In the United States, approximately 60 to 80 percent of survey respondents approve of automated enforcement systems at traffic signals.

13 August 2001
Howard County,Maryland,United States

Summary Information

This report documented the findings of a literature review carried out in the summer of 2001. The report discussed automated enforcement and the impacts of program operations in the United States. Automatic photo or video imaging was used to capture images of vehicles entering intersections after signals turned red. Fines were assessed in the range of $50 to $271.

Cameras used in these systems cost about $50,000 to $60,000 each (including installation) with additional $25,000 required for detectors, equipment cabinet, and mounting pole installations. The cost to operate and maintain a camera is about $5,000 per month. In the U.S., a private sector contractor that receives a portion of the fine revenue collected from the systems typically undertakes installation and a significant portion of a program’s operation.


Public opinion surveys reported in the literature indicate significant public support for the programs. The percentage of survey respondents approving of the systems ranges from approximately 60 to 80 percent. Impacts of the systems on the safety of the transportation system are difficult to assess. There is substantial literature documenting a significant decline in the number of vehicles committing traffic signal violations at enforcement sites, ranging from 20 to 87 percent. However, the few independent analyses of the occurrence of crashes at these sites offer no definitive indication of whether the camera systems impact this important measure of transportation safety.

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Automated Enforcement of Traffic Signals: A Literature Review

Author: Maccubbin, Robert, Barbara Staples, and Art Salwin

Published By: Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT

Report prepared by Mitretek for the U.S. DOT

Source Date: 13 August 2001

EDL Number: 13603



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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: 2002-00242