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

On-Going Problem Identification and Analysis

Continual analysis of violation and crash data, with community input, is an important element of a successful red light camera program. Adequate funding should be provided to assure the necessary data analysis, problem identification, and problem diagnostic review work tasks are undertaken.

There should be continual monitoring of the red light running camera enforcement efforts to ensure the deployment site's effectiveness. This should include considerations for traffic system efficiency as well as safety results.

The assessment of the performance of the system has two elements. It is necessary to document the operational reliability of the system in order to determine if alterations are necessary, and in order to maintain public confidence in its operation. The outcome of the installation should also be carefully documented. The desired outcome, improved intersection safety (not number of violations) without significant degradation of intersection performance, should be the primary objective of the study. Pre-installation safety and performance baselines should exist for comparison purposes. Adequate pre- and post-installation study periods should be used in order to achieve statistical significance of the results. The results of the study should be publicized and available in order to demonstrate the value of the system to the public.

The oversight committee should meet on a regular basis. Regular agenda items should be to the review the data of violations and citations issued with a discussion of any changes or trends noted. Input from the State or local agency's traffic engineering department and street maintenance department should include regular updates on planned traffic signal modifications or street improvements construction that could impact the operation of the system. Discussion should be encouraged on whether program objectives are being met through the deployment of red light cameras or whether alternative measures should be applied. The group should have input to the regular prioritization of intersections targeted for safety-related improvements.

A monitoring program based on the timely collection and reporting of crash data is needed. These crash data should include control sites with no photo enforcement so that the effects of camera enforcement can be distinguished from other external effects. Responsibilities for the collection and reporting of crash data need to be established and clearly defined. Traffic safety professionals need to review intersection safety issues and conduct diagnostic reviews of intersections identified from the crash data tabulations as warranting safety-related improvements.

Regular reports on the public awareness and information campaign should be prepared and reviewed. Public use of the web site and telephone information systems should be monitored.