Automated enforcement

December 2014

Automated enforcement refers to the use of cameras to enforce traffic safety laws. Although many states have laws explicitly authorizing automated enforcement, not all states where cameras are in use have such laws, nor are they always necessary.

A common type of automated enforcement program is for red light violations. The use of cameras to enforce speed limits is less common, but increasing. The technology is also used to catch drivers who block intersections or fail to stop at a stop sign, pay a toll, drive past a stopped school bus or disobey a railroad crossing signal. The District of Columbia uses automated enforcement to ticket drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians. In states that have automated enforcement laws, some authorize enforcement statewide, while others permit use only in specified communities.

Many jurisdictions treat automated enforcement citations just like parking tickets in that the registered owner is liable. Similarly, just as parking tickets do not result in points or are not recorded on a driver's record, many jurisdictions do not assess points or make a record of automated enforcement citations.

  • 469 communities have red light camera programs as of December 2014.
  • 138 communities have speed camera programs as of December 2014. This includes statewide work zone programs in Illinois, Maryland and Washington.

Printable list of communities using red light and/or speed cameras

The following map and table summarize automated enforcement laws in each state and the District of Columbia.

State Statewide or only specified locations? Violations Citation issued to whom? Who is liable? What image is taken? Traditional enforcement penalties Auto enforcement penalties/record
Alabama
Montgomery red light owner owner 2 images; tag included $100 fine/3 points $110; no points
Alaska no state law
Arizona A city or a town may not place a photo enforcement system on a state highway without providing proof to the DOT that the system is necessary for public safety and obtains a DOT permit or contract.
statewide red light not addressed not addressed not addressed $250 fine/2 points $165 fine/2 points
statewide speed not addressed not addressed not addressed $250 fine/3 points $165 fine/3 points
Arkansas use of photo radar by county or state government prohibited except at school zones and railroad crossings; officer must be present and citation must be issued at time of offense
California
statewide red light registered owner driver tag and driver $100 base fine/1 point same as for traditional citation
statewide rail crossing registered owner driver tag and driver $100 fine/1 point same as for traditional citation
Colorado Colorado law grants the authority to use automated enforcement to capture any traffic violation
statewide red light registered owner driver tag and driver $110 fine (including surcharge)/4 points $75; no points or record
restricted to construction and school zones, residential areas, or adjacent to a municipal park speed registered owner driver tag and driver $151 (including surcharge)/4 points $40 maximum fine ($80 in school zones); no points or record; warning only for first photo radar offense if speed within 10 mph of limit
Connecticut no state law
Delaware
statewide red light registered owner owner 2 or more images of the vehicle $75-$230 fine $110 maximum fine; not a record or conviction offense; not to be used by insurers
District of Columbia DC grants jurisdiction-wide authority to use automated enforcement to capture all moving infractions
District of Columbia red light registered owner owner not addressed $150 fine/2 points $150; no points
District of Columbia speed registered owner owner not addressed $50-$300 fine/3, 4 or 5 points based on the number of miles per hour over the posted speed limit fine (no points) based on the number of miles per hour over the posted speed limit; 1-10 mph: $50; 11-15 mph: $92; 16-20 mph: $100; 21-25 mph: $150; 26 mph or more: $300
Florida
statewide red light registered owner owner tag and traffic control device $125 fine/3 points $158; no points
Georgia
statewide red light registered owner owner license tag, intersection, and light $1,000 maximum fine/3 points $70 maximum fine; not a conviction or record offense; no points; not a moving violation; not to be used by insurers
Hawaii no state law
Idaho no state law
Illinois Illinois has several different automated enforcement laws
Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, and Will counties; requires local ordinance red light registered owner owner 2 or more images of vehicle and tag $500 maximum fine/20 points $100 or the completion of a traffic education program, or both; not a moving violation or record offense
statewide only in construction zones or Illinois Toll Authority roads speed registered owner driver tag and driver mandatory $250 fine/20 points $250 fine or 25 hours community service
any county or municipality may use automated enforcement in cooperation with the Illinois DOT and ICC; ordinance required rail crossing registered owner driver (owner if driver not identified by owner) vehicle, driver, and tag $250 maximum fine/20 points $250 fine or 25 hours community service
municipalities with a population of 1,000,000 or more may use speed cameras in safety zones (one-eighth mile from school or park); local authorities are prohibited from using speed cameras; state may use speed cameras, but only when a law enforcement officer is present and witnesses the event speed registered owner owner two or more images of the vehicle and license plate $1,000 maximum fine/20 points $50 if 6-10 miles over the limit; $100 if more than 10 over the limit
Indiana no state law
Iowa no state law
Kansas no state law
Kentucky no state law
Louisiana local municipal or parish authorities may not use automated speed enforcement on interstate highways; automated speed enforcement is permitted on interstates in DOT approved construction zones when workers are present; state law provides that convictions resulting from camera enforcement shall not be reported for inclusion in driver record (effective 01/01/15)
Maine all photo enforcement prohibited
Maryland
statewide red light registered owner owner 2 or more images of rear of vehicle and tag in any medium $500 maximum fine/2 points $100 maximum civil penalty; no points or record; not a moving violation; may not be used by insurers
Montgomery County school zones and residential districts, Prince George's County school zones, statewide in school zones by local ordinance and work zones speed registered owner owner 2 or more images of rear of vehicle and tag in any medium maximum fine $500 in residential district, $1,000 in school zone; points depend on speed $40 maximum fine; no points
Montgomery and Prince George's County rail crossing registered owner owner vehicle, driver and tag $500 maximum fine/1 point $100 maximum fine; no points
Massachusetts no state law
Michigan no state law
Minnesota no state law
Mississippi all localities prohibited from using automated enforcement; all current programs prohibited effective 3/20/09
Missouri no state law
Montana all localities prohibited from using red light cameras; rail crossings excepted
Nebraska no state law
Nevada prohibits use of imaging equipment unless it is hand held by an officer, installed in a vehicle or facility of a law enforcement agency; traditional enforcement penalties: $1,000 maximum fine and 4 points
New Hampshire prohibited unless there is specific statutory authorization
New Jersey speed cameras are prohibited
local jurisdictions must pass an ordinance and apply to Transportation Commissioner to participate in a pilot program red light registered owner registered owner and driver are jointly liable two or more images of vehicle and tag $85 penalty same as for traditional citation; no points
New Mexico no state law specifically authorizing automated enforcement; NMDOT has banned red light cameras and mobile enforcement vans on state and federal roadways; state law requires counties and municipalities using camera enforcement to post a warning sign and a warning beacon
New York
New York City, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Yonkers, Rochester, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle and Albany red light owner owner 2 or more images of rear of vehicle and tag in any medium $100 maximum fine/3 points $50 fine; not a record or conviction offense; may not be used by insurers
school zones in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties speed owner owner images that do not identify driver, passengers or vehicle contents school zone violations of less than 10mph over the limit, $90 - $300/points; 10 - 30mph over the limit, $180 - $600/points and up to 15 days imprisonment; more than 30mph over the limit, $360 - $1,200/points and up to 30 days imprisonment $50 fine; no points
North Carolina
where specified by statute (Albemarle, Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Cornelius, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, High Point, Huntersville, Lumberton, Matthews, Nags Head, Newton, Pineville, Rocky Mount, Spring Lake, and Wilmington) red light owner owner photo, video, electronic image $100 maximum fine/3 points $100 civil penalty; no points (effective 07/01/15)
North Dakota no state law
Ohio no state law
Oklahoma no state law
Oregon speed cameras may be operated within a highway work zone only when workers are present within 100 yards
cities statewide red light registered owner or driver, if identifiable registered owner photographs; digital images $300 maximum fine penalty same as for traditional citation
Albany, Beaverton, Bend, Eugene, Gladstone, Medford, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Portland, and Tigard (may not be used for more than four hours per day in any one location) speed registered owner or driver, if identifiable registered owner photographs; digital images $300 maximum fine penalty same as for traditional citation
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and municipalities with a population exceeding 20,000 with a police department accredited by the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties; requires local ordinance red light registered owner owner photographs $25 fine/3 points $100 maximum; not on operating record
Rhode Island
statewide red light registered owner driver 2 or more images of vehicle and tag in any medium $75 fine $75 fine; not a criminal or record offense; not a moving violation; not to be used by insurers until there is a final adjudication of the violation
South Carolina photo enforcement prohibited with narrow exception; citations for violating traffic laws relating to speed or disregarding traffic control devices may only be used when the State declares an emergency and citations must be served in person within one hour of the violation
South Dakota red light cameras are prohibited and the DMV does not provide to other states, information used to collect fines from violations captured by red light and speed cameras
Tennessee
statewide except for interstate highways that are not work zones traffic violation; right turn on red violations limited to signed intersections registered owner registered owner red light violations, front tires before the stop line and rear tires past stop line both while signal is red $50 fine/points $50; no points
Texas a Texas municipality may not use an automated traffic control system to enforce speed
statewide; requires local ordinance red light registered owner owner 2 or more photographic or digital images of tag $200 maximum fine $75; not a criminal or record offense
Utah
statewide only school zones or where limit is 30 mph or less; officer must be present; requires local ordinance speed not addressed not addressed photograph $1,000 maximum fine/50 points not reportable; no points may be assessed
Vermont no state law
Virginia
counties, cities, and towns may operate cameras at no more than 1 intersection for every 10,000 residents; requires local ordinance; the exception is the Washington, DC metropolitan area, it permits up to 10 camera sites or 1 site per 10,000 residents, whichever is greater red light registered owner driver 2 photographs or other recorded images $200 maximum fine/4 points $50 maximum fine; no court costs; not a criminal offense; no points; may not be used by insurers
Washington
cities and counties statewide at arterial road intersections with stoplights meeting MUTCD standards for yellow change intervals; local ordinance required red light registered owner registered owner vehicle, license tag $250 maximum fine $250 maximum fine; no record; no points
statewide in work zones and school zones with a local ordinance speed registered owner registered owner vehicle, license tag $250 maximum fine fine up to the maximum for parking violations in the jurisdiction; no record; no points
cities and counties statewide; local ordinance required rail crossing registered owner registered owner vehicle, license tag $250 maximum fine fine up to the maximum for parking violations in the jurisdiction; no record; no points
West Virginia all photo enforcement prohibited
Wisconsin speed cameras are prohibited
Wyoming no state law