The government’s ambitious Road to Zero strategy has hit a speed bump with plans for the deployment of new security cameras in Tāmaki Makaurau delayed due to the war in Ukraine
A plan to speed up the deployment of radars in Auckland has been pushed back due to the war in Ukraine.
Waka Kotahi’s security camera system program is a key part of the agency’s Tackling Unsafe Speeds package, which falls under the Road to Zero plan.
The aim is to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 40% by 2030, with Waka Kotahi’s modeling showing that with more security cameras there would be between 85 and 140 fewer deaths and serious injuries each year .
Approximately 135 fixed speed cameras and secure mobile speed cameras are currently operating across the country on an “anytime, anywhere” model. The government has yet to reveal how many additional cameras in total will be added to the network.
Waka Kotahi, along with Auckland Transport and the Police, had wanted to speed up the deployment of security cameras in Auckland, with the aim of starting installing the additional cameras towards the end of 2022.
“To date, the Acceleration Project has identified 28 corridors from a long list of 71 high-risk corridors determined by the Road to Zero response model,” said a briefing to Transport Minister Michael Wood.
“Auckland Transport is currently confirming cellular signal strength and utility provider approval for installation at selected locations and is working on a detailed site design phase,” officials wrote in July.
However, the ongoing war in Ukraine forced the plan to change course.
“Waka Kotahi has placed orders for Redflex HALO systems for use in this project. However, Redflex said delivery is unlikely before June 2023 due to the war in Ukraine and worsening impacts of Covid-19.
The project now plans to reuse 10 fixed cameras operated by New Zealand Police instead.
“This interim solution would mean that enforcement capability could be activated immediately at the 10 identified high-risk locations across Tāmaki Makaurau under the current New Zealand Police operational model.”
Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport told Newsroom that the police cameras were newer models than those reported by RNZ in August, which proved ineffective in detecting speeding drivers.
A spokesperson for Auckland Transport said construction of the 10 venues would begin in the coming weeks.
“The 10 cameras in Auckland are expected to be installed in early 2023 after site construction and testing…Before being installed, the cameras will be tested to confirm their accuracy and re-tested once in situ.”
A spokesperson for Waka Kotahi said some of the new security cameras have arrived but are, at this stage, only being used for testing and trials.
“A decision has not yet been made on how many, when and where next-generation cameras will be used for law enforcement. We continue to work with our suppliers to mitigate chain risks. supply and make sure we have cameras available when needed.
Testing on the HALO cameras is expected to be completed in November with approval for use to follow soon.
Officials told Wood that the first phase of the security camera expansion plan – which was slated to be completed by mid-2024 – would be difficult to achieve due to the continued impacts of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
This includes the timetable for the transfer of radar functions from the New Zealand Police to Waka Kotahi – something Cabinet approved in 2019.
The agency’s plan has so far identified 400 potential sites for new security cameras across the country, but notes that about half of them are not practical for installing a camera.