I’ve lost count of the number of times this same story comes up in the Herald and about the only thing missing this time was a sob story from a motorist. Instead we get three councillors who think this is a perfect opportunity to try and score some political points.
A central Auckland bridge is netting $150,000 in traffic fines from confused motorists every month.
Almost 1000 tickets have been issued each month this year to drivers snapped by enforcement cameras as they cross Grafton Bridge – which has been closed to all but buses for three years.
This year’s total take is about $1.25 million.
Some civic leaders say a “dog’s breakfast” of signs around the bridge creates confusion.
Auckland Council members Cameron Brewer, George Wood and Calum Penrose have called for a review of the signs after learning that as many as 997 tickets, worth $150 each, are being issued each month.
Mr Brewer said the council-controlled Auckland Transport had put up an array of small signs around the busy approaches to the bridge to show it was for buses only between 7am and 7pm on weekdays.
But the number of signs had added to the confusion.
“For many who may be heading into the area for the first time in a long time, it is as clear as mud.
“With no time to take it all in, many drivers find themselves on the bridge, nowhere to go, and staring at a $150 fine.”
Mr Wood called the signs a “complete dog’s breakfast” and said they explained why so many people were still being fined three years after the bridge became a bus corridor.
Well George I don’t think that it is the signs that are causing people to keep using the bridge but a mix of stupidity and risk taking thinking they might get away with it. First there were cries of not enough signage, now cries of too much signage but I think that the signs are just a convenient excuse. As I understand it Auckland transport already has a policy of letting out of towners off with a warning and with the amount noise that was generated the previous times this issue has come up I would be really surprised if there was really that many people that didn’t know that the bridge was off limits.
If there is any confusion at all it is due to the fact the bus only status is only active between 7am and 7pm on weekdays, perhaps the solution is to just make it bus only 24/7. The other thing Auckland Transport should do is to is to come out and say that if people are going to be stupid enough to drive over the bridge then they deserve a fine (and the same goes for other bus lanes too). They shouldn’t have to appear almost ashamed that they are keeping the bus lanes moving as without enforcement they quickly deteriorate with drivers thinking they can get away with clogging them up.