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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.
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 0.5 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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The photo enforcement system captures the violation. The contracted company reviews and validates the violation and sends it to the police department. A sworn law enforcement officer reviews the evidence captured by the system and either accepts the violation for civil penalty or dismisses the violation due to circumstances that are either acquired by the monitoring system or observed in the video evidence. If the officer accepts the violation, he or she will then obtain the vehicle owner's information for mailing of the notice and $50 penalty. The registered owner of the vehicle will receive the violation notice in the mail with instructions for viewing the violation.
You will be provided with three still photographs of your vehicle on the printed violation notice. You can review the red light violation via the internet at www.photonotice.com. You can access your violation by entering your violation and license plate numbers and the city code (CHSPVA). Both video and still photo evidence is available for review. The owner/driver can arrange for an opportunity to meet with a PHOTOSafe Program Officer to review the evidence and discuss the red light running violation. Lastly, the vehicle owner/driver can request a court date for the evidence to be heard in the Chesapeake Courts System. The court arrangements will be made by a PHOTOSafe Officer. Payment can also be made by check or money order via the mail or by credit card via the internet site. No cash will be accepted.
Yes. Chesapeake Ordinance 74-193 amended the City Traffic Code which authorizes the use of red-light photo monitoring systems.
Red light running is a violation of the law at every signalized intersection in the City of Chesapeake. The warning period only applies to the use of the automated enforcement camera system. The 30-day warning period is considered a part of the public awareness process for implementing or expanding the automated enforcement program.
Should you receive both a summons from an officer and a violation notice via mail, please email the PHOTOSafe Program Coordinator and provide your unique citation number from the mailing as well as the name of the officer who cited you.
City vehicles are not immune to this program. When a City vehicle violates the red light, the video and vehicle number are sent to the appropriate department to determine who the driver of the vehicle was at that time. From there, each department reviews the video and issues the appropriate punishment in accordance with their policies.
The violation notice is mailed to the registered owner the same as any other vehicle.
Email the PHOTOSafe Program Coordinator or call 757-382-3535.
One of our PHOTOSafe Program's public safety and awareness goals is to remind drivers of Virginia's right turn on red law. It is important for drivers to understand that Chesapeake automated enforcement systems do monitor and will capture violations in the right turn lanes at our photo enforced intersections. Virginia's right turn on red law is the following:
One of the criteria for choosing intersections for photo enforcement cameras is high accident or crash locations. Another consideration is the number of red light running violations occurring at the intersection. Our challenge is to modify driver behavior at the location in order to reduce or eliminate crashes. Our goal is to improve public safety at all of our City intersections. The data has clearly shown that enforcement cameras positively contribute to a reduction in red light running at all of our monitored intersections.
The risks involved when failing to yield the right-of-way for a pedestrian or another driver and being in a right angle or rear end collision are enormous.
Virginia State Code Section 15.2-968.1: Use of photo-monitoring systems to enforce traffic light signals provides for the capturing of red light violations under Section 46.2-833, 46.2-835, and 46.2-836.
This 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.
The penalty for a photo enforced red light running violation is a $50 penalty and no court costs are associated with the penalty. 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.
The primary focus of the PHOTOSafe program is public awareness and education. The success of the program is measured in the reduction of red light running and not by the number of vehicles caught violating the law. Please review the following information. If you have other questions or would like to schedule a detailed PowerPoint presentation for your organization, email the PHOTOSafe Program Coordinator.