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Busting 4 Common Myths About Photo Enforcement

Despite a multitude of independent studies showing that photo enforcement technology improves road safety and reduces crashes, some people believe photo enforcement does more harm than good. Here, we break down the most common myths about photo enforcement and present facts to set the record straight.

1. Myth: Photo enforcement is just a revenue generator.
Fact: First and foremost, the ultimate goal of a photo enforcement program is to reduce violations.

Successful programs see a decline in citation revenue over time due to a decrease in violations.

Photo enforcement programs are designed to use taxpayer resources wisely and are “violator funded,” with program funds being used to pay for equipment, processing, and law enforcement personnel. Cities may use any remaining funds for public safety initiatives, such as improving sidewalks, installing lighting along pedestrian walkways, repairing roads and more.

2. Myth: Photo enforcement cameras are an invasion of my privacy and violate my constitutional rights.
Fact: Numerous courts around the nation have concluded that photo enforcement is not an invasion of privacy.

A 2009 ruling by the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals stated that there is no constitutional prohibition against being photographed by a photo enforcement camera on a public street. When drivers receive their licenses, they agree to abide by all traffic laws on public roadways, which are intended to keep them safe. Redflex complies with all state and local laws regulating how the data and images from cameras may be used.

3. Myth: Photo enforcement actually causes more crashes.
Fact: Photo enforcement saves lives and improves driver behavior.

Numerous studies have found that photo enforcement effectively reduces crashes and violations, helping to improve community safety:

  • According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Safety Research, red-light cameras reduce fatal red-light running crashes by 21 percent and all types of fatal crashes by 14 percent.
  • A 2005 study by the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that red-light cameras don’t cause an increase in rear-end crashes, and that the technology is responsible for a 13-29 percent reduction in all types of injury crashes.
  • A 2011 study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that red-light cameras reduced fatal red-light running crashes in 14 major cities by 24 percent.
  • In 2010, the Cochrane Collaboration found that speed cameras reduced all types of crashes, including fatal and injury crashes, by up to 49 percent.
  • A 2017 report by the National Transportation Safety Board found that speeding was responsible for one third of all traffic fatalities from 2005 to 2014. NTSB recommended that photo enforcement be used to help deter speeding across the country.

4. Myth: My city doesn’t need photo enforcement. We have police officers to monitor traffic.
Fact: Photo enforcement acts as a police force multiplier,
allowing officers to focus on other high-priority tasks in the community while ensuring problematic roadways are still monitored. Redflex helps cities collect traffic data to determine where photo enforcement is needed most. We offer a variety of deployment solutions and can help cities craft a program that works for local government, the public and law enforcement.

Learn more about how Redflex’s photo enforcement technology can improve the safety of your community.