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Understanding photo enforcement at intersections

If you live in Virginia, you may well have encountered some intersections at which red-light cameras have been installed. Perhaps you have even been the recipient of a ticket citing for you an alleged red-light violation caught by a photo enforcement camera system. Opening your mailbox to get this type of correspondence can certainly put a damper on your day. Understanding this technology can be important for you when determining how to proceed after receiving this type of ticket.

As explained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the DOT does not participate in the approval of where photo enforcement systems are placed as the General Assembly is responsible for those decisions. An area's population as well as general traffic data factor into the choice of where cameras are installed. Crash data and violations for running red lights are both reviewed prior to the installation of red-light cameras.

The law does require that vehicles are granted a grace period of when they may enter an intersection once a light has turned red. That grace period must be no less than 0.5 seconds. The vehicle's speed at the time of entry and travel through an intersection may also factor into whether or not a citation is sent to the driver's home. 

If you would like to learn more about citations received via red-light cameras and how you might be able to defend yourself against these alleged violations, please feel free to visit the vehicle photo enforcement page of our Virginia traffic violations and criminal defense website.

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