How Red light Cameras Work?

cars crossing white line and crosswalk on red light

How To Tell If You Ran a Red Light Camera?

Red light cameras are designed to take photos of vehicles that enter a specific intersection after the traffic light has turned red.  If you enter the intersection before the light turns red, you are probably safe.  Entering the intersection means that your front tires are across the white line while the line is yellow and turning red.  If you cross the white line while the light is red that would trigger a flash and a violation. 

How Do Cameras Work?



If you’re turning right at a red light, you could trigger the camera if you don’t stop and take the time to look both ways before moving into the intersection. Red light cameras are either mounted on a free-standing pole near the intersection and are rarely attached directly to the traffic light stand. When the light is red, sensors that are embedded under each lane of traffic trigger the camera when a vehicle drives over the stop line. Then, the camera snaps a photo of the vehicle’s rear license plate.

How Long Does It Take to Receive a Ticket? 

Once the camera takes a photo of your license plate and driver, the picture is reviewed by a trained officer who makes sure you were actually running the red light. Within about a 5-7 business days, a ticket (ranging from $50 $500) is sent to the address listed on the vehicle’s registration.

Is This a Red Light Camera?

Many drivers mistake red light cameras for traffic cameras.  Read our blog post and see our red light cameras map for the type of camera at an intersection.


The standard length is from 3-4.3 seconds depending on the speed limit at the intersection.  Read the article above for more details. 

What do red light cameras look like?

Red Light Camera vs Traffic Camera

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