Automated Enforcement Overview


Picture of crossing lightsRed light running crashes are responsible for approximately 260,000 injuries and 750 fatalities each year. Speed also is a factor in thousands of car crashes each year. Because of limited resources, many municipal governments have turned to automated enforcement to control speed and reduce red light violations without diverting law enforcement resources from other areas.

Red light cameras and photo radar give local law enforcement agencies the ability to enforce these traffic laws remotely. Over 400 U.S. communities use red light cameras and over 130 communities in the U.S. use cameras to enforce speed laws. State laws regarding automated enforcement generally establish guidelines for municipal governments. Some state laws limit the use of the cameras to certain cities, while other state laws allow their use statewide.

Arkansas, New Jersey and Wisconsin laws prohibit photo radar enforcement; and Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina and West Virginia statutes prohibit use of red light cameras to issue citations to motorists. Nevada prohibits the use of cameras unless operated by an officer or installed in a law enforcement vehicle or facility. The constitutionality of automated enforcement laws has been challenged in many jurisdictions but few challenges have been successful.

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