Government commits to red light cameras

  • Michael Woodhouse

Associate Minister of Transport Michael Woodhouse has released a position paper on red light cameras that paves the way for their use at intersections where an evidence-based benefit can be established.

“Red light running is a significant safety issue and evidence suggests that red light cameras could prove an important tool to reduce injuries and save lives,” Mr Woodhouse says.

Between 2008 and 2012, there were 11 fatalities, 169 serious injuries and 1466 minor injuries where the running of a red light was a contributing factor. The average annual social cost of these crashes is estimated at $43 million.

“The Position Paper outlines how more red light cameras can be introduced to help reduce the number of casualties at signalised intersections. It provides guidance to relevant authorities to ensure cameras are implemented in a coordinated approach to produce the best safety outcomes.”

A red light camera trial that ran in Auckland between 2008 and 2010 showed an average 43 per cent reduction in red light running, and an average 69 per cent decrease in crashes attributable to red light running.

“We have seen the positive impact red light cameras have made in Auckland, and international evidence reinforces those findings.”

Current cameras require in-road sensors and manual collation of data. The Position Paper confirms that future cameras will have radar to detect red light running, and operate wirelessly to automatically send information to Police.

“Moving to this new technology is a significant change and will result in significant long-term benefits and cost savings.

“The next steps for red light cameras are all underway. These involve providing local authorities with guidance on site selection, upgrading the Police IT platform so it can cope with camera data, and tendering to determine the new camera provider.

“While this work continues, we are seeing red light camera sites expanded around Auckland using the existing technology, while we wait for the new digital framework to be developed and cameras to be sourced.

“I’m expecting to see these new generation red light cameras appearing at intersections from the end of next year.

“While other interventions are available to discourage people from making risky decisions at signalised intersections, I’m confident that red light cameras can be a powerful addition to the road safety toolkit.”

The Position Paper is available at: