A Bus Lane camera in Newmarket, Auckland, has dished out nearly $4.3 million worth of fines in the last twelve months.
According to RNZ, the camera on Khyber Pass Road issued an estimated 29,000 fines of $150 to drivers guilty of driving in a bus lane.
Some of these drivers say they were in the lane for no more than 50 metres.
The Automobile Association (AA) tells RNZ, “something is not right and [the camera] needs to be looked at.”
However, the New Zealand road code is strict on its laws concerning bus lanes. The penalty for driving in a bus lane when not allowed is a flat $150 fine.
The law states drivers cannot enter a bus lane for more than 50 metres before turning.
AA’s policy director Martin Glynn says he can understand why many drivers were caught out with fines. He says the road in question is tricky.
“Drivers on Khyber Pass Rd wanting to turn left have very little space in the left lane to comply with the 50m rule before they reach the intersection.”
Auckland Transport’s website says the Khyber Pass Rd bus lane is monitored between 7 am and 7 pm every day of the week.
Several bus lanes in the Auckland CBD operate 24 hours, 7 days a week, with few exceptions.
AT’s John Strawbridge says the law is the law, and drivers should expect to be penalised for using a bus lane.
However, he says fines are not issued for the primary reason of generating revenue but rather act as a deterrent.
“The goal of our compliance activities is to help Aucklanders travel efficiently and effectively through Newmarket by bus.
“Our primary consideration is the effectiveness of our transport system – revenue is not our focus.”