How Does It Work
The PhotoSafe program is designed to reduce the number of violations by automatically capturing evidence of vehicles whose drivers violate the law.
Photo enforced signs are located within 500 feet of the intersection in an effort to remind drivers to comply with the traffic signal and to stop at the Stop bar (white painted box on the roadway).
The enforcement cameras are only active during the red cycle of the traffic light. Vehicles that enter the intersection after the light has turned red for .5 or ½ second are captured.
The camera system is wired to the traffic lights and to sensors that take the photo. Vehicles that cross the sensors after the light has turned red activate the system. The violating vehicle is photographed 3 times and a 12 second video of the violation captures the vehicle in motion.
The First photo is taken at the stop bar as evidence to show that the light was red prior to the vehicle entering the intersection or passing the stop bar;
The Second photo is the vehicle’s license plate for identification purposes;
The Third photo is taken to show evidence of the vehicle proceeding through the intersection while the light is still red. The photographed documentation of the red-light violation is evidence for the police department to issue a civil penalty to the owner of the vehicle.
Therefore, the locations of monitored intersections will be highly publicized as they become active. Information on the Virginia law governing the photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals can be found under the Code of Virginia section 15.2-968.1.
What Is The Penalty
The penalty for a photo enforced red light running violation is $50.00 and no court costs are associated with the offense.
The violation is a civil matter. There are no driver license points assessed and there are no insurance implications.
By law, the Department of Motor Vehicles and insurance companies cannot be notified of the offense. This violation does not affect drivers that are on probation with the court or with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The operator of the vehicle is liable for the monetary penalty imposed from information obtained from the red-light camera system.
The video and photographed evidence of the red-light violation will be available for review and inspection by the registered owner or driver of the vehicle.
There is a legal presumption that the registered owner, lessee, or renter of the vehicle was the person who committed the violation.
This presumption can be challenged by affidavit or testimony under oath in open court that the owner, lessee, or renter was not the driver at the time of the violation.
How Many Intersections Are Monitored
The City of Norfolk is authorized to monitor 1 intersection per 10,000 residents by Virginia State Code We have 247,000 residents that allows us to have cameras at 24 intersections.
We currently have them installed at 2 intersections. A third intersection will be installed by the end of December 2019 with enforcement beginning 30 days after.
The process for selecting the intersections to be monitored includes (i) the accident rate for the intersection, (ii) the rate of red-light violations occurring at the intersection, (iii) the difficulty experienced by law enforcement officers in patrol cars or on foot in apprehending violators, (iv) the ability of law-enforcement officer to apprehend violators safely within a reasonable distance from the violation, and (v) pedestrian safety concerns.
The History Of PhotoSafe in Norfolk
PhotoSafe was the name given to Norfolk’s first red light camera program which has been In service since 2012. The Virginia legislature passed 15.2-968.1 allowing for the use of cameras on July 1, 2007. Cameras at the first two intersections were activated and continue to be active today All of Norfolk’s camera enforced intersections were reviewed and approved by VDOT.
- VDOT – Virginia Department of Transportation at http://www.virginiadot.org/info/photored.asp
- U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at https://www.iihs.org/
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety at https://saferoads.org/