The number of drivers nabbed running red lights in Rotorua is at an eight-year high, with their most common excuse being they were "running late".
Latest police figures show there were 228 red light offences in the Rotorua district last year. From 2009 to 2016 the number of red light offences rose 32 per cent.
Senior Sergeant Dennis Murphy of the Rotorua police road policing unit said historically intersections had been among the top locations for crashes in Rotorua.
"Catching those who run red lights is a focus for us," Mr Murphy said.
"We have run a number of operations targeting them and we will continue to run those operations."
In March this year 27 people were caught running a red light in the district, the highest number in one month since March 2012.
Mr Murphy said the potential for crashes was high.
"The common excuse we get for red-light runners is that people are running late. The easy solution for that is to leave earlier."
The penalty for a traffic light offence starts at $150 and three demerit points.
Last year Rotorua police gave out $33,000 worth of red-light fines.
The Rotorua Daily Post did a survey of busy Rotorua intersections between 10.30am and 12.30pm yesterday. During a 15-minute period 20 cars drove through an amber light and nine through a red light at the Fenton and Amohau St traffic lights.
The majority of those vehicles were using a turning light, with four of the red light offences turning right into Fenton St from the eastern side of the intersection.
The second worst location surveyed was the intersection at Pukuatua St and Old Taupo Rd, at the corner of Rotorua Boys' High School.
There 19 cars ran an amber light, nine of which were not through before other traffic began flowing. Four cars ran a red light.
Rotorua Boys' High School principal Chris Grinter said Pukuatua St continued to cause significant concern.
"I am aware of the light running personally as I drive through that intersection both to and from school and yes, cars do enter the intersection on the amber/yellow light.
"It is indeed mayhem in Pukuatua St."
Mr Grinter said it was only a matter of time before there was a tragic incident.
"We have been relatively lucky to date but the risks for our students and staff are certainly significant."
New Zealand Police can issue a $150 infringement notice if you:
Fail to stop at a red signalised traffic light.
Fail to stop at a yellow/amber signalised traffic light (unless you are so close to the intersection that you can't stop safely).
Rotorua Daily Post survey
Pukuatua St and Old Taupo Rd - 19 cars ran an amber light and four cars ran a red light.
Sunset Rd and Old Taupo Rd - 19 cars ran an amber light and one car ran a red light.
Sala St and Te Ngae Rd - 17 cars ran an amber light and two cars ran a red light.
Fenton St and Amohau St - 20 cars ran an amber light and nine cars ran a red light.
- During a 15-minute period between 10.30am and 12.30pm on July 18.