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Cops nab red light runners

LISA HONEYBONE
Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012

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More than 400 red and amber light runners have been caught outside Rangitoto College as police aim to keep students safe.

One driver, who doesn't wish to be named, was fined $150 for running an amber light along with hundreds of others and says that's serious revenue gathering.

The woman says the lights were short phasing and only one or two cars could get through on each green light.

"Cars don't have much choice but to rush through," she says.

North Shore area tactical co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Steve Kose confirms there was an issue with the light phasing which was fixed.

He says a plain clothes officer was stationed with a camera outside the school over three or four weeks.

The intersection is one of several hot spots monitored by police and Auckland Council in a red light-running campaign.

Rangitoto College principal David Hodge says drivers running amber and red lights when they are turning right out of Sunrise Ave into East Coast Rd risk hitting students crossing the road to the school entrance.

Mr Hodge says it's an ongoing issue and the school asked for a solution.

"The fact that people are running the lights suggests either they are incredibly irresponsible and they don't mind putting young lives at risk, he says.

"Or there is something fundamentally wrong with the intersection and the way it's configured so people are getting frustrated.

"I prefer to think it's the latter."

Mr Hodge says when the road was widened the school protested that pedestrian safety wasn't taken into consideration.

He was told a pedestrian overbridge was too expensive but that the road had been engineered to keep people safe.

Mr Hodge says either the road needs to be re-engineered or a permanent camera installed.

"Something has to be done," he says.

Earlier in the year the North Shore Times ran a story about Gabrielle McAllister-Lyons who was hit by a red light runner at a crossing just one intersection down from the school in 2009.

She went flying on to the bonnet of the car, smashing her head into the windshield.

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- North Shore Times

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