Editorial: Misuse of bus lanes irritates

By Anita Moran

2 comments

I drive along Hewletts Rd to come to work each day.

The 15-minute drive isn't too bad.

Some days there is a lot of traffic, other days it it a pretty straight ride.

But some people are not content with the flow of traffic and they move into the bus lane.

Cars whizzing past in the bus lane infuriate me.

If they are in a hurry to get somewhere then maybe they should have left home five minutes earlier.

A story in yesterday's Bay of Plenty Times revealed almost 800 tickets had been issued to motorists for using the bus lane since 2009.

Motorists caught driving in the bus lane face an instant $150 fine.

Between July 2013 and April this year, 168 tickets were issued. Of those, 63 had been paid, 33 had been waived and 72 were "still going through the process" and it is likely some of the remaining tickets could still be waived.

I will always be amazed at the number of people who try to worm their way out of any fines they receive.

The bus lanes were installed to provide uninterrupted traffic flow into the city for buses and encourage the use of public transport.

Cyclists and motorcycles are also able to use it.

So why do some people think they can take advantage of this?

Tauranga City Council employs people to sit on the side of Hewletts Rd for a couple of hours, two or three mornings a week, to film people illegally driving in the bus lane.

I have seen these people and I have no doubt other motorists see them too.

Council parking team leader Kevin Nally said some people move into the bus lane but seeing those employees filming they move back into the normal flow of traffic.

Maybe a harsher penalty would make people think twice before they go screaming down the bus lane to get in front of all the other traffic.

Or maybe a reader on the Bay of Plenty Times Facebook page is right.

Hayden Holmberg reckons the bus lanes should be removed altogether, describing them as a waste of time and road space.

Either way, motorists should abide by the road rules and pay up if they get a fine.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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