‘Overkill’? 13 traffic cameras added to one Auckland road

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Words: Matthew Hansen
22 Feb 2021

Drivers regularly commuting on Onewa road will need to pay extra attention to their lane choices, following news over the weekend that a large number of new traffic cameras are set to be installed on the stretch in June.

The cameras will be used to monitor T3 lanes spread along Onewa road, targeting drivers who take advantage of these lanes without the stipulated number of passengers on board, as well as drivers who sit in the lane for less than 50 metres when performing a turn while holding less than three passengers.

Drivers caught by the cameras in the first three weeks of operations will be sent warning letters. But as time goes on offenders will instead be sent $150 fines. The move has been met with mixed reception, with Kaipatiki Local Board chairman John Gillon telling NZ Herald that 13 cameras on one road “seemed like overkill”.

“We haven't had a presentation or workshop or anything on this. This sort of came out of the blue,” he said. “People are not too happy about it. [...] People are really concerned they are going to get pinged when they are just trying to do the right thing.

“As a public-owned entity, Auckland Transport needs to ensure that all its decisions that will affect the day-to-day lives of Auckland residents are canvassed with the public and local board as early in the process as possible.”

Auckland Transport spokeswoman Natalie Polley brushed off the criticism, claiming the cameras weren’t a ‘revenue gathering’ exercise because the penalty fee number is set by the Ministry of Transport while also citing the three-week grace period.

“The demand for transport in Auckland keeps growing, but the capacity of our roads is constrained by the space available,” she said. “One of the ways we manage this is by providing ways for the same road space to carry more people, like converting a general traffic lane to a bus or transit lane.

“Remote monitoring of bus and transit lanes allows Auckland Transport to provide a more consistent way to enforce the rules, without the need for staff to stand at the side of the road for long periods. This is part of AT's wider strategy to roll-out remote monitoring of bus/transit lanes across the region.”

 

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