GUIDANCE FOR USING RED LIGHT CAMERAS

Federal Highway AdministrationNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration

March 20, 2003


INTRODUCTION

UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEM

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION

COUNTERMEASURES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS

RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

REFERENCES

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX A PHOTO RED LIGHT ENFORCEMENT LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

LIST OF TABLES

Table 5-1 SELECTED RED LIGHT CAMERA SYSTEM ACQUISTION,
INSTALLATION, OPERATIONS, AND MAINTENANCE
ALTERNATIVES

Table 5-2 PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR CONTRACTOR OWNED AND OPERATED RED LIGHT CAMERA SYSTEMS

Table 5-3 PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR AGENCY OWNED AND CONTRACTOR OPERATED RED LIGHT CAMERA SYSTEMS

Table 5-4 PUBLIC AWARENESS AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN ELEMENTS USED BY SELECTED RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAMS

Table 5-5 CAMERA UNITS COMPARED

RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION

Camera Housing and Supporting Structure

The types of camera housing and supporting structures will depend on the type of red light camera system being installed.

Curb-mounted red light camera systems, the most common type currently being employed by State and local agencies, need a camera housing enclosure that is mounted on a pole. The camera unit housing should be weather and damage resistant, and contain a locking mechanism to protect the system from vandalism. Additional poles may be employed for auxiliary flash lighting units. For digital camera systems, a separate enclosure for the data storage and communications equipment is also required at the intersection.

The poles for curb-mounted red light camera systems should be tall enough to provide the necessary angle of view to clearly record violations at the intersection. There are at least two types of poles currently in use. The first, a hinged pole, lowers the camera housing on a hinge located in the center of the pole. A second type, a solid pole, utilizes a motorized "elevator" to raise and lower the camera housing.

Overhead-mounted red light camera systems normally require curb-mounted poles with cantilever arms extending over the traffic lanes. Camera and flash units are mounted on the cantilever arms as required for system operation. Red light camera systems of this type provide an increased field of view that is especially advantageous for red light cameras on wider arterial streets as well as enhanced lighting for enhanced photographic data quality.