Speed and Red Light Cameras

Speed and red light cameras are a type of automated enforcement technology used to detect and deter speeders and red light runners. Some jurisdictions use similar technology for other traffic violations, such as illegal rail crossings or toll violations.

Many states have enacted legislation either permitting, limiting or prohibiting the use of speed or red light cameras at the state or local level. Enforcement can be limited to a particular area or community. Penalties usually are more lenient than those used with traditional enforcement. For example, the fine may be lower, points may not be assessed, or the citation may not go on the driver's record.

Some localities operate speed and/or red light cameras even if the state does not specific permit or prohibit it. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety maintains a list of all communities operating automated enforcement. This list changes and is updated regularly.

Speed Cameras

  • 13 states have passed laws that prohibit (with very narrow exceptions) the use of speed cameras. 28 states have no law addressing speed cameras. All other states either permit the use of speed cameras (2 + D.C.) or limit their use by location or other criteria (7 + U.S. Virgin Islands).
  • 12 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have speed cameras currently operating in at least one location.

Red Light Cameras

  • 20 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted laws permitting some form of red light camera use, with 11 states and the District of Columbia fully permitting use, and 9 states and the Virgin Islands allowing limited use. 8 states prohibit their use, and 21 states have no state law concerning red light camera enforcement.
  • 22 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have red light cameras currently operating at least one location.

Last Updated: 6/3/2019

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on speed and red light camera laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.

Short Term Description
Speed and red light cameras automated enforcement technologies used to detect and deter speeders and red light runners. Some jurisdictions use similar technology for other traffic violations, such as illegal rail crossings or toll violations.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2019

CONTACT: Madison Forker, 202-580-7930

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) highlights excessive vehicle speed as a persistent factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle-related fatalities. Despite this, speeding is not given enough attention as a traffic safety issue and is widely deemed culturally acceptable by the motoring public.

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