By on February 19, 2009

A New Zealand resident who wants a red light running warning citation sent to a stranger or an enemy only needs to call a toll-free phone number. On Tuesday, the Manukau City Council unveiled its program that allows anyone to contact the police and accuse someone of an intersection traffic violation. “We’re asking the community to join the council in sending a message to these drivers that it’s not on,” Manukau City Council member David Collings said. “If people see drivers running red lights they should dial 0800 STOP 4 RED.”

Those who call or use the online form should first know the license plate number as well as the color and make of the vehicle owned by the person they wish to accuse. They should also be prepared with an intersection location, date and time for the alleged incident. Recipients of a visit from the police or a warning letter will not be allowed to confront their accuser as police insist such information “will be kept strictly confidential.”

In addition to the hotline, Manukau Police have set up lucrative operations where a half-dozen officers wait to issue NZ$150 tickets to drivers at intersections. The council hopes before the end of the year to increase this revenue further by installing automated ticketing machines.

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18 Comments on “NZ Red Light Rat Line...”

  • avatar

    The City Council also announced that in the future all heard of suspected verbal or thought crimes will be reportable to the soon-to-be-established Friendly People’s Commissars hotline.

  • avatar

    I wish they had this for the 1000 db stereo punks…

  • avatar

    I’m sure there’s no way that this will be abused…

  • avatar

    So, uh, proof?

    The likelihood of proof really jeopardizes the profit probability equation here.

  • avatar

    I love this idea. I once had a fellow citizen call the police on me because I was driving 50 in a 55 zone on a two lane highway. I had suffered a blowout in rural Wisconsin, and I had 150 miles to go before I’d get home, so I drove slowly to assure the tiny spare would make it. Thanks to the watchful eye of that other driver, my wife and I were pulled over and had pistols aimed at us by those who serve and protect. The officers seemed mad at me for not being drunk.

    Nope, I don’t see how this could go wrong.

  • avatar



    You weren’t pulling our legs?

    That’s it, humanity’s fucked. May as well call it quits, because there’s no way we can kick back with a cigar and scotch and somehow fool ourselves into thinking we’ve had a good run.

    Though, I think it could be fun to accuse every single politician of running some red lights every day. Would make for quite the clever cock-up of their system. Start screaming bloody murderous corruption too if they aren’t found immediately guilty every time. Heh.

  • avatar

    The ultimate rat on your neighbor scam.

    Well, if you live in Manukau, NZ, all you have to do is hang around the city hall observing who drives what car and taking down the license plate numbers and colors. Then a trip to the police station just before shift change should allow you to glean further valuable information. Complain about them and see how long this silly scheme lasts.

  • avatar

    DO NOT let anyone from the Obama administration see this; it would show up here for sure!!! Although it would foster much creative abuse, and that would be fun. Almost as good as those zombie construction signs.

  • avatar

    So Big Brother really is watching you.

  • avatar

    Next they’ll get the kids involved and organized. They could call the group Nation’s Kids, Vigilant and Determined, and eventually use them to rat out their parents for holding unpopular opinions. The name is a little unwieldy, so it could just go by its initials as an acronym….

  • avatar

    Obviously, it must be wanted by the citizenry. Who are we to say they’re wrong?

    But yeah, I like the idea of reporting the politicians. But don’t forget the policemen, their wives/husbands/kids! Oh, and you simply MUST report on a judge or two to make it fair!

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    This isn’t really new. California’s had a smoking-cars hotline (1-800-EXHAUST) for at least fifteen years. Y’think every car ever called in has really been a gross polluter?

  • avatar

    …did the same, and they were called Nazi’s!

  • avatar

    Uh, seriously guys, it’s not that big a deal. We’ve had a system here (NZ) for years where you can call up and make a complaint. The actual warnings are nothing more than that, it doesn’t matter how many you get, you can’t get a fine or demerit points for anything that hasn’t been observed by an officer.
    For the record, we’ve got a pretty bad record here for red-light running, and it’s been getting way worse in the last few years.
    Yes, we have red light cameras at a few intersections, which will send you a fine. these are signposted, so there’s no reason to get one really.
    Ok, the bit where an intersection is staked out is pretty rank, but if that causes less people running reds then that’s all good. They only run it for a couple of hours at a time. Honestly, when the light goes green here sometimes you have to wait a couple of seconds before you can move off. Other times someone gaps it through the intersection doing 60-odd (mph) real late, and I’ve almost been taken out a couple of times in situations like that.

  • avatar

    How is that any different that what we have been able to do in California? I’ve called in cars to the CHP before. And sometimes the CHP will track down the owner and warn them to stop that s**t.

    One time I called in an idiot who kept switching lanes on the freeway without looking. I was on my motorcycle and the bastard squeezed me into another car when he decided he wanted to put his car where where my motorcycle was. The CHP gave him a warning in the mail.

  • avatar

    To be fair – NZ drivers are the worst in the world…I have just got back to Aussie after a short trip home to NZ…if they arent texting on the phone whilst driving 5 inches off your rear bumper in the rain, they are trying to drive in as many lanes as possible at any one time, or attempting to set a new world record in how close one can follow another car at highway speeds, or just not paying attention (one moron was busy having some sort of romantic entanglement with his girlfriend whilst roaring up behind us as the lights turned red – I took a free left turn to escape this total brain dead idiot)…

    I used to think the QLD drivers were bad…not a bit…I dont think there is a single NZ’r that can drive (except perhaps Scott Dixon)…most NZ’rs shouldnt be allowed a license to drive…

  • avatar

    You are 100% correct. There are tons of bad drivers here. The worst thing is that everyone thinks that they are “better than average” drivers. Unreal!
    The points you noted are some of our national sports, along with driving drunk, and beating our kids to death!
    Seriously I think the problem stems from the quite frankly inadequate licensing system, lack of follow-up testing (you get your eyes tested every 10 years, and that’s it, once you’ve got your license you don’t need to do a driving test for the rest of your life). Also the fact that we seem to have absolutely no sense of courtesey on the road, and a perception that being on the road is a right, not a privelege (probably bred through the availability of cheap imports and lack of public transport). Add to that the territorial behaviour of many (especially on the motorways) and you’ve got a pretty bad bunch of people on the road. Oh, and I forgot to add, a deeply held belief that speed limits are merely a suggestion!

  • avatar

    1984 is apparently here.

    However, in a contrasting story: I was once sideswiped by an 18-wheeler on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (he barely clipped my right-hand mirror and nearly pushed me into the center barrier of the highway while he passed a car in front of him). I managed to get his truck number and company name as he continued on. Upon contacting the state police so they could warn him to be more careful, the police told me there was nothing they could do. To be clear, I asked them whether they could do something if I had wrecked. The incredible answer: Yes.

    So they weren’t interested in near-accidents, only real ones.

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