Information about red light running policies

Hugh Davenport made this Official Information request to New Zealand Police

Response to this request is long overdue. By law New Zealand Police should have responded by now (details and exceptions). You can complain to the Ombudsman.

From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

For the purposes of s12(1) of the Official Information Act, I reside in Wellington, New Zealand.

I would like to make a request about NZ Police's policies about red light running. I've had a read through both the Land Transport Act, and the Land Transport Road User Rule, but can't find the information I'm looking for.

It is a bit unclear what defines an incident when a red light is said to be "run" in colloquial terminology. Is there a definition that Police use to define this when enforcing traffic signals?

One would think that a red light is "run" if the vehicle has not safely exited the corresponding controlled intersection before the light signal turns red. However, I have also heard that it could be legal to enter an intersection as long as the light signal is not red, even if it turns red just after the vehicle has entered (but not exited). There could also be a definition that as long as the front of the vehicle is inside the intersection before the traffic signal turns red it is legal. These "definitions" are quite different, where a vehicle may still have to go through the entire intersection when the light is red. For this reason I would like clarity on what the Police's official policy on this is (i.e. what they use to enforce traffic signal infringements).

If this is not the correct agency for this request, please let me know who might be best to approach.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: FOUNTAIN, Nicholas
New Zealand Police


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Hello Hugh

I acknowledge receipt of your Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) request.
Your request is being actioned pursuant to the OIA.

Ngā mihi

 

Nick Fountain

Ministerial Services Advisor

Police National Headquarters

 

E [1][email address]

 

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From: [email address]
[mailto:[email address]]
Sent: Tuesday, 12 February 2019 11:19 a.m.
To: FOUNTAIN, Nicholas <[email address]>
Subject: Fw: Official Information request - Information about red light
running policies

 

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From: Hugh Davenport


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Attachment Davenport Hugh IR 01 19 4095 Signed response.pdf
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Was sent to personal email

---------- Forwarded message

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Attention WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah

Hi Hannah,

I received your response to my OIA request, ref no IR-01-19-4095 to my personal email. In future, can you please respond using the FYI email listed ([email address]). Also in addition, I would prefer the original PDF, rather than what appears to be a scan of a printout, both for the reason of saving paper and environmental costs, and for the ease of clicking on the links you provided.

In regards to your response, I don't believe it responds to the information I asked for. As mentioned in my request, I have read through the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004, specifically section 3.2 (4) and section 3.2 (5) which cover yellow and red lights. I note also section 3.3 (2) and section 3.3 (3) which cover the arrow forms. These sections do not cover the scenario I listed in my original request, where a vehicle has entered on a green/orange (when unsafe to stop), and the light turns red while the vehicle is currently inside the intersection. This is one of the reasons I have enquired about the Police's official policy on this (i.e. what they use to enforce traffic signal infringements).

In regards to the Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004, available at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/rules..., I very greatly appreciate being sent a 165 page document and being told that the information is in there. Are you able to narrow this any particular clause that you believe the Police's official policy on this is found (i.e. what they use to enforce traffic signal infringements).

So, do Police have any official policy on what defines a red light runner? This may be an internal document describing to new recruits on how to enforce this legislation, it may be an internal document put in a Police manual, it may be some other internal document. Simply replying with the Acts that I had already mentioned is not a valid response to this OIA.

Please treat this as the same request for the Police's official policy, and a response in full on that official policy if one exists should be made by March 6th. Your current response makes no mention of the Police's official policy, and instead just lists large legislation, and does not cover the scenario I originally described. If you are not happy with treating this as the same request, please let me know via email to FYI explaining reasons why you believe your response outlined the Police's official policy.

If the Police do not have an official Policy, I will be making a new request to the Police on the official advice as to whether it legal to enter an intersection on a yellow/amber light, and have it turn red shortly afterwards while they are still in the intersection, assuming it was unsafe to stop on the yellow/amber light. It may be beneficial for this to be included in the response if the response is "information not held". Note that this should not be treated as a clarification under the OIA and give more time, and can be ignored until I file a new OIA based on the information. It is merely to try and speed up the information I am attempting to gather.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Attention WRIGHT-MCCARTHY, Hannah

Having just read section 3, section 6, section 10.5, and section 13.9 of the Land Transport Rule: Traffic Control Devices 2004, I am very confused why you directed me to go there, as none of those sections (which seemed to be the only sections that related at all to my query) relate at all to what defines anything similar to red light running. I really hope that NZ Police were not trying to send large documents back in order to dissuade valid requests for information. I remind the NZ Police (once again), that they are not above the law, and are bound by the requirements set out in the Official Information Act.

I look forward to receiving any policy the NZ Police hold about red light enforcement by March 6th. You are treading on thin ice by attempting to direct me to the same Act I mentioned in my original request, and another Act that does not contain the information I requested. Both of these Act's are also quite large, and no attempt was made to direct to relevant sections of the second Act. Please respond correctly to this OIA request by March 6th.

In addition, I would be interested in any timeframes and handling of this OIA request that meant it took 14 working days to respond incorrectly to this request. As you will know, s15(1) of the Official Information Act 1981 specifies that requests must be answered "as soon as reasonable practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". Can you please clarify why it was not reasonably practicable to respond with these unrelated Act's earlier than 14 working days? A timeline of events associated with processing this request may be helpful here, if it is possible for one to be provided.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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New Zealand Police

'Do not reply to this message, this email message has been sent from an
un-monitored email address'
 
Thank you for your email Hugh.
 
Your email has been forwarded to the appropriate department.
 
 
Please email us again at [1][New Zealand Police request email] if we can help you
any further.
 
Regards
 
New Zealand Police
 
'Do not reply to this message, this email message has been sent from an
un-monitored email address'
 
 

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
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Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

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From: MAUNDER, Renee
New Zealand Police


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 Good afternoon

 

You received a response to your request from Superintendent Steve Greally
and we have closed this request. I have forwarded your comments below on
to the Superintendent. However, if you are unhappy with the response you
received, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review it. You can
find details about how to do that here:
[1]http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/ .

 

With regard to the amount of time it took to process your request, NZ
Police process upward of 55,000 requests for information every year. In
order to meet our obligations under the Act (which requires a 20 working
day response to every query) we prioritise by due date. Answering your
request as soon as it arrived would have meant delaying the responses to
other earlier requests beyond what the Act allows. NZ Police takes its
responsibilities under the Act very seriously and works to ensure that
every request is responded to in accordance with it.

 

If you are unhappy with the way your request was prioritised, you also
have the right to seek a review of that by the Office of the Ombudsman.

 

Regards

 

Renée

 

Renée Maunder

Senior Advisor

Ministerial Services

 

P +64 4 470 7119

DDI 44419

E [2][email address]

 

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear MAUNDER, Renee,

Cool thanks, as explained in my previous email, that response does not actually provide me with the information I requested, which I attempted to clarify as to why. If the Police are standing by their decision to not provide the information requested, or refuse the information requested under an applicable clause of the OIA I will be approaching the Ombudsman. It will be easier for us all if the Police simply respond correctly.

I am requesting the Police's official policy on how red light running is defined. Please see my earlier emails for a more complete description. So far, I have been sent a large unrelated Act of law, and also the same Act of law that I referenced in my request. I have not received any official policies, or the refusal of any official policies. It's all well and good say "NZ Police takes its
responsibilities under the Act very seriously and works to ensure that
every request is responded to in accordance with it." It would be better if your actions matched that statement.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Davenport

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Just a follow up. NZTA gave a very quick response, stating that it was down to discretion of the NZ Police, as the situations I covered in my original request are not covered specifically by the relevant Act's of law. So surely the NZ Police have an official policy document stating how to execute that discretion in a consistent manner. This may be in the Police manual, or some other internal location. This is what I've requested.

Either way, I have requested that official policy, and I have not received either that policy, or the non-existence of it. Either correctly respond with the information I have requested, or respond with a valid refusal under the Official Information Act.

Please do not treat this as a new request, I am expecting a response by March 6th. If you choose to either ignore this message, or maintain that the response you have already given covers my request (which it does not contain any of the policy that I requested, so it doesn't cover my request), then I will head to the Ombudsman. It will be easier for everyone involved if you simply follow the requirements as described in the Official Information Act and respond correctly. I remind the Police again, you are not above the law.

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Hugh Davenport left an annotation ()

follow up at https://fyi.org.nz/request/9834-requesti...

NZTA's response at https://fyi.org.nz/request/9662-informat...

Ombudsman notified about the delay and incorrect response here.

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New Zealand Police


Attachment Davenport Hugh IR 01 19 4095 Signed response.pdf
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Dear Hugh

 

I refer you to the response of your previous request 
[1]https://fyi.org.nz/request/9524-informat...
.

 

I have attached that response for your information. Police have no other
documents that fall within the scope.

 

Kind regards

 

Ministerial Services

Police National Headquarters

===============================================================

WARNING

The information contained in this email message is intended for the
addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be
subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which
creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you
are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this
message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this
message or any of its contents.

Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect
those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in
error, please email or telephone the sender immediately

References

Visible links
1. https://fyi.org.nz/request/9524-informat...

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From: Hugh Davenport

Dear New Zealand Police,

Thank you. Once again this does not help me. I requested the official *policy* on this, not the legislation (which I stated I had already read). This is likely to be in the Police Manual, or some internal document. I find it highly unlikely that Police solely go off legislation to Police. Please ignore this request as you sending the same response over and over just doesn't help as I have repeatably said. It is sad that you continually misinterpret my request, and rather than ask for clarification as required by the OIA, you simply choose to just pretend that I asked for something completely different. I never once asked for legislation, and indeed I explicitly said I had already read them.

I have made another follow up which is due shortly, you can find it here https://fyi.org.nz/request/9834-requesti... (please note that this is not a clarification on that request, and the due date should *not* be reset because of this comment).

Yours faithfully,

Hugh Davenport

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Things to do with this request

Anyone:
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