Amy McGillivray

Amy is the lifestyles reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

City to wait for red light cameras

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Supporters of red light cameras in the Western Bay hope Tauranga will be high on the list for a rollout of the devices once they have been installed in the main centres.


Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse last week announced the release of a paper that paved the way for a national rollout of the red light cameras at the country's most dangerous intersections.

Tauranga City Council transport operations manager Martin Parkes said there were proven safety benefits to having red light cameras at intersections but he doubted Tauranga would be first on the list to receive them.

"I support their use extensively through the whole of New Zealand. I think it's a great idea," he said.

"We'd obviously like to see some in Tauranga at some stage.

"I think the issue is going to be the level of funding for them and where the priority will be. I think the priority will be in the larger urban areas like Auckland and Wellington and Christchurch. The chances of Tauranga getting them is relatively slim."

The criteria for determining the intersections that would have cameras installed was based on the number of injury crashes recorded, he said.

Tauranga city was over represented in intersection crashes but these usually took place at junctions controlled by give-way or stop signs so it was unlikely any of the city's traffic lights would be deemed dangerous enough, he said.

While the city was likely to miss out on the first round of cameras, he hoped Tauranga would be considered soon after the three major centres.

Top priority for any red light cameras would be the Fraser Rd and 15th Ave intersection, he said.

When the Bay of Plenty Times spoke to Mr Parkes about the possibility of red light cameras in October 2011 he said they were too expensive.

The Government and city councils split the cost of safety projects evenly but details about who would pay for the proposed rollout of cameras had not been released, he said.

Western Bay of Plenty road policing manager Ian Campion said he supported the use of any equipment that would reduce the risk of crashes and subsequent injuries.

"I certainly think that it's a real step in terms of road safety. You only have to look at the recent intersection campaign, which highlighted incidents of red light runners, and that's right across the city."

Police caught 22 drivers running red lights during a week-long campaign focusing on intersections at the end of June.

Mr Campion said there were a number of intersections around the city that would benefit from the installation of red light camera, including 15th Ave and Fraser Rd, 15th Ave and Cameron Rd and Totara St and Hewletts Rd.


Intersections that might benefit from red light cameras



  • Fraser Rd and 15th Ave


  • Fraser Rd and 11th Ave


  • Cameron Rd and 15th Ave


  • Cameron Rd and 23rd Ave


  • Cameron Rd and 11th Ave


  • Totara St and Hewletts Rd


  • Tasman Quay and Hewletts Rd

 

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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