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 FAQ
Please choose a category and/or a department for related Frequently Asked Questions.

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Q: Aren’t the cameras inflexible? If an officer was at the corner and saw an infraction, they might not write a ticket based on the circumstances.
Q: Aren’t vehicle owners who are issued a photo enforcement-generated ticket for red light running or speeding guilty until proven innocent?
Q: Redflex Traffic Systems is an Australian company. How do you respond to those who contend that the government is sending profits overseas?
Q: How much will this program cost taxpayers in our community?
Q: How do you respond to critics who say cameras violate motorists’ rights to privacy and are an example of “Big Brother” invading our rights?
Q: Does photo enforcement put police officers out of a job?
Q: Isn’t photo enforcement just a thinly-veiled attempt by the government to generate revenue?
Q: Isn’t it more dangerous for cars to slam on their brakes if they fear running a red light rather than to simply keep driving?
Q: Does my community really need red light cameras? I’ve heard that extending yellow signal timing can be sufficient.
Q: Isn’t conventional police enforcement sufficient?
Q: What are red light cameras and how do they work?
Q: Is red light running really a problem?
Q: What is red light running?
 
Aren’t the cameras inflexible? If an officer was at the corner and saw an infraction, they might not write a ticket based on the circumstances.

Actually the cameras provide an additional safeguard. Before a ticket is ever issued, a number of individuals – including a Round Rock police officer â€“ review the footage to ensure that each ticket is prosecutable in court. Also, drivers issued a ticket will have the ability to review the actual photos at Photonotice.com and can clearly see why they were issued a ticket. Photo enforcement cameras have been in use for more than 20 years and, in that time, the technology itself has proven extremely accurate and reliable.

Aren’t vehicle owners who are issued a photo enforcement-generated ticket for red light running or speeding guilty until proven innocent?

Photo enforcement citations are merely a summons. Those receiving a ticket have an opportunity to go online at Photonotice.com to review the alleged infraction. If they are not the driver of the vehicle, they are able to nominate the correct driver. Additionally, those issued a ticket have an opportunity to contest their ticket in a court of law, just as they can with a traditional traffic ticket.

Redflex Traffic Systems is an Australian company. How do you respond to those who contend that the government is sending profits overseas?

Redflex Traffic Systems is based in Phoenix with its parent company based in Australia.

How much will this program cost taxpayers in our community?

REDFLEX technology is violator funded. REDFLEX does not charge the community to install photo enforcement technology. Instead, the company absorbs much of the upfront cost to install and implement the technology. It then works with each municipality to customized traffic safety systems that not only meet the needs of that community, but also ensure optimal revenue returns for the city.

How do you respond to critics who say cameras violate motorists’ rights to privacy and are an example of “Big Brother” invading our rights?

Laws are built around providing for the safety and the greater good of society. REDFLEX cameras are posted in public arenas and are clearly marked to ensure citizens are aware that they are in use. A violation is mailed out and includes a link to view the video tape and photo of the incident along with detailed data.  When you choose to travel on public streets, you have a responsibility to operate in a safe and legal way. REDFLEX technology is simply one tool available to the community to ensure that citizens are driving in a safe and responsible manner for the benefit of themselves and those around them.

Does photo enforcement put police officers out of a job?

To the contrary. Much like a radar gun used by an officer, photo enforcement is merely a tool that frees up some of the officers’ limited time to ensure they are able to focus on more crucial, high-level police work for the enhanced safety and security in the community. Photo enforcement helps ensure limited resources are maximized.

Isn’t photo enforcement just a thinly-veiled attempt by the government to generate revenue?

It’s a fact.  Photo enforcement programs are completely violator funded and do not cost law-abiding citizens anything. It is important to note, though, that revenues do not equal profits. Photo enforcement systems are a costly endeavor, from the cost of the equipment, installation, operation, maintenance and program oversight. These funds go back into the operating expenses of the service, provide additional revenue for the city and often provide funding for specific safety programs.

Isn’t it more dangerous for cars to slam on their brakes if they fear running a red light rather than to simply keep driving?

While drivers who fear a ticket for red light running can cause a rear-end collision by applying their brakes too quickly, these types of accidents are far less dangerous than the typical right-angle collision caused by red light running.

Does my community really need red light cameras? I’ve heard that extending yellow signal timing can be sufficient.

The use of adequate yellow signal timing reduces red light running-related injuries and collisions, but longer yellow timing used together with red light cameras provides a more significant decrease in incidents of red light running. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a field study to evaluate the effects on red light running by first lengthening yellow signal timing, followed by the introduction of red light cameras. Results showed that yellow timing changes reduced red light violations by an average 36 percent. The addition of red light camera enforcement reduced red light violations by an additional 96 percent beyond levels achieved by longer yellow signal timing alone. At the intersection with the greatest incidence of red light running – 251 per 10,000 vehicles – yellow light extensions reduced red light running to 198 incidents per 10,000 vehicles. Once red light cameras were installed, incidents of red light running dropped to an astounding two per 10,000 vehicles.*

*Source: Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, Status Report, Vol. 42, No. 1 January 27, 2007; Retting, Richard A., Ferguson, Susan A., Farmer, Charles M., Reducing Red Light Running Through Longer Yellow Signal Timing and Red Light Camera Enforcement: Results of a Field Investigation, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, January 2007.

Isn’t conventional police enforcement sufficient?

Traditional traffic law enforcement is intensive and high-risk. Police departments rely exclusively on the presence of officers to observe violations and cite offenders, which is limiting. Officers cannot be everywhere. When officers observe a violation, it is not always possible to safely stop the violator because the officer may have to speed or run a red light to do so. This can endanger motorists and pedestrians as well as police officers, and traffic stops in high-traffic areas can increase congestion. Communities lack the resources necessary to allow police to patrol intersections as often as would be needed to ticket all motorists who run red lights and thereby make a significant impact on red light running. Red light cameras are designed to identify traffic law violators without depending on the presence of police officers, allowing communities to focus on other enforcement needs.

What are red light cameras and how do they work?

Red light cameras help communities enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing vehicles whose drivers run red lights. A red light camera system is connected to the traffic signal and to sensors that monitor traffic flow at the crosswalk or stop line. The system continuously monitors the traffic signal 24/7, and the camera itself is triggered by any vehicle entering the intersection above a pre-established minimum speed and following a specified time after the signal has turned red. A second photograph typically shows the red light violator in the intersection. Cameras record the date, time of day, time elapsed since the beginning of the red signal and vehicle speed. Tickets are sent by mail to owners of the violating vehicles, following a review by trained police officers of the photographic evidence.

Is red light running really a problem?

Red light running is one of the major causes of collisions, deaths and injuries at signalized intersections in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 20 percent of drivers do not obey intersection signals. Crashes caused by red light running result in more than 800 fatalities and 165,000 injuries each year, according to the NHTSA. The economic impact of red light running on society is estimated to be $14 billion annually. Other motorists and pedestrians account for nearly half the deaths caused by red light  running crashes.

What is red light running?

A violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the signal light has turned red. Motorists trapped inadvertently in an intersection when the signal changes to red (e.g., waiting to turn left) are not red light runners.

 


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