Transportation Review: Automated Enforcement

August 2010

It’s rush hour and you’re running late. You glance up and notice that the green light just ahead turned yellow. You know that by the time you reach the intersection it will be red. You debate whether you should speed up and go for it. You’re not alone; thousands of motorists face this dilemma every day. But it’s dangerous and risky to run red lights. In fact, red light running—the
leading cause of urban crashes—causes an estimated 137,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. In 2008, nearly 800 deaths resulted from these crashes. About half the deaths in red light running crashes are pedestrians and occupants in other vehicles who are hit by the red light runners. To curb intersection crashes, some communities have turned to automated enforcement. This technology allows law enforcement agencies to enforce traffic violations without depleting personnel

This report provides an overview of camera enforcement technology and use. Action at the federal and state levels is discussed, as well as the experiences some states have had with this technology.

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  • Technology
  • Federal Action
  • State Action
  • Evidence of Effectiveness