What Are Red Light & Speed Cameras?
Red light and speed cameras help to enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing vehicles disobeying stoplights and speed limits. The systems continuously monitor the traffic signal and the camera is triggered when a vehicle enters the intersection above a preset minimum speed following a specified time after the signal has turned red.
What Do They Record?
Cameras record the date, time of day, time elapsed since the beginning of the red signal, vehicle speed, and license plate. Depending on the particular technology, a series of photographs and/or video images show the red light violator prior to entering the intersection on a red signal, as well as the vehicle's progression through the intersection. Red light cameras often monitor not only when a vehicle runs through a red light, but also when a vehicle makes a right on a red light where prohibited, or makes a right on a red light without a complete stop.
How Much Do Tickets Cost?
Fines for violations in the U.S. are regulated at the state and city level and range from $50 in North Carolina up to $440 in California. Tickets are typically mailed to owners of violating vehicles, based on review of photographic evidence.
How Do They Know When To Record?
Red light and speed camera systems are triggered when a vehicle enters an intersection after the light has been red for a predetermined time. Red light and speed cameras are triggered in one of two ways: 1) Via a monitoring camera or Via imbedded road sensors
The systems will monitor vehicles to determine if any are violating and at such time trigger the picture camera. In the example to the right, the white vehicle is "caught" by the monitor camera (zone 1) as well as the trigger camera (zone 2, which captures the license plate) showing that the traffic light is red and the vehicle is moving through the intersection.
Where Are They Being Used?
More than 2/3 of the U.S. (35 states) currently uses red light and speed cameras. There are estimates of 5,000-6,000 photo-enforced red light cameras and speed cameras currently operating in the U.S. There are 9 different companies that operate cameras in the U.S. and industry analysts project the number of locations to grow between 10-20% per year.
How Do Red Light/Speed Camera Detectors Work?
All red light/speed camera detectors operate off of GPS locations that are cross-referenced with an internal database. There is no "signal" given off by red light or speed cameras to be detected. Many cameras that are visible at traffic lights are traffic signal cameras and do not relate to red light or speed cameras. For this reason it is important to have a product with a "clean" database.
Does The RLC-100 or RLC-250 Detect Laser Or Radar?
The RLC-100 red light/speed camera detector does not detect laser or radar signals. An optional interface may be purchased that connects a laser-radar detector to the RLC-100 and shares power from one power supply.
How Reliable Is The Database?
The Whistler RLC-100 or RLC-250 operates from the VerilightTM database, which is updated by a professional POI company. This database does not rely on consumer input for camera locations. Relying on assistance from end users to update a database may result in many locations and alerts.