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

Public Awareness and Information Campaig

Education is a part of any significant change to traffic control. Appropriate educational elements should be applied regardless of the chosen solution. Often the initial educational program includes issuance of warning citations to likely violators for an extended period, and clear public communication of the date on which warning citations will be halted and actual enforcement citations will begin. A red light camera program should not be started without a comprehensive public awareness and information campaign.

 

Table 5-1

SELECTED RED LIGHT CAMERA SYSTEM ACQUISTION, INSTALLATION,

OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE ALTERNATIVES

 

 

Project Planning and Management

Equipment Ownership

Design and Installation

Plan Check and Installation Inspection

Operation and Maintenance

Citation Data Processing

Decision To Issue Citation

Violator Inquires

Public Information Program

OPTION A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State/Local Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Contractor

 

 

 

OPTION B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State/Local Agency

 

 

 

 

 

Private Contractor

 

 

 

 

OPTION C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State/Local Agency

 

 

Private Contractor

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPTION D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State/Local Agency

Private Contractor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 5-2

PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR CONTRACTOR OWNED AND OPERATED RED LIGHT CAMERA SYSTEMS

 

 

Payment Option

 

Equipment

 

Equipment Installation

 

Equipment Maintenance

 

Citation Data Processing

Initial Fixed Price Payment

 

 

Initial Fixed Price Payment and Fixed Monthly Payments

Fixed Monthly Payments

Initial Fixed Price Payment and Per Citation Payments

 

 

 

 

Per Citation Payments

 

 

 

 

Initial Fixed Price Payment and Fixed Monthly Payment Schedule, Depending On Pre-Determined Low/High Number of Citations Issued

Fixed Monthly Payment Schedule, Depending On Pre-Determined Low/High Number of Citations Issued

Time Worked and Materials Used

 

 

Table 5-3

PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR AGENCY OWNED AND CONTRACTOR OPERATED RED LIGHT CAMERA SYSTEMS

 

 

Payment Option

 

Equipment Maintenance

 

Citation Data Processing

Fixed Monthly Payments

Fixed Monthly/Per Citation Payments

Per Citation Payments

 

 

Fixed Monthly Payment Schedule, Depending On Pre-Determined Low/High Number of Citations Issued

Time Worked and Materials Used


One of the most important aspects of a successful red light camera program is effective public awareness and information. Research has indicated that public information campaigns are a key to the success of the red light camera (23).  

The FHWA sponsored a study of public awareness in a 1995 community based safety program.The study concluded, that an information campaign needed to accomplish three objectives in connection with the implementation of red light camera programs. First, public awareness and information should make citizens more aware of their driving patterns and this may help stimulate a voluntary change in behavior at signalized intersections. Second, communications should be opened through a variety of media with the public and with elected officials to explain program objectives as well as program results. This is critical to gain public support for program expansion. Lastly, public awareness and information should provide motorists with advance warning that there is increased enforcement on the street. This, by itself, may cause a change in driver behavior but should also serve to limit the amount of hostility and bad feelings towards these systems. Without an appropriate educational campaign, motorists may be surprised or confused when they receive a citation. If questions or concerns can be effectively answered through written, telephone, or web-based information, motorists receiving citations will be more supportive of the program and less likely to become hostile and question the programís overall objectives.  

The public awareness and information campaign should encompass the following elements:  

         Clear description of the operation of the red light camera equipment in non-technical terms;

         Clear statement of the program objectives;

         Description of the advantages of automated enforcement over enforcement by law enforcement officers;

         Explanation of other measures being taken to improve safety at intersections; and,

         Description of the use of the red light camera program revenues.  

The public awareness and information campaign may be developed using the following methods:  

         Outreach efforts to schools, driver education, local community groups, and all area media;

         Telephone and web-based information centers that include a hot-line for calls about intersection problems and traffic safety concerns in addition to handling inquires regarding the operation of the red light camera program; and

         Ability to respond to telephone and e-mail inquiries and correspondence within not longer than one working day.  

Public awareness and information campaigns are frequently used prior to and during the development of a red light camera program.The campaigns often employ a variety of methods in an effort to reach as many citizens as possible.The extent of the campaigns, however, varies among the jurisdictions where red light camera systems have been deployed.Table 5-4 identifies some of the more commonly used methods to increase public awareness and provide information.

For information on table 5-4 click please click below.

Table 5-4

PUBLIC AWARENESS AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN ELEMENTS

USED BY SELECTED RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAMS