Bus lane cameras to nab rule breakers

People misusing bus lanes could soon find themselves caught on camera and fined $150.

In a bid to ensure bus lanes are kept clear for buses during peak commuting times, the city council is going to resume using a mobile camera to film motorists who flout the rules so it can take enforcement action against them.

People caught driving for more than 50 metres along a bus lane can be fined $150, while those who park can receive a $60 fine and be billed for any towing costs.

Motorists are being reminded to keep bus lanes clear for buses during the morning and afternoon peak.

Filming motorists illegally driving or parking in bus lanes is something the city council used to do but it stopped the practice immediately after the earthquakes.

Council transport operations manager Aaron Haymes said bus lanes were an important part of the city’s transport network and it was important they were kept free for buses so that everyone could get where they needed to without unnecessary hold-ups.

“If we want an efficient and effective transport network that encourages the use of public transport then we need everyone to do the right thing,’’ Mr Haymes said.

“Between 7 and 9am in the morning and between 3 and 6pm private cars should not be in bus lanes. If you park or drive in a bus lane during those periods it is likely you will disrupt traffic flows and stop buses getting through.

“We’ve done a lot of work to try and educate drivers about the rules around bus lanes but the message hasn’t got through to everyone. Our parking wardens regularly check the bus lanes and we’ve issued plenty of warnings, but we’re also going to start using mobile cameras so we can take enforcement action where necessary,’’ Mr Haymes said.

– Newsline