PHOTOSafe Red Light Enforcement
Red Means Stop! Chesapeake’s red light photo enforcement program is titled PHOTOSafe. Our city’s goal is to simply gain compliance with traffic signals which will significantly contribute to public safety in Chesapeake. The camera systems are a force multiplier for the uniformed police officer and they reduce the risks involved in the red light violation enforcement of large intersections.
The key to the program’s success is public knowledge of the systems and the assurance that if you run a red light, your vehicle will be photographed and you will receive a civil penalty for the violation. 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.
How to Get Assistance
The City of Chesapeake does not accept in-person payments at any city location.
To speak to a representative about a red light camera violation, contact the Redflex Customer Contact Center at 1-877-847-2338. (To expedite our service to you, please have your Citation Number ready when you call.)
The address to the PHOTOSafe Payment Center is:
P.O. Box 76999
Cleveland, OH 44101
To view the violation video evidence online or to pay a violation by credit card, go to the Photo Notice site and enter the following information: Your citation number (example: PSCP00000000), vehicle license plate number (no dashes), and City Code: CHSPVA.
For additional information about Chesapeake's PHOTOSafe Program or to arrange a PHOTOSafe presentation, contact the Program Coordinator at 757-382-3535.
All payments must be sent to the previously listed payment center. The City of Chesapeake does not accept in-person payments at any city location.
- Why do we need this?
Stopping red light running will significantly contribute to public safety in Chesapeake.
The camera systems are a force multiplier for the uniformed police officer and they reduce the risks involved in the red light running violation enforcement of large intersections.
- 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. 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 are buried in the lanes of the roadway surface. 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; 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.
The diagram is a representation of the PHOTOSafe camera systems used in the City of Chesapeake. This picture illustrates a single intersection approach with three vehicles in violation of the traffic signal. Each system contains multiple cameras that can capture multiple lane violations occurring at the same time. Drivers are reminded that our systems do capture right turn on red violations.
- How many intersections will be monitored?
The City of Chesapeake is authorized to monitor a total of 24 intersections by Virginia State Code guidelines of 1 intersection per 10,000 residents. Our City Council has approved the use of 20 camera enforcement systems. 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.
Process For Selecting intersections
- The accident rate for the intersection
- The number of red light violations occurring at the intersection
- The difficulty experienced by law enforcement in apprehending violators (officer and public safety)
- The ability to apprehend violators within a reasonable distance from the violation
Approved Locations for Camera Enforcement
Intersection Warning Period Activation Date Military Highway (Route 13) at Greenbrier Parkway/Dunbarton Drive January 12, 2011 February 11, 2011 Greenbrier Parkway/Butts Station Road and Kempsville Road January 29, 2011 February 28, 2011 Portsmouth Boulevard (Route 337) and Gum Road/Peek Trail July 22, 2011 August 21, 2011 Indian River Road/Sparrow Road July 22, 2011 August 21, 2011 Battlefield Boulevard (Route 168) and Great Bridge Boulevard (Route 190)/Kempsville Road February 13, 2012 March 14, 2012 Greenbrier Parkway and Volvo Parkway July 1, 2018 July 30, 2018 Battlefield Boulevard (Route 168) and Volvo Parkway July 1, 2018 July 30, 2018 Canal Drive and Military Highway (Route 13) October 15, 2018 November 13, 2018 Taylor Road and Portsmouth Boulevard (Route 337) May 21, 2019 June 19, 2019 Military Highway (Route 13) and George Washington Highway (Route 17) August 14, 2020 September 14, 2020
- The intersections are listed in the order of approval and camera activation.
- An engineering safety analysis was conducted at all of the above intersections in accordance with state code. The analysis includes an automatic traffic recorder directional and classification count, turning movement counts, and a concurrent 12-hour video survey of red light violation counts. All intersections were approved for photo enforcement in accordance with the Code of Virginia 15.2-968.1links to external site.
- A 30 day automated enforcement or red light camera violation warning period is given at each intersection when the cameras are activated. The warning period is considered part of Chesapeake’s public awareness program.
- Signs warning drivers that red lights are photo enforced are installed within 500 feet of the intersection.
- Do red light running cameras really reduce crashes at intersections?
Red Light Photo Enforcement reduces crashes at monitored intersections approximately 40%. The technology tends to produce generalized changes in driver behavior, so violations and crashes decline throughout the area where cameras are used, not just at the specific intersections equipped with cameras. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; IIHS, 2002)
- Do cameras photograph every vehicle passing through an intersection?
No. Cameras are set so that only those vehicles that enter the intersection after the light has turned red are photographed. Vehicles entering the intersection on yellow and are still in the intersection when the light turns red are not photographed. The camera system only takes pictures when a violation occurs.
- What kind of violation will be issued and what would the penalty be?
Virginia State Code 15.2-968.1 mandates the violation as a driver responsibility. It is presumed that the owner of the vehicle was the driver at the time of the violation. Red light violations are handled similar to a parking violation. There is no insurance liability and no DMV implication or points associated with the driver or owner of the vehicle. By law, the penalty cannot exceed $50.
- How will I know which intersections have red light cameras?
Legislation enacted by the 2007 General Assembly requires that localities place conspicuous signs within 500 feet of the intersection where a red light running camera is installed. Localities also are required to conduct a public awareness program advising the public that a photo enforcement system is being implemented or expanded. All intersections are listed on the PHOTOSafe information web page.
- How is the timing interval determined between the red, yellow and green traffic lights at an intersection?
The City of Chesapeake Department of Traffic Engineering is responsible for determining the traffic light timing intervals. Times at signals is determined based on variables such as the posted speed limit, typical deceleration rates of vehicles, the grade of the road (uphill or downhill), the width of the intersection, and the amount of time it takes a driver to see the yellow signal and react (perception and reaction time). All traffic signal timing has been evaluated and approved by the department of traffic engineering and reviewed by VDOT in accordance with VDOT guidelines.
- Isn't the main purpose of red light cameras to make money?
No. The objective of the PHOTOSafe enforcement program is to improve intersection safety. Signs and publicity campaigns required by the 2007 General Assembly warn motorists that photo enforcement is in use. Penalties are paid by drivers who continue to run red lights. Penalties for red light violations in Virginia are limited to $50 per violation by legislation. Independent audits of red light camera enforcement across the country have found that these programs generally do not generate excess revenue. Camera equipment costs vary based on the type of camera, the complexity of the intersection, and technical requirements.
- Does the system enforce running right turns on red?
Yes. Virginia law requires all vehicles to stop on a red light signal. Right turns on red are permitted unless otherwise posted. The camera will capture right turn violations on vehicles that proceed without coming to a full stop. The sensors will detect violations in the right turn lanes being monitored and activate the photo enforcement system. Officers will review each captured offense and determine if the vehicle stopped and proceeded safely and in accordance with Virginia law.
Certificates of Correct Functioning
These are the documents showing the monthly testing and certification of the PhotoSafe Red Light systems as functioning correctly.
Certificates for 2022
2022 December Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 November Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 October Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 September Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 August Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 July Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 June Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 May Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 April Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 March Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 February Certificate of Correct Functioning
2022 January Certificate of Correct Functioning
Certificates for 2021
2021 December Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 November Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 October Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 September Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 August Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 July Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 June Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 May Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 April Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 March Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 February Certificate of Correct Functioning
2021 January Certificate of Correct Functioning
Sites Containing Information on this Topic
- Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT)
- U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- National Coalition for Safer Roads: Stop on Red
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Note: All videos and photos are provided courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department and were taken under the 1995-2005 Virginia State Legislature governing photo enforcement.