A campaign by traffic and road safety champions to bring red light cameras to Tauranga has failed, apparently because the city doesn’t meet the criteria for a red light camera.
According to the NZ Police website, there are currently seven red light cameras in Auckland and one in Wellington.
But the Bay of Plenty Joint Road Safety Committee red light steering group’s application failed, possibly because the city doesn’t meet the criteria.
Learning what the criteria are is a slow process. NZTA in Wellington did not reply before this story was published in The Weekend Sun.
Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Senior Sergeant Ian Campion is not entirely sure of the reasons and didn’t want to speculate.
Committee chair, Western Bay of Plenty district councillor Margaret Murray-Benge says the issue is not over. Police reported in February that the death and accident rates in the region are the worst they have been in ten years.
“The driving performance in our region isn’t good at all, and we have to do something. So our job in road safety is to actually be the political push to make sure that things are introduced.
“Harry Wilson who is in charge of road safety for New Zealand for the transport agency is coming to our next meeting and it will be on our agenda to discuss that with him as well.
“Nothing is ever a dead duck.”
In New Zealand between 2008 and 2012 there were 11 fatalities, 169 serious injuries and 1466 minor injuries at urban intersections controlled by traffic lights, where running a red light was a contributing factor. The average annual social cost of these crashes was $43 million.
A 2009 review by the Ministry of Transport concluded that red light cameras are an effective safety tool to reduce red light running and associated crashes. A trial run by Auckland Transport between 2008-2010 supported the review.
Intersections with red light cameras experienced an average reduction of 43 percent in red light running and 69 percent in crashes attributable to red light running.
From there Auckland Transport contracted Abley Transport Consultants to prepare a red light camera site selection methodology to ensure red light cameras are only implemented when they are likely to be the best safety tool to enable the best safety outcome.
The methodology is based on the identification of sites where there is an established crash record arising from red light running behaviour or if there is a significant risk of fatal or serious casualties.