Author
Peterman, David Randall
Benefit Summary HTML

Automated traffic enforcement systems utilize cameras in conjunction with sensors to detect and identify vehicles that potentially violate traffic regulations such as posted speed limits or red lights. Law enforcement and vendor personnel are provided with the image and data to determine whether a citation should be issued. Depending on state and local laws, citations may be issued to the registered vehicle owner linked to the license plate, or the driver identified based on photo images.

There are two major categories of automated traffic enforcement:

  • Automated Speed Enforcement – A speed detection system is combined with a camera or cameras to capture time-stamped images when a pre-defined threshold (i.e., detected vehicle speed exceeds the configured value) is triggered. Locations may be fixed with equipment installed on poles or cabinets on the roadside, or installed at movable locations with equipment attached to a parked vehicle or trailer, and configured based on the location and speed criteria. Average speed cameras utilize pairs of cameras mounted at fixed distances, and calculate the average speed using time stamps.
  • Red Light Cameras – A camera or cameras are connected to a system monitoring the traffic signal indications and detectors for vehicles on an approach to an intersection. Based on the vehicle detectors, camera images are captured with time stamps, including a view of the vehicle and traffic signal. Law enforcement or vendor personnel are provided with the images to determine whether a citation should be issued.
Created Date
Hyperlink Exit Door
Yes
Lesson Background HTML

Automated traffic enforcement systems utilize cameras in conjunction with sensors to detect and identify vehicles that potentially violate traffic regulations such as posted speed limits or red lights. Law enforcement and vendor personnel are provided with the image and data to determine whether a citation should be issued. Depending on state and local laws, citations may be issued to the registered vehicle owner linked to the license plate, or the driver identified based on photo images.

There are two major categories of automated traffic enforcement:

  • Automated Speed Enforcement – A speed detection system is combined with a camera or cameras to capture time-stamped images when a pre-defined threshold (i.e., detected vehicle speed exceeds the configured value) is triggered. Locations may be fixed with equipment installed on poles or cabinets on the roadside, or installed at movable locations with equipment attached to a parked vehicle or trailer, and configured based on the location and speed criteria. Average speed cameras utilize pairs of cameras mounted at fixed distances, and calculate the average speed using time stamps.
  • Red Light Cameras – A camera or cameras are connected to a system monitoring the traffic signal indications and detectors for vehicles on an approach to an intersection. Based on the vehicle detectors, camera images are captured with time stamps, including a view of the vehicle and traffic signal. Law enforcement or vendor personnel are provided with the images to determine whether a citation should be issued.
Other Reference Number
R46552
Pages
18
Publication Sort Date
Publisher
Congressional Research Service
Reviewer
Title
Safety Impact of Speed and Red Light Cameras
Project Category
File
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