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

Citation Data Processing

The procedures and methods employed for system operations should be designed to ensure the preservation of the chain of custody of evidence for each recorded violation so that backup data and documentation can be easily retrieved when needed. The procedures and methods used for system operations should be comprehensive, clearly documented in writing, and followed without exception.

Citation data processing should be carried out in a secured facility using a data processing system with appropriate security features and firewalls. All personnel, especially those with access to motor vehicle registration and driver's license databases, should be cleared with appropriate background checks.

Internal quality control is essential and should be achieved by the use of double blind internal reviews of each violation, periodic audits by independent law enforcement or engineering staff, and other procedures. Procedures, especially important to ensure quality control, should be developed for each of the following areas.

· Guidelines to be applied for issuing a citation. In other words, a very specific definition is needed to identify what constitutes a red light running violation;
· Citation review and approval requirements, including provisions for the procedure to be used when the time to review is shortened, traffic officers are not available to conduct the reviews, or the number of citations is larger than usual; and,
· Quality assurance audits, to be conducted by trained traffic officers for randomly selected sample of recorded violations on a periodic basis.

Only a qualified law enforcement officer should be authorized to issue a citation. Citations should not be created prior to review of appropriate evidentiary material by the officer. Under no circumstances should a citation be issued when the officer expresses any lack of confidence that a properly documented and provable violation has occurred.