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

System Procurement Alternatives

There are a number of alternatives available to State and local agencies for the development and operation of red light camera programs. A State or local agency may take on full responsibility for system operations and citation processing functions or elect to outsource these functions to a private contractor. Where a private contractor is responsible for installation and operation of the red light camera equipment, the State or local agency should establish the necessary procedures so that the agency has complete oversight and day-to-day supervision of the program. Table 5-1 summarizes selected alternatives for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of red light camera systems that are available to State and local agencies.

Where a private contractor is responsible for the processing of citations, compensation to private vendors solely based on the number of citations issued should be avoided. It has been determined by courts in multiple locations that it is inappropriate for the private contractor to be placed in any situation where its judgment in the installation and operation of the system may be influenced by their possible revenue stream. This conflict of interest should be avoided in all phases of the system installation and operation: startup, design, installation, operation, and maintenance. At all times, the State or local agency should verify and exercise oversight of all actions of the private contractor.

Some agencies are compensating their camera system vendors based on a flat fee per location per time period. Others have installed and operate their own systems. It may also be appropriate to pay a vendor to operate and maintain an agency-designed and -implemented system. Compensation should be based solely on the value of the equipment or the services provided.

Tables 5-2 and 5-3 summarize selected contractor payment options.