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Red-light speed cameras

Red-light speed cameras are installed at high-risk intersections to help reduce crashes. They record when a vehicle speeds or runs a red light.

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Crash prevention

Crashes at intersections are often more severe, with drivers and passengers vulnerable to side-impacts, while pedestrians have no protection in a crash.

How the cameras work

Red-light speed cameras detect the speed of vehicles by using detectors embedded into the road surface or radar technology.

Red-light speed cameras also detect vehicles travelling over the stop line or entering the intersection after the lights have turned red. If the speed of the vehicle exceeds the legal limit, or a vehicle runs a red light, a digital picture is taken of the offending vehicle.

Red-light speed cameras operate automatically day and night.

Red-light speed cameras detect and record the speed of a vehicle by using vehicle tracking radar or electronic detectors that are embedded in the road’s surface. These detectors both accurately measure the speed of a vehicle as well as its location when the traffic lights change to red.

Recording of offences

If an offence is detected, a digital image of the vehicle is recorded. The image shows the type and number plate of the vehicle.

Digital images also include:

  • date of the offence
  • time of the offence
  • location details of the camera that took the picture
  • direction of travel of the offending vehicle
  • speed of the offending vehicle
  • speed limit on the road where the camera is positioned
  • the lane that the vehicle was travelling within
  • other security and integrity parameters.

Red-light speed cameras can monitor multiple lanes with the use of detectors embedded into the road surface or tracking radar technology. Vehicles cannot avoid camera detection by straddling lanes.

A speeding vehicle can be detected and photographed even if it is within a line of vehicles. The angle at which the cameras are set enables pictures to be taken, even if another vehicle is close by.

The original recorded images are stored digitally and cannot be overwritten or altered. A security indicator prevents any attempt to tamper with the image at any stage. All images and relevant information (such as time, date and location) is encrypted.

The original image forms the basis of the evidence produced in court. In line with legislative requirements, the photographs from speed and red-light cameras can be tendered as evidence in court, together with appropriate evidentiary certificates signed by an authorised person.

If a vehicle is detected both speeding and running a red light, two penalty notices will be issued and demerit points recorded for both offences. Double demerits apply for speeding offences during long weekends and holiday periods.

Accuracy and reliability

Speed and red-light camera systems (including the digital camera recording device and the associated speed-measuring device) chosen for NSW undergo a comprehensive evaluation and testing procedure to ensure accuracy and reliability prior to their introduction.

Transport experts inspect each camera system and verify its accuracy and proper operation before the commencement of the camera operation, and thereafter at regular intervals.

The camera recording device is inspected every 90 days and the speed-measuring device is inspected at least every 12 months in line with current legal requirements. An inspection is also conducted following any maintenance or repair of either of these devices.

Locations

Information about the program, including the location of the red-light speed cameras, is available to all road users and potential defendants on the Centre for Road Safety website.

Camera sites are selected based on crash statistics at intersections.

There is signposting at intersections to alert drivers that the red-light speed cameras are installed and operational.

For more information contact the Transport for NSW (Roads) Camera Enquiry Line on 1300 782 230.

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