Red lights mean stop. Even pre-schoolers know that.
So, why on earth are drivers in Rotorua still driving through them - risking the lives of themselves, pedestrians and others on the road?
Last year 228 tickets were issued in the Rotorua district for people running a red light. But there must have been hundreds more occasions where people did this and didn't get caught. Which means the real number of culprits was bound to be much higher.
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The worrying part is the practice has been increasing over the last seven years, with 27 people caught in March alone.
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised by these numbers. Anyone who has driven around Rotorua will have seen it. Numerous times I have watched in disbelief as drivers see an orange light and instead of slowing down to safely stop they speed up to get through it, the light turning red before they enter the intersection.
Stories on driver behaviour always bring on heated discussion about the bad habits of drivers in this town.
For some in the office, it's drivers' inability or unwillingness to let people merge or change lanes that winds them up. For others, myself including, it's the lack of indicator usage. Pukuatua St for example is like playing dodgems, as cars randomly stop, pull over, pull out and turn in front of you.
No matter how good a driver we think we are, we all have lapses in concentration or make minor misjudgements.
But driving through a red light is not a minor lapse in judgement. It's deliberate and it's dangerous and it's stupid.
Even at the slowest Rotorua traffic lights the most you will need to wait at a red light is a few minutes. And that's not a delay worth risking lives for.