Over the next few months, the Stop on Red campaign will remind drivers who run red lights that the risks to themselves and others are not worth it.
Between 2013 and 2014, Police attended 974 crashes at intersections in Wellington City in which 296 people were injured.
Councillor Andy Foster, Chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says that in addition to the human cost of fatal and serious crashes, they can also cause significant traffic disruption and expense for the vehicle owner.
“When traffic delays occur, the whole city can be affected. It can cause disruption to personal lives, as well as businesses.
“We all know there is always plenty of time to stop before a light turns red. The Road Code is very clear that the amber light means stop if you safely can – it isn’t an invitation to speed up to try to beat the red light.”
Paul Barker, the Council’s Safe and Sustainable Transport Manager, says red-light running continues to be a major problem in Wellington and the Council is monitoring and improving Wellington streets to make them safer.
“More than three quarters (76%) of respondents to recent research say they have found themselves in the middle of the intersection when a light turned red and 16% say they have entered an intersection when the light has already turned red.”
“All road users need to stop at red lights and drive safely, especially around intersections. This includes people in cars, on bikes, and in commercial vehicles.”
Inspector Michael Wright, District Road Policing Manager, says that one in four crashes in Wellington are the result of failure to stop or give way at intersections.
“All road users need to stop on the red light or incur a $150 fine. It’s as simple as that.”
Mr Wright says a red light camera was recently installed on the corner of Karo Drive and Victoria Street after research showed it was among the highest risk intersections in the country for red-light running related crashes.
“Red-light running is highly dangerous – people risk the lives of themselves and others, simply to get a few metres further along the road. Police will continue to work with the Council and road safety agencies to improve safety at intersections.”
The concept for the $50,000 campaign was developed by Wellington City Council staff and jointly funded by the Council and NZTA.
People will see the campaign on billboards and bus backs and hear it on the radio. VTNZ, Bunnings, Wellington Combined Taxis, Go Wellington buses and Wilson Parking, are also helping to promote the Stop on Red message.
The campaign is supported with police enforcement at intersections throughout the central city.
The four intersections in Wellington with the highest number of crashes are:
- Victoria Street and Karo Drive
- Vivian and Taranaki streets
- Harris Street and Jervois Quay
- Evans Bay Parade and Cobham Drive