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

  • 21 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted laws permitting some form of red light camera use, with 9 states and the District of Columbia fully permitting use, and 12 states and the Virgin Islands allowing limited use. 10 states prohibit their use, and 19 states have no state law concerning red light camera enforcement.
  • 24 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have red light cameras currently operating at least one location.

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 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.

Speed and Red Light Cameras: California

Speed Cameras

No state law or programs


Red Light Cameras

Violation/State Law

Permitted

Permitted Locations/Criteria

Statewide

Citation Issued To/Liability

Registered owner/Driver if identifiable

Image Taken

Tag and driver

Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

$490; 1 point ($100 fine + $390 in penalties and assessments; 1 point)


Rail Crossing Cameras

Violation/State Law

Permitted

Permitted Locations/Criteria

Statewide

Speed and Red Light Cameras: Arkansas

Speed Cameras

Violation/State Law

Prohibited (with narrow exceptions)

Permitted Locations/Criteria

School zones or rail crossings when officer is present and citation issued at time of offense. No current programs.


Red Light Cameras

Violation/State Law

Prohibited (with narrow exceptions)

Permitted Locations/Criteria

School zones or rail crossings when officer is present and citation issued at time or offense. No current programs.

Speed and Red Light Cameras: Arizona

Speed Cameras

Violation/State Law

Permitted

Permitted Locations/Criteria

Statewide. Cities/towns cannot implement on state highway without DOT permit.

Citation Issued To/Liability

Not addressed

Image Taken

Not addressed

Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

$165; 3 points ($250; 3 points)


Red Light Cameras

Violation/State Law

Permitted

Permitted Locations/Criteria

Statewide. Cities/towns cannot implement on state highway without DOT permit.

Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices

Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices is a basic reference to assist State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) in selecting effective, evidence-based countermeasures for nine traffic safety problem areas: Alcohol- and Drug-Impaired Driving; Seat Belts and Child Restraints; Speeding and Speed Management; Distracted and Drowsy Driving; Motorcycle Safety; Young Drivers; Older Drivers; Pedestrians; and Bicycles.

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