Should you prepare for a ticket to arrive?
Don't worry yourself too much if you saw the flash go off. There are many reasons why red light camera flashes go off:
- The camera is in test mode
- Another vehicle set it off
- Your vehicle set it off but no violation occurred or it couldn't clearly capture a photo of your face or license plate
Red light cameras are designed to capture photographs of drivers and vehicles who run red lights at left hand turn signals, at straight signals, or at right hand turns. There are sensors embedded in the ground that create an electromagnetic field. The sensors send signals to the cameras if they detect your vehicle approaching the intersection at a certain speed and predict that you're going to run the light. That's why the flashes will go off if you approach a red light camera intersection rapidly and slam on your breaks.
If it did take your pictures, keep in mind that a police officer will review the photos to determine if a violation was committed. Some have said that about half of the pictures taken by red light cameras are thrown out because of unclear photos or lack of evidence. If the police officer determines that a violation was committed, they are supposed to issue the ticket within 15 days and will mail it to the address on the vehicle's registration.
Check out our red light camera page
if you get a red light camera ticket in the mail.