Auckland Transport has confirmed that it plans to report an Auckland-based road safety advocate over pictures of penises that have been spray painted over pot-holes in various spots around Auckland.
Last week, NZ Autocar reported a sighting of several penis illustrations along Old North Road while on a car review photoshoot. Road safety advocate Geoff Upson has since confirmed to us that he is behind the illustrations.
An Auckland Transport spokesperson told NZ Autocar that it intends to pursue the “culprit” over the costs of removing the spray paint from the pot-holed roads, stating that they have put themselves at risk while also providing a distraction for other drivers.
“The graffiti will be reported to the police and all costs to remove will be charged to whoever the culprits are,” they said. “The person responsible has placed themselves at risk, as well as potentially causing a safety risk and a distraction for other drivers.”
The spokesperson added that Old North Road’s potholes are “on our list of repairs” and are “programmed to be done soon”.
Speaking to NZ Autocar, Upson said that he’s made numerous attempts to contact Auckland Transport to lodge complaints about various pot-holes spotted at roads around Auckland. Most often the complaints go unanswered, with a minority eventually being addressed once repairs have been completed.
The road safety advocate (who works full-time as a handyman) was happy to have his identity published. He disagrees with Auckland Transport’s appraisal, saying that he is always cautious and careful when doing the painting.
“The only spray painting I have done has been directly on unsafe areas of road surface which were overdue for repairs and all spray paint has been removed along with the damaged road as part of the repair when the Road Controlling Authority finally repairs the road,” he said.
“In this instance on Old North Road the spray painting has not been removed or the road repaired yet. When I undertake drawing on the road I am cautious to minimize the risk both to myself and other road users.”
Upson remains concerned about the state of roads across all of New Zealand; a hot topic at the moment following the country’s poor road toll statistics from last year. He says Auckland Transport should be “ashamed” of the country’s roads.
“Auckland Transport should stop worrying about prosecuting me for highlighting their failures and be ashamed of themselves for allowing our road network to be in such a state of disrepair,” he added.
“Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport should also offer additional clarification regarding the reason the road surfaces have become so dangerous and how the public can change this in the next election.”