Q: Why are Red Light Cameras needed?
Running red lights is among the most common cause of all urban crashes, as well as the most dangerous. The Federal Highway Administration notes that you are more likely to be injured due to a red-light running-related crash than any other type of crash. Over the last decade, red-light running crashes have killed nearly 9,000 people, accounting for more than 650 red-light running-related fatalities in 2010. Furthermore, half of the people killed by red-light runners are not the violators but rather other motorists, vehicle passengers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Speeding is a deadly and costly problem on U.S. roadways. In 2010, speeding was the contributing factor in almost one-third of all fatal crashes, taking the lives of over 10,000 people, according to the NHTSA. Speeding-related crashes also are estimated to cost society more than $40 billion every year.
Every school day, thousands of drivers risk the lives of the roughly 26 million children who ride a bus to school by illegally passing a stopped school bus while children are boarding or disembarking. Between 2000 and 2009, almost a third of the children killed while getting on or off a school bus were struck by a vehicle other than the bus, according to the NHTSA. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that 12,850 drivers illegally passed a stopped school bus on a single school day.
Automated Traffic Enforcement Systems have been proven to reduce the frequency of dangerous red-light running- and speed-related crashes. Hundreds of ATES programs throughout North America have demonstrated that continuous and consistent enforcement provided by cameras changes driver behavior in a positive way, thereby decreasing the likelihood of crashes and associated injuries and fatalities.
Q: How do Red Light Cameras Work?
The system activates when motion is detected just prior to the designated stop bar AFTER the traffic signal has turned red. The stop bar is the point where the intersection technically begins, often designated by a thick white line. When motion is detected, the Red-Light Camera captures two images of an alleged violation, taken from the rear of the vehicle.
The first image shows the violating vehicle in front of the designated stop bar and the illuminated red light, demonstrating that the vehicle had not entered the intersection before the light changed.
The second image shows the violator in the middle of the intersection with the red light illuminated, providing further evidence of the red-light violation.
A cropped photo of the violating vehicle’s license plate obtained from one of these two high-resolution images is used to verify the vehicle’s owner as well as additional evidence.
The system also records multiple violation data, including the time, date and durations of the yellow and red lights. The camera also records a 10-second digital video of the violation as the vehicle runs the red light.
Q: How are yellow light times determined?
Federal guidelines recommend yellow lights last from 3 to 6 seconds, but local authorities set the actual duration using a complex formula that takes into account the speed limit, traffic volume, roadway grade, intersection design and other factors.
Q: When are the Cameras Enforced?
The cameras are enforced 24 hours per day 7 days per week including holidays.
Q: Who reviews and issues the violations?
The City’s law enforcement authorities review potential violation data. The violation data include violation images and video, a cropped photo of the vehicle’s license plate and vehicle owner registration information. The reviewing officer first will approve or reject the violation. If the officer affirms the violation, he or she will then verify that the license plate matches the vehicle and confirms other vehicle and owner information before authorizing issuance of the citation.
Q: How much is the fine and are there associated points?
The fine amount is $50.00. The violation is not deemed a conviction and is not made part of the operating record of the person upon whom such liability is imposed nor shall it be used for insurance purposes.
Q: How do I pay the fine and what are the methods of payment?
Fines can be paid by phone, by web or by mail. Please follow the instructions for payment listed on the back of the Notice of Liability.
Q: What will happen if I do not pay?
Unpaid citations are subject to additional consequences, including vehicle registration non-renewal or suspension and collection action.
Q: How do I contest the citation?
You may contest a violation by signing and mailing the coupon on the back of the notice. Your request must be received by the Due Date stated on the front of the notice.
If the vehicle/plate was stolen or the driver received a ticket from a police officer, an affidavit must be completed and mailed to the address on the back of the notice. The affidavit and supporting documentation must be received no later than the Due Date stated on the front of the notice.
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