Why Was Database Created?
Automated enforcement laws vary significantly from state to state; some authorize enforcement statewide, whereas others permit it only in specified communities. The use of red light cameras and speed cameras are used to help communities enforce traffic safety by automatically photographing vehicles of drivers who run red lights or who exceed posted speed limits. As a result, many safety hazards are associated with the use of these cameras due to erratic driving behavior. There are also many differences in automated enforcement laws in each state and most locations are unpublished. It is our mission to locate and track photo enforcement areas and applicable fines.
How Do Red Light Cameras Work?
A red light camera system is connected to the traffic signal and to sensors buried in the pavement at the crosswalk or stop line. Traffic engineers determine the criteria that will trigger the camera to photograph a vehicle. Red light cameras usually only photograph the license tag of the vehicle, but they also can photograph the driver. Typically, two photographs are taken, one when the vehicle crosses the stop line and a second when the vehicle is in the intersection. The photographs also include the date, time and place, vehicle speed, and elapsed time from the light turning red to the time the photograph was taken.
False Alarm? Making A Right Turn? Caught In The Intersection?
To avoid photographing the vehicles of drivers who inadvertently get caught in the intersection, traffic engineers program the system to photograph only those vehicles that are moving in excess of a predetermined speed and that enter the intersection a predetermined time after the signal has turned red. The minimum speed criteria eliminates the possibility of issuing citations for vehicles making legal turns on red or those that are stopped in traffic before clearing the intersection. Drivers who enter on yellow and find themselves in an intersection when the light changes to red are not photographed. The technology is intended to catch vehicles driven by motorists who intentionally enter an intersection after the signal has turned red.
How Do Speed Cameras Work?
Speed enforcement systems, also known as photo-radar, are triggered when a vehicle exceeding the speed limit by a predetermined amount is observed. Like red light cameras, speed cameras generate photographic evidence that gives the date, time and place, and vehicle speed.
The pictures taken by road-rule enforcement cameras must usually be viewed by a person before any infringement notice or ticket is issued to the driver, and judged to be satisfactory or not. This step is known as verification, and is a standard legal requirement in nearly all jurisdictions. Verifiers typically must check some or all of the following:
- no sign of interference with the vehicle detector by objects other than the vehicle
- license plate readable according to a legal standard
- make and model of vehicle matches the recorded license plate nunber
- appearance of the driver in the images is adequate or that it matches the picture on the drivers license of the vehicle's registered owner.
How Is A Ticket Processed?
Most electronic flash cameras produce clear images of vehicles under all light and weather conditions. Photographs are carefully reviewed by trained police officers or other officials to verify vehicle information and ensure the vehicle was in violation. Tickets are mailed to vehicle owners only in cases where it is clear the vehicle ran the red light. Typically this process takes one to three weeks and fines range from $50 in some states up to $400.
Will I Get Points On My Driving Record?
A few states treat automated enforcement citations just like parking tickets in that the registered owner is liable. Similarly, just as parking tickets do not result in points and are not recorded on a driver's record, many states do not assess points or make a record of automated enforcement citations.