light.
“The evaluation of the pilot is to establish if a change of driver behaviour has occurred as a result of the cameras being installed,” says Ms Hay.
She says the project has been complex and there is room for improvement.
The final data will be presented to the New Zealand Transport Authority for consideration.
Transport committee chairman Ken Baguley says the council would like to extend the project but it depends on the availability of police to control the cameras.
“When we did our initial research we found there were an awful lot of people running red lights.
“We want to extend it in a manner that is affordable but there are practical difficulties,” he says.
“There are no plans to extend the number of sites. It is in limbo at present.”
Ms Hay says the data will also look at the flow-on effects at intersections near those which host the red-light cameras.
Mr Lister was involved in the launch of the cameras last May but says it is disappointing that all the fines go to central government as it is an educational programme, not one that creates revenue.
He says a new campaign is also being planned to target cyclists who go through red-lights.
Mr Lister says it is harder to identify them as they do not have number plates but if they are couriers they are often wearing a company logo.
5kg ELECTRONIC DRYER