How Red-Light Cameras Work

How Red-Light Cameras Work

How Red-Light Cameras work

Red light cameras automatically photograph vehicles that go through red lights.

The cameras are connected to the traffic signal and to sensors that monitor traffic flow just before the crosswalk or stop line. The system continuously monitors the traffic signal, and the camera captures any vehicle that doesn't stop during the red phase.

Many red light camera programs provide motorists with grace periods of up to half a second after the light switches to red.

Where red light cameras are used, it's standard practice for trained police officers or authorized civilian employees to review every picture or video clip to verify vehicle information and ensure the vehicle is in violation. A ticket is issued only if there is clear evidence the vehicle ran a red light.

In most states, red light camera citations are treated as civil offenses rather than moving violations. This means that there are no driver license points assessed and no insurance implications. In some states, the law specifically prohibits insurers from considering red light camera citations in determining premiums or renewals. In a few states red light camera citations are treated the same as citations issued by police officers doing traffic enforcement.

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