Windscreen washers operating at key city intersections around Whanganui could find themselves subject to a bylaw.

While the district council has yet to make any definite moves in that direction, it has been running a poll on its website to find out what locals think. And the results are overwhelmingly against the traffic light entrepreneurs.

The poll went up on the council website on March 9 and finished last Friday and in that period collected 439 votes and 235 of them - that's 53 per cent - said they find the windscreen washers "annoying and intimidating and wish they weren't there".

A further 23 per cent (102 votes) said their antics didn't bother them and they didn't think they were doing any harm, 14 per cent (63 votes) were worried that they were a distraction for drivers while just 8 per cent (39 votes) thought they were "great" and loved "getting my window screen washed".


A council spokesperson said the poll was run to see how the community felt about the washers. It was also seen as a measure of whether the council needed to consider introducing a bylaw around this activity as some other councils have done.

Councillor Ray Stevens, council infrastructure portfolio holder, has been a long-time advocate to get some sort of controls imposed on the intersection washers.
He said the poll result doesn't surprise him.

"I know some on council don't think these people are annoying or intimidating, but other folk have told me they do find them intimidating," Mr Stevens said.

"The point is all our contractors have to have traffic safety management plans in place when they're working on our streets and roads, so I can't see why these characters are treated any differently."

He said changes to the Health and Safety at Work Act, effective from April 1, could have some bearing on the random washers.