Auckland is to get more red light cameras

Red light running a focus for Police and Auckland Transport

Police and Auckland Transport are working together to reduce risk for road users at key Auckland intersections by installing red light cameras.

Seven new red light camera sites will operate across Auckland next year.

Police will own and run two digital, dual function cameras capable of recording vehicles that run red lights and/or speed through intersections. They will initially operate in red-light mode only. This will bring the total number of red light camera sites across Auckland to 17.

Police and Auckland Transport selected the sites on the basis of NZ Transport Agency analysis, which identified intersections where red light cameras would likely enhance road safety.

Road users will see infrastructure, including poles and camera housings, going up this month. Cameras will go through a period of rigorous testing before being switched to enforcement mode next year. Police and Auckland Transport will make sure drivers are given fair warning before any infringement notices are issued.

The new cameras are part of wider programmes run by both organisations to encourage safer driving. Auckland Transport has recently delivered a Red Means Stop education and enforcement campaign supported by the Police, and a follow up campaign will be run in February.

“Red light running is an issue of great concern in Auckland,” says Karen Hay, Community and Road Safety Manager at Auckland Transport. “We are pleased to be working with Police and our road safety partners on this initiative. We all need to take care at intersections to reduce the risk of someone getting injured or killed. ”

Inspector Peter McKennie, Operations Manager Road Policing, believes motorists will welcome the push to make intersections safer. “There’s a sense that red light running is a very selfish action – it’s a genuine threat to people’s safety, which saves one road-user a minute or two.” However, he warns that no amount of regulation can keep us safe from inattention or recklessness. “Drivers still need to keep themselves safe and check that the way is clear even when they have right of way. Never assume a green light automatically means you are safe to go.”

This is good to see although if anything 17 intersections in total across all of Auckland doesn’t seem like a great deal.

  • Auckland CBD – Halsey Street & Fanshawe Street
  • Avondale – Ash Street & Rosebank Road
  • Pakuranga – Pigeon Mountain & Pakuranga Road
  • East Tamaki – Te Irirangi Drive & Smales Road
  • East Tamaki – Chapel Road & Stancombe Road
  • Lambie Drive Interchange (east-bound off-ramp)
  • Botany – Te Irirangi & Tī Rakau Drives

Some further information

  • The NZ Transport Agency asked independent transport consultants to develop a methodology to identify intersections where red light cameras would likely enhance road safety. Police and Auckland Transport selected sites for these cameras from the 75 sites prioritised on the basis of potential crash-reduction savings.
  • Police’s dual function speed and red-light cameras use the latest non-invasive detection systems. The system comprises two radars and a camera. The primary radar scans and tracks vehicles as they approach the intersection. If a vehicle crosses the stop line during a red-light phase, a camera photographs the rear of the vehicle. A second radar (known as the validation radar) ensures the photograph taken is of the breaching vehicle.
  • Like all Police enforcement equipment, each camera will be rigorously tested to make sure it meets Police’s strict operating criteria. Transport law requires speed cameras to be checked (calibrated) and certified every year. Police operates a laboratory that is accredited under international standards to calibrate and certify all police enforcement equipment including speed cameras.
  • During the period 2009-2013 there were 634 injury crashes and 1277 non-injury crashes caused by red light running in the Auckland area.
  • Police will calibrate Auckland Transport’s cameras, process images and issue resulting infringement notices.

At the same time the Police are also expanding their static speed camera locations. Three new digital cameras have gone up around Totara Park and in Otahuhu with more to come.

Police new static camera locations

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  1. The Avondale one is seriously needed the amount of times I’ve had to wait for cars to come around the corner before crossing on a green pedestrian light is ridiculous. Also Ash street seriously needs a stop-light crossing near Z petrol station and Wairau avenue, that road is super difficult to cross especially during peak and the nearest crossing is the intersection this camera is being installed at and as far as binstead street

    1. Pedestrian access across Ash St is a real problem. Even right next to the lights, a huge number of Avondale College/Intermediate kids cross between Highbury St and Highbury triangle.. you can see the desire path from the aerial imagery:,+Avondale,+Auckland+1026/@-36.8933652,174.6940801,58m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x6d0d4134bb2ab751:0x5fc567ee10daa8f1. It’s really a matter of time before some one – probably a young person – is killed playing frogger there.

      Insanely expensive, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they cut and covered Ash st between Gt North and the racecourse. Would reunite Rosebank with Avondale with some amazing green space on top.

      1. Very true, that’s a great idea, but doubt they would do it anytime soon 🙁 Plus they would have to put some form of roads/driveways ontop for property access, but I suppose they could make those low speed/shared space style roads.

  2. New North Road/Blockhouse Bay Road/St Jude Street. Motorists accelerate coming up New North Road to beat the red; if they’re turning left they tend to just miss pedestrians because the pedestrian phase is too short. Blockhouse Bay Road traffic also has fun accelerating on an amber light. Another brilliant, motor vehicle-friendly signalised intersection from Auckland Transport, ‘Where we don’t give a damn about pedestrians!’ (sung to that annoying Bunnings Warehouse jingle).

  3. How about some bus lane cameras. Instead of that guy standing on the side of one single street snapping every so often, he could be in a control centre monitoring 10 screens and getting ten times as many bus lane badasses.

  4. Red light crashing is a problem in Wellington too. Most people are genuinely annoyed at the prospect of a ticket because speed creeps a few (it can be as low as one) KPH over the limit. but are happy to see red light crashers hung out to dry. The police should also be targeting drivers who don’t allow pedestrians to fully cross the street before they move off. This is especially bad on stand alone crossings.

  5. Why not just fit cameras in buses. This is done in London for double red line roads and offenders are ticketed without mercy.

    1. Wonderful idea. Also I think it would be great if bus drivers had a supply of big yellow stickers with the wording “Do not stop in bus stops “, with extremely sticky backs, to be stuck on car windscreens.

  6. Given the lack of bus lanes, it’d probably be cheaper to have fixed cameras than front and rear cameras on every bus. Although cameras on buses would probably result in more consistent bus driver behaviour.
    Catching people speeding through an orange is a whole new game. Plenty of revenue opportunity to keep my taxes down.

  7. Only 2 cameras, only in basic mode, and not enforcing tickets til next year?

    They also won’t catch a driver who has gotten stuck in an intersection during a red light phase – this is a major problem for safety and congestion (eg Fanshaw St/Hobson Street!!!)

    Drop in the bucket, really.

    1. Nobody gets “stuck” in an intersection though. They willingly enter without being sure they can exit, saying “stuck” makes it sound unintended (like crash vs. accident)

    2. It won’t catch those drivers because it’s not illegal to be in an intersection during a red light, and the technology doesnt exist yet that can detect if those “stuck” vehicles entered the intersection legally (eg waiting to turn right) or illegally.

      1. Police Infringement code F604 is ENTERED BLOCKED INTERSECTION

        The Road Code states: You must not go into or attempt to cross the intersection, railway level crossing, pedestrian crossing or an area controlled by pedestrian traffic signals, unless there is space for your vehicle on the other side of the intersection or crossin

  8. You don’t need new technology, you need your current enforcement agents to work better.

    The issue above could be solved through simply ensuring that police officers on traffic duty have a “quota” of types of tickets.
    E.g. for every 100 tickets
    Between 20-30 should be speed related
    between 5-10 should be related to vehicle faults
    between 20-30 should be related to red light running
    between 20-30 should be related to failing to give way/failing to stop
    between 20-30 should be related to inconsiderate driving (e.g. failing to indicate off a roundabout, failing to keep left on a multi-lane road)

    During holiday seasons, they should also have a minimum number of “travelling too slowly” and “failing to keep left” tickets. And, in terms of speeding, rather than catching someone doing 120 in a 100 on the open road, they should set up traps where it goes from 100 to say 60 through a town – there’s way more danger there in terms of hitting some poor pedestrian.

    There is a road near me (Maioro Street) where police only enforce speed (a road where as far as I know there has NEVER been a speed-
    elated accident). At either end of Maioro they could fill their boots of cars failing to indicate (New Windsor Rd side) and of cars queueing across intersections (Motorway Onramp side)

  9. Whilst happy to see extension of red light camera’s I’m disappointed at the lack of intersections in the proposal. Red light running is a serious safety issue and should be attracting fines in the $500-$1,000 range.

    Hopefully this will be the start of a blitz on crap driving. Our roads should be filled with undercover police fining drivers for crap driving. But before that happens we need to vastly increase the fines. $80 for mobile phone usage is a joke, it should be $800. Other aspects that should be enforced are:
    – Non Indication
    – Driving too slow relative to the cars around you
    – Intersection blocking
    – Being at the front of a queue at a set of lights and not noticing the light go green
    – Inattention
    – Lane straddling

    Our roads are like the wild west because the police don’t enforce any road rule aside from speed. It would be greatly beneficial if their approach became more realistic.

  10. Stop signs anyone? My son tells me I’m the only person in Auckland who stops at stop signs. From my own observations he may well be right.
    The police appear uninterested in enforcing this.

    1. Out of 1.6m recorded offences in 2011/12 (nationally), only 20k or so were failing to stop at a stop sign (F201, F202)

  11. Thanks for sharing this article. It is really helpful. Most of the people don’t know how to follow up once a ticket is issued. The best thing for drivers to do when getting a red light camera ticket is to hire a traffic ticket attorney to keep that ticket from appearing on your driving record.

  12. We all need to take care at intersections to reduce the risk of someone getting injured or killed. Red light cameras increase rear end collisions. Fight your red light camera tickets with Ticket Clinic’s red light camera ticket attorney.

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