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How red light cameras work

If you have encountered an intersection in Virginia monitors by cameras, you may well have wondered exactly how these things work and what their intended purpose is. The Virginia Department of Transportation asserts that the use of photo and video images at intersections is designed to improve safety. However, for drivers who receive tickets based on these cameras, it may well feel like just another way to issue more tickets and generate revenue.

According to VDOT, red light cameras do not take images of every vehicle but only of those that drive into the intersection once the light has turned red. If you enter an intersection while the light is still yellow, your photo will not be taken even if the light turns red before you are out of the intersection. Cameras are supposed to be programmed to allow drivers a grace period of 0.05 seconds or more.

Photo and video images may be captured and will be capable of identifying and recording a vehicle's speed and how long the vehicle was in the intersection after the light turned red. The time and date are also collected. Before a citation is sent to a driver, a member of law enforcement reviews the camera footage.

If you would like to learn more about the laws and the technology related to cameras at traffic intersections and citations issued for allegedly running a red light where a camera is installed, please feel free to visit the red light camera page of our Virginia traffic violations defense website.

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