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Encouraging results from bus/bike lane enforcement

Encouraging results from bus/bike lane enforcement

Since the introduction of its bus/bike lane enforcement measures on 3 March 2003, Auckland City Council has now reviewed the efficiency of this initiative and the results are encouraging: In the morning peak (7.30am to 9am), the non compliance rate has dropped from 5.4 per cent down to 4.2 per cent. This figure is distorted by a high infringement rate (44 per cent) on the Ellerslie Main Highway In the evening peak (5pm to 6pm), the non compliance rate has dropped from 14.4 per cent of all traffic down to 2.9 per cent.

The council expects to see more progress over the next few months. As a new initiative, the council’s traffic wardens adopted a conservative approach over the 13 enforced bus lanes and issued a low level of tickets. They have noted that drivers tend to illegally drive in the bus/bike lanes between 8:20am and 8:30am and between 5:40pm and 5:50pm.

Clear bus/bike lanes allow buses to travel quicker and avoid traffic and congestion. Motorists need to respect the peak hour restrictions for bus/bike lanes but can use the lanes at other times. Drivers should check the signs before using the lane.

“The results prove the importance of bus/bike lane enforcements”, says Mr Joseph Flanagan, manager Traffic and Roading Services. “They are necessary to help resolve bus service delivery issues. The council is committed to providing appropriate infrastructure for public transport and the infringement measures are now a proven tool.”

Drivers need to understand that by driving illegally in a bus/bike lane they run the risk of an automatic $150 fine or a maximum court fine of $10,000. The council is now looking into a more pro-active approach by being more flexible and by covering additional areas. “The council’s intention is to enforce more bus lanes throughout Auckland by using improved operational processes that we’ve learnt from the implementation of this project,” says Mr Flanagan.

The bus/bike lane enforcements do not apply to motorway bus lanes, which are managed by the police. Drivers are not allowed to drive in motorway bus lanes at any time.

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