Automated enforcement systems reduced red light violations by 20 to 60 percent, decreased right-angle crashes by 30 percent, and reduced crash injuries by 10 percent.

Studies in six metropolitan areas of the United States and Australia on automated enforcement systems.

August 1997
New York City; New York; United States; Howard County; Maryland; United States; San Francisco; California; United States; Melbourne; Australia; Lincoln; Nebraska; United States; Polk County; Florida; United States

Summary Information

This study evaluated the use of automated enforcement techniques and public awareness campaigns to reduce red-light violations. In general, robotic cameras and pavement loop detectors were used to monitor red-light violations in six metropolitan areas of the United States and Australia.

  • New York City, NY: A number of robotic cameras were installed at 18 intersections equipped with pavement loop detectors. The total cost was 15.5 million dollars over a three year period. During that period red light violations decreased by 20 percent and 18.8 million dollars in revenue were collected.
  • Howard County, Maryland: Automated enforcement was evaluated from March 1996 to March 1997. Two cameras were installed at intersections with loop detectors. Only warning notices were issued for red light violations. Overall, red light violations decreased by 23 percent.
  • San Francisco, California: Red light violations decreased by 40 percent at six intersections equipped with robotic cameras, loop detectors, and warning street signs.
  • Melbourne, Australia: 35 cameras were rotated between 132 different sites equipped with loop detectors. In 1988 an independent evaluation of the program indicated a 30 percent reduction in right-angle accidents, and a 10.4 percent reduction in casualties. A different evaluation reported a 35 to 60 percent reduction in red light violations. The same report indicated a 32 percent decrease in right-angle accidents, a 25 percent decrease in right-angle turning accidents, a 30.8 percent decrease in rear-end accidents, and a 28.2 percent increase in rear-end turning accidents.
  • Lincoln, Nebraska: No significant reductions in red light violations were reported during automated enforcement programs conducted at three sites in 1997.
  • Polk County, Florida: Statistical data was not available concerning red light violations at four sites in 1994.


    The sample size used to study each area was not included in the summary report.
    For additional information see:

    Automated Enforcement in Transportation, Institute of Transportation Engineers Report, December 1999.

    Red Light Photo Enforcement Program, San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic; San Francisco, California, March 1999.

    Can We Increase the Capability of Red Light Cameras? February, 2000.

    Reducing Red Light Running Crashes: A Research Perspective, August 2000.

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Use of Automated Enforcement for Red Light Violations

Author: Passetti, K.

Published By: Texas A&M University

Graduate Course Number CVEN-677 Advanced Surface Transportation Systems

Source Date: August 1997


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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas


photo enforcement, red light cameras, red light running, automated enforcement, traffic signals, run red lights, RLR, red light runners, photo-red

Benefit ID: 2001-00183