A Whangarei mum is pleading with the city's drivers to take more care after a red-light runner nearly hit her children.

Lacey Owen was crossing Walton St with Declan, 2, and Calais, 3, on Tuesday morning when a car came flying through the signal-controlled pedestrian crossing outside the police station, despite the "green man" flashing.

She said thankfully, she was quick enough to pull the children back out of the car's way.

"Had I not been holding their hands, as I always do when crossing, I would now never be able to hold them again," Ms Owen said.

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She said it was symptomatic of the wider problem of drivers running red and orange lights, which was rampant at central Whangarei intersections: "This is not an isolated incident."

Ms Owen had publicised her experience on Facebook in a plea to get drivers to take more care.

She said she would always explain to her children "we cannot cross, we must wait for the green man so we know it's safe".

She said the near-accident showed how important it was to also check before crossing, which was difficult for young children who wanted to take off when they saw the crossing signal.

"It should have been safe to cross," Ms Owen said.

Her husband is a police officer, and the family had been going to visit him at work.

She told him about the incident but the police had not captured any footage of the offending driver on the city's CCTV cameras.

Meanwhile, a 10-year-old boy remains in a critical condition after he was hit by a car on a notorious Whangarei road crossing and landed about 12m away.

The accident, on a pedestrian crossing on State Highway 1 opposite the Otaika Shopping Centre about 12.35pm on December 21, has prompted retailers to call for more improvements to the crossing, which has been an issue for a number of years.