Red Light Cameras May Go Nationwide


Red light cameras could become common place through the country as a result of a trial in Auckland.

A three year pilot in Auckland’s CBD found  it discouraged bad traffic light behaviour which is a prevalent disease in Auckland.

It showed an average 43% reduction in red light running behaviour at red light camera sites and an average 69% decrease in red light running crashes at red light camera sites”.

The pilot was conducted to monitor and assess the impact of the cameras on red light running, including the impact on crashes and pedestrian injuries.  To conduct the study, two red light cameras were installed and rotated between ten CBD intersections in Auckland where a high number of crashes were recorded due to red light running.

The red light cameras currently used in Auckland will remain in use while a national policy is being developed.

The results, released by Auckland Transport this afternoon show:

  • an average 43% reduction in red light running behaviour at red light camera sites
  • an average 69% decrease in red light running crashes at red light camera sites
  •   an estimated 32% reduction in rear-end crashes at red light camera locations
  •   an estimated 93% reduction in the social cost of crashes at red light camera sites
  • an estimated economic benefit cost ratio of 8.2 : 1
  • a significant reduction in red light running infringements at one camera location
  • 75% of Aucklanders surveyed supported the use of red light cameras

The report will assist in informing the Ministry of Transport to develop a national policy for red light cameras, as part of Safer Journeys, the government’s road safety strategy to 2020. The policy will be completed by April 2012.The Ministry will draw on a range of research including the results of the pilot.

Ministry of Transport’s spokesperson Barry Kidd said, “The next steps for the government include evaluating how red light cameras fit into the mix of road safety tools; where else in New Zealand red light cameras could be appropriate, and considering responsibility for the funding, purchase, installation, operation and maintenance of red light cameras”.

Auckland Transport’s Manager Road Safety, Karen Hay, says, “Intersection crashes are the leading type of injury crash in Auckland. Red-light running at traffic signals  is a major crash risk throughout Auckland and the trial in Auckland’s CBD showed the benefits that the cameras could have in a broader spread throughout the city”.

The AA says red light cameras have proven themselves and should be used nationwide.






  1. Malcolm says:

    I hope they do it. Red light running is way too common in Wellington

  2. Scott says:

    “benefit cost ratio of 8.2 : 1″ These are the kind of projects we need to be doing more of.

    I hope the cameras are set up to capture stationary vehicles that foul the intersection when there light is red.

  3. Joust says:

    Sounds like a good project. Cameras are needed on all light-controlled intersections. Running reds is common and extremely dangerous.

  4. Pete says:

    Typical report from a bloated bureaucracy with a technology fixation and no common sense.
    It all about the money just like speed cameras.
    Question - why do Aucklanders crash red lights? Some ideas might include, stupidity, impatience and incompetent intersection control design.
    Ideas that dont require more technology are a return to roundabouts or bringing in free left turns allowed on red. Turning lights to flashing amber outside peak and implementing an amber before green.
    Fact is none of these overseas ideas that actually work in different situations is quite as much fun or revenue generating to those who love messing with this stuff.
    Back to Karen Hay’s opinion piece…could it not be possible the decrease in red light crashes is due in part to those of us who regularly drive the city are now so cautious (if first at the lights) of the impatient bus drivers etc who failed to get through a 3 second green arrow phase and go anyway. When we get a green best to not drive off but have a slow look around first. Yup I reckon this tactic saves my front end and at least I get to go through safe…but sorry for the 4th or 5th car behind me misses out on the phase. Trust Auckland Transport to come up with anything sensible? Not in this life. The only sensible thing I read on the page was Scotts comment and his hope for them capturing stationary vehicles.

  5. James B says:

    I love it when people say that fining people for breaking the law is revenue gathering. Red light running is at epidemic proportions in Auckland. Most people seem to think that an orange light means go faster and that the first few seconds of a red light don’t count. I have almost been hit by red light runners on numerous occasions. I’m not leaving the footpath until the light is green which means that these cars are often 3-4 seconds into the red phase. No excuses for that. Fine and demerit points please.

  6. Jon C says:

    @James B Agree completely.
    It’s unusual not to see motorists run a red light.
    And it’s highly dangerous.

  7. Gibbo says:

    Dangerous & far too prevalent - buses & taxis are some of the worst! Labels of ‘revenue gathering’ are simply a b$%&*$#t defensive mechainsm by those who don’t give a toss about other road-users & don’t like being told they’re not abiding by the rules / laws under which they were given their license (ie: pretty much equates to a 5 yr olds tantrum!)

    When these selfish twats run red lights they boot it whilst looking for cars - but it’s the most vulnerable and least visible danger that they put at risk - pedestrians! This includes kids to & from school; the blind (1 of which I saw get almost flattened on a x-ing due to a red light runner); the elderly etc.

    To those who think it’s revenue gathering - grow-up & stop being so selfish!

  8. The Trickster says:

    Pete says:
    September 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Sound like you’re of the “let me do what I want and bugger anyone elses safety” brigade. Anything protecting you (or anyone else) from red light runners which are horribly prevelant in the CBD is just “revenue gathering”.

    Well here’s something - don’t run the f**king red light and you won’t get caught. I thought that was pretty damn simple really?

    Gibbo says: September 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Exactly! And these same mongols have the gall to call cyclists self-entitled. At least bike riders don’t scream revenue gathering whenever sometime comes around to try and keep Joe Q Public safe.

    Worst one I ever saw was a small white hatchback flying out of Shortland St turning left on to Queen about 5 seconds into the pedestrian phase nearly taking out about 25 people who had started to cross - hey Pete - I’m sure if that guy got fined you’d call that revenue gathering too right?

  9. Pete says:

    Good to get the expected bite…so its not about revenue or money…so therefore do away with the fines totally and move to automatic loss of license. We wont be the 1st country to embrace this idea in the interests of road safety. See how many of you transport experts can name the country where all the car drivers are mostly very rich and can afford fines for speeding and took a ‘who cares’ attitude to the speeding road tax. Overnight the rules were changed from a fining regime to a graded loss of license. Instant attitude change, hugely successful. Why not NZ? Because everyone has to agree its not about money. I bet it wont happen. And by the way you mostly lose on comprehension…clearly missed the point about me being slowest away from lights…so try guessing my attitude on a orange (I’ve been creamed 3x in my life by red light runners).

  10. Ingolfson says:

    I am ALL FOR revenue gathering from lawbreakers!

    Automatic license revocation is an interesting idea, but as long as we don’t have that, go hit them where it hurts. Hard.

  11. joust says:

    Enforcement is not the same as revenue-gathering. Drivers that routinely run red/amber lights are breaking an existing law with no consequences for their actions - why else would they continue doing it? The problem becomes exponentially more dangerous at traffic-light controlled intersections on 100km/h stretches e.g. George Bolt Drive/Montgomerie Road or for that matter at Kirkbride where motorists should be slowing to 60 but rarely do.

    Continuing with the status quo and patchy infrequent checks by police who frankly have better things to do than hang around sets of traffic lights - will only lead more and serious crashes. If revenue gathering is what we’re calling it and it saves someone’s life - that’s fine with me.

  12. tbird says:

    I’ve never understood how the “it’s revenue gathering” argument worked. It’s usually brought up with speed cameras.

    I agree with Ingoldson: gather revenue from the arseholes. Auckland is terrible for red-light runners and arrogant driving in general.

    Pete, what’s wrong with the government getting money from the inconsiderate? Sure, give them demerits too so the very rich can’t behave with impugnity, but even rich people don’t like a $200 fine. We’re too easy on law breakers in this country.

  13. The Trickster says:

    September 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Fine - how about caught on a red light camera your car gets crushed in the middle of the night?

    Sounds fair to me :D

    Or we could adopt the Swedish model - fine them a set % of their income and/or wealth - so if you’re say Paul Reynolds and you run a red light you get with a $250k fine.

  14. Roger says:

    As a pro truck driver having done milions of kms I have come to regard traffic lights in my favour as an indication that opposing traffic may stop. I’ve never been in a tangle at traffic lights, ever, so it works for me.

  15. TJW says:

    Red light cameras are nothing new in other parts of the world. It’s about time NZ caught up with the 21st century.

  16. Ingolfson says:

    The Swedish model is awesome! But for some strange reason, some people would see it as class warfare, even though it’s much fairer really.

    Fine to the conditions ;-)


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