Drivers from outside Auckland are being let off their bus-lane fines.

Auckland Transport figures show one in seven motorists who contest the $150 fines by saying they are new to town have them waived.

The most common excuse is where visiting drivers plead ignorance about the peak-hour bus lanes.

The impunity for out-of-towners has infuriated local drivers, who also claim they are unaware of the bus lanes, but still have to pay the fine.


Auckland woman Lynanne Stanaway unsuccessfully challenged two bus-lane fines, the first on Grafton Bridge before signage was improved in 2010. "I had no idea that Grafton Bridge was a bus lane. I argued that the signage was inadequate but they wouldn't let me off." She was also fined last year for driving in a bus lane on Tamaki Drive.

Drivers were also exempted from paying fines if they could prove the car was stolen or the driver was having a "medical emergency". Other reasons to be let off included a vehicle mismatch, where a check showed the licence plate didn't match the vehicle.