Information regarding actions taken in regards to numerous serious complaints
The request was refused by Wellington Regional Council.
From: Hugh Davenport
Dear Wellington Regional Council,
Attention Margaret Meek
This request is in response to several emails I have sent regarding bus drivers breaking the law by driving through red lights over the last 5 months. The breakdown of emails and complaints held in them are as follows:
24th October 2018 - 250 incidents, including 2 dangerous, and 14 entering while red
10th November 2018 - 130 incidents, including 3 dangerous, and 7 entering while red
25th November 2018 (for incidents up to 24th November 2018) - 109 incidents, including 1 dangerous, and 18 entering while red
10th December 2018 - 275 incidents, including 2 dangerous, and 29 entering while red
21st December 2018 - 839 incidents, including 5 dangerous, and 80 entering while red
21st January 2019 (for incidents up to 19th January 2019) - 1390 incidents, including 14 dangerous, and 118 entering while red
14th March 2019 (for incidents up to 31st January 2019) - 742 incidents, including 8 dangerous, and 78 entering while red
Details of what the "dangerous" ones entail will be in a separate reply.
I would like to request the following for each email:
- Case numbers of any entries entered. If that number is lower than the sum of the dangerous and entering while red, then reasoning behind why not all serious cases were entered into the system.
- The number of incidents forwarded to the bus operators (raw number and percentage)
- The number of incidents that the bus operators responded to (raw number and percentage)
- Any correspondence (internal, operators, third party, customer) in relation to that email, or any of the cases opened in the resolve system for that email.
- Any actions taken by Metlink in response to the email or any of the cases opened in the resolve system for that email.
- Any actions taken by the bus operators in response to the email or any of the cases opened in the resolve system for that email.
- Any metrics showing improvement or not in response to the email or any of the cases opened in the resolve system for that email.
In addition, I would like to request the following in regards to red light running in general since 24th October 2018:
- Any case numbers that were not mentioned above
- Number of those cases that were forwarded to the bus operators (raw number and percentage)
- The number of those cases that the bus operators responded to (raw number and percentage)
- All correspondence (internal, operators, third party, customer) related to red light running in general
- Any actions taken by Metlink regarding red light running
- Any actions taken by the bus operators regarding red light running
- Any metrics showing improvement or not regarding the amount of buses running red lights over the time from 24th October 2018 to 22nd March 2019.
From what I gather, there have been some internal emails shared with me in the past, which have alluded to a "Red light campaign" was done in response, which GWRC has since stated that no such campaign exists or is planned (https://fyi.org.nz/request/9309-informat...).
In addition, I have received only two emails to operators regarding 3 specific incidents of buses running red lights (https://fyi.org.nz/request/9187/response...).
You also provided your procedures for handling red light incidents (https://fyi.org.nz/request/9247-informat...), in which you mention that each incident will be investigated by the respective operator (except if it is reported by myself, in which case a "strategic approach" is taken).
I would like to request the following information related to that:
- Why in the year to 1st January 2018 to 11th December 2018, there was 194 cases involving red lights, but only 85 of those cases (less than 50%) were investigated by the respective operator (which goes against your advice above that *all* incidents are investigated by the respective operator)
- Any correction to the information you provided in the reference above relating to procedures when a complaint of a bus red light runner comes in, which matches what you actually do (ie, less than 50% of complaints get forwarded to the operator, and any email from myself gets a "strategic approach" which secretly means no action).
- What is the "strategic approach" that Metlink has taken in response to my emails, or any other complaints by other people that have not followed the same procedure as referenced above?
- Has the "strategic approach" had any improvement related to the red light running, and if so, can you back up that improvement with metrics?
From: Hugh Davenport
Dear Wellington Regional Council,
Below is a listing describing the "dangerous" incidents I reported:
24th Oct 2018
- One contains a bus that drove through the intersection while the light was already red, whilst a pedestrian was crossing. This pedestrian is clearly unaware of the bus. The bus should have had full view of the pedestrian when the driver drove through the intersection.
- The other contains a bus that was following a taxi very closely (less than 1 second following distance), that it would not have been able to stop if the taxi had to brake suddenly.
11th November 2018
- One has two busses running red lights. The one going northbound is crossing the pedestrian crossing area as the green man for crossing turns on. At this point you can see a pedestrian with a plastic bag start to walk out. Luckily the pedestrian realised that a bus is driving through while a green man is on.
- Route 29e northbound, single decker
- Mon Nov 5th, 7:36am
- Another one is again two busses running red lights. Both are going northbound, the first one enters the intersection after the light turns red, and then yet another bus follows. At this point pedestrians have started crossing, and luckily the bus stops before hitting any pedestrians, however is well into the intersection and appears that they did not notice that the light had been red for some time.
- Route 57, followed by and old style bus (yellow) with a outdoor advertisement on the back (purple and yellow), both northbound, both single deckers
- Wed Nov 7th, 4:35pm
- The last one is another bus that enters the intersection while already red, and crosses the pedestrian crossing while the green man is present.
- Route 7 northbound, double decker
- Wed Oct 31st, 9:09am
25th November 2018
- This bus is following a cyclist extremely closely. If for some reason the cyclist has to stop quickly the bus would be unable to stop in time, which would likely cause injury/death to the cyclist. Unfortunately the route number or bus number is unknown, but the time is.
- Tuesday Nov 13th, 5:20pm
10th December 2018
- 4th dec, 11am, route 52 northbound. I have previously mentioned on twitter where a bus runs a red light while pedestrians still crossing on green man, forcing one to run. I'm sure you are aware that councillor Sarah free has shown interest in metlinks inaction.
- 6th Dec, 7:46 am. Route 1 then route 7, both southbound. A bus running a red light after another one runs a red.
21st December 2018
- 1JW, followed by another bus that almost didn't stop and went well into the intersection. Northbound, 13th Dec, 12:34am.
- 24, almost didn't stop while pedestrians were crossing. Southbound, 14th Dec, 8:02am.
- 1JW, moves entirely into the opposite side of the road to avoid traffic build up. Northbound, 19th Dec, 11:15am.
- 84, continues rolling through the intersection while a pedestrian is crossing. Northbound, 20th Dec, 6:48am.
- 1CP, continues rolling through the intersection, while pedestrians are forced to wait while a green man is showing. Northbound, 20th Dec, 9:07am.
From: Hugh Davenport
Dear Wellington Regional Council,
And a few more of the dangerous ones (FYI has a limit, which is getting broken due to the large number of serious incidents...)
21st January 2019
- 1JW northbound with extremely close following distance, 21st Dec, 1:57pm
- Orange bus (airport flyer?) northbound traveling extremely quickly long after the light was red. The green man for the pedestrians waiting had turned green. Also wet weather should have prompted a suitable speed for the conditions. 26th Dec, 10:59am.
- DRIVER TRAINING, southbound, 28th Dec, 1:31pm. I note that your team attempted to dismiss a valid LGOIMA request for the outcome of this due to "not enough details", then decided to change their mind with no additional details.
- NOT IN SERVICE, southbound, 4th Jan, 8am. Young person waiting to cross road. Green man came on while bus was travelling through intersection.
- Airport flyer, overtaking a cyclist by going over the double yellow lines, not leaving much space for cyclist. I realise that the cyclist should also have stopped, but Metlink should be taking appropriate action against the driver and operator of this service. Northbound, 4th Jan, 11:01am.
- NOT IN SERVICE, northbound, travelling in the middle of the road (over double yellow lines). 9th Jan, 4:25pm.
- 1CP northbound, 10th Jan, 7:23am. Travelling in the middle of the road (over double yellow lines). Pedestrians waiting to cross. I saw a common trend of the buses driving in the middle of the road. This makes it dangerous for other vehicles on the road, and also for pedestrians that only look one way before stepping out to look the other way (people assume vehicles obey the road direction and only go in one direction in one lane).
- 1JW double decker, northbound, 11th Jan, 8:47am, middle of road, pedestrians waiting.
- 1 southbound, 11th Jan, 10:12am. Pulled out to the other side of the road. As there are no vehicles to overtake, one can only assume that the driver is preemptively pulling out to avoid the pedestrians that are about to cross on the green man showing awareness of the red light running.
- 3 northbound, 12th Jan, 11:24am. Road worker is sweeping the gutter when this bus goes through the red light.
- 1JW double decker, northbound, 16th Jan, 11:18am, middle of road.
Transit (unsure if Metlink service, but is an operator for Metlink), northbound 16th Jan, 11:56am, extremely close following distance while running a red light. Makes you think if they were unable to safely stop for the red light, would they be able to stop safely if the vehicle in front had to stop for an emergency...
- 36, Southbound, 16th Jan, 4:52pm, not a full red light runner, but this bus was still travelling very quickly for the circumstances, and failed to stop at the intersection line and enters the intersection while pedestrians are actively crossing. One pedestrian had to change their course to avoid getting hit.
- 7, double decker, northbound, 18th Jan, 1:30pm. Overtaking cyclist while travelling in middle of road over double yellow lines.
14th March 2019
- 24 Jan 2019, 8:27am, northbound 32x, entered intersection when there was no space due to a car parking. Light was orange when started. Light turned red just after they entered. To avoid the parking vehicle, they moved out over the no passing lines at high speed, while the light was red. From my knowledge of the timing, the green man would have come on while the bus was in the intersection crossing the middle line.
- 25th Jan 2019, 9:41am, southbound 52, entered intersection on a red while pedestrians were still crossing (including a child directly infront of them). Appeared to not even notice the lights were red or that there were pedestrians on the roadway.
- 29th Jan 2019, 12:58pm, northbound 1CP, entered intersection on a red light while maintaining a following distance of less than 1 second of the taxi in front. The taxi in front was also indicating that they were about to pull over. Note that the taxi was also running a red light here, but that should not excuse the bus driver for behaving dangerously.
- 29th Jan 2019, 3:34pm, southbound 1, approached a red light intersection at a high speed while a cyclist was waiting at the red. The light turned green and the cyclist went off slowly (as cyclists do). Bus maintained a following distance of less than 1 second behind the cyclist. Note that in most cases of bus vs cyclist, the cyclist ends up killed or seriously injured. A professional driver such as a bus driver should be aware of this. I will also note that as this was a bus only lane, the cyclist shouldn't have been there, but that should not excuse the bus driver for behaving dangerously.
- 30th Jan 2019, 5:46pm, northbound 7, entered on a red light with a following distance of less than 1 second of the van in front. I note that this is a double decker so the stopping distance is probably further than expected, and you would probably want more like 4 second following distance at least.
- 31st Jan 2019, 7:35am, southbound 2, entered intersection on an orange with a following distance of less than 1 second for the cyclist in front. Light turned red just after entering the intersection. The bus appears to start pulling out to overtake the cyclist over the no passing lines. I should note that under the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2008, section 3.2 (4) (b), cyclists must stop on an orange. If the cyclist stopped in this case, it is highly likely the bus would not have been able to have stopped and would be likely to kill or seriously injure the cyclist. I should also note that given the timing of the orange, the driver was likely able to stop safely when the orange was lit up (section 3.2 (4) (a) of the road user rule). I will also note that as this was a bus only lane, the cyclist shouldn't have been there, but that should not excuse the bus driver for behaving dangerously.
- 31st Jan 2019, 11:04am, northbound 2, entered intersection on an orange with a following distance of *far less* than 1 second of the cyclist infront. Note that this is not a bus only lane, and the cyclist is fully entitled to use the lane. The speed limit is 30km/h, and the cyclist is fully entitled to be in the centre of the lane and is likely to be achieving a speed of around 20km/h. I should note that under the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2008, section 3.2 (4) (b), cyclists must stop on an orange. If the cyclist stopped in this case, it is highly likely the bus would not have been able to have stopped and would be likely to kill or seriously injure the cyclist.
- 31st Jan 2019, 5:41pm, northbound 25, enters the intersection on a red light just as pedestrians have stepped out to start crossing. The light had been red for around 2 seconds at this point, and the green man was showing (you can see the red light on the pedestrian lights turn off if you go frame by frame, roughly where the buses fan vents just pass the ManyCam logo). The driver appeared to not even notice the red light, or the fact that pedestrians were about to step onto the roadway.
From: Sam Horsefield
Wellington Regional Council
Acknowledgement of Request for Information under the Local Government
Official Information and Meetings Act 1987
Thank you for your email dated 22 March 2019, requesting information
regarding actions taken in regards to numerous serious complaints.
Your request is being followed-up and a reply will be sent to you within
20 working days of the request being received.
Greater Wellington Regional Council
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From: Hugh Davenport
Dear Wellington Regional Council,
While I had a meeting with Greg Pollock today, which has led me to believe that Metlink is acting upon reducing the occurrences, I would still be interested in the actions and outcomes in these incidents as I have requested, so this request will still be valid.