Calls for more red-light cameras

By Mathew Dearnaley

Auckland Transport says the cameras have led to a 69 per cent drop in crashes. Photo / APN
Auckland Transport says the cameras have led to a 69 per cent drop in crashes. Photo / APN

Auckland Transport is boasting a 69 per cent reduction in road crashes caused by red-light runners at intersections guarded by enforcement cameras.

An evaluation report has prompted a demand from the Automobile Association for many more red-light cameras in Auckland and other cities.

Only three cameras are being rotated through 10 central Auckland intersections. The average number of yearly crashes caused by red-light running at the intersections fell from 23.8 in the five years to the end of 2005, to just 7.3 from 2008 until December 31 last year.

There were no non-injury crashes caused by red-light running at four intersections, including that of Symonds St and Karangahape Rd, where there were 14 crashes between 2001 and 2005, including one in which a person was killed.

But there was a small increase in crashes at the Queen St-Karangahape Rd intersection.

Auckland Transport road safety manager Karen Hay said red-light running was a serious crash risk and the CBD trial showed the benefits of broadening the cameras' reach.

There were 387 injury causing crashes caused by red-light runners at intersections within the former Auckland City boundaries between 2001 and 2005, far more than anywhere else in the country.

The Ministry of Transport says it will draw on a range of research including the Auckland results before completing a national policy on red-light cameras by April.

Spokesman Barry Kidd said the Government still needed to evaluate how the cameras would fit into a mix of road safety tools, where else they would be appropriate and where the responsibility would rest for paying for them.

AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said the trial results showed there was no reason to delay rolling out cameras throughout the country any longer.

"Red-light cameras have proved themselves - they work, they are cost effective and they have public support," he said. "The AA can see no reason not to act now and use these cameras to make our city intersections safer for all road users."

AVERAGE ANNUAL RED-LIGHT CRASHES

Symonds/Karangahape
* 2001-2005: 2.8
* April 2008-December 2010: 0

Queen/Karangahape 2
* April 2008-December 2010: 2.2

Nelson/Victoria
* 2001-2005: 2.2
* April 2008-December 2010: 1.1

Wellesley East/Mayoral
* 2001-2005: 2.4
* April 2008-December 2010: 0

Customs/Gore
* 2001-2005: 0.6
* April 2008-December 2010: 0

Union/Nelson
* 2001-2005: 2.8
* April 2008-December 2010: 0

Ponsonby/Hopetoun
* 2001-2005: 2.4
* April 2008-December 2010: 0.4

Albert/Victoria
* 2001-2005: 2.6
* April 2008-December 2010: 1.8

Wellesley West/Albert
* 2001-2005: 3.2
* April 2008-December 2010: 1.1

Hobson/Cook
* 2001-2005: 2.8
* April 2008-December 2010: 0.7

- NZ Herald

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