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How Do Red Light Cameras Work?

Jan. 15, 2016 – For more than two decades, law enforcement agencies nationwide have used red-light cameras to enforce traffic laws at intersections with a high incidence of red-light running violations and crashes. While the presence of photo enforcement has become commonplace in many regions, confusion still exists as to how red light cameras work, as well as their purpose and function.

Laws regarding enforcement and the citation process vary among cities and states, yet the technology and data capture procedures remain the same. Here’s a quick look at how red-light cameras work:

  • Placement of Red-Light Cameras: A two-camera system is installed at an intersection to monitor approaching traffic.
  • Incident Detection: The system is triggered to capture images of a vehicle if it progresses through an intersection following a specified time after the signal turns red, as dictated by local laws.
  • Evidence Collection: Data of potential violations, including video and still images, is secured, encrypted and placed into an evidence file. Following a three-person review, evidence is submitted to local law enforcement.
  • Officer Review: Local officers review evidence packages and have sole discretion as to who receives a citation. Drivers found in violation will receive a ticket in the mail.

For additional details on how red light cameras work, visit the Redflex Safety YouTube Channel.