Automated Red Light Photo Enforcement Facts

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2018 Arizona Crash Statistics at a Glance:

  • Approximately 2.77 persons were killed each day.
  • One person was killed every 8 hours and 39 minutes.
  • There were 146 persons injured every day.
  • One person was injured every 9 minutes and 51 seconds.
  • Alcohol related crashes accounted for 3.66% of all crashes and 26.30% of all fatal crashes.
  • Of all alcohol related crashes, 79.06% occurred in urban areas and 20.94% occurred in rural areas, while 62.40% of all alcohol related fatal crashes occurred in urban areas and 37.60% occurred in rural areas.
  • Single vehicle crashes accounted for 14.74% of all crashes and 32.53% of all fatal crashes.
  • Of all pedestrian crashes, 13.72% were fatal, while 1.88% of pedalcycle crashes were fatal.
  • Crashes which occurred during daylight hours (6:00am to 6:00pm) accounted for 72.9% of all crashes.
  • Motor vehicle crashes resulted in $19.349 billion in economic losses to Arizona.
  • Children age 14 and younger accounted for 32 fatalities and 3,134 injuries in motor vehicle crashes. 


Five countermeasures were recommended by the Governor's Traffic Safety Advisory Council (GTSAC). One was to promote the use of automated enforcement cameras at intersections to deter red light running and speeding. The City of Mesa has installed 21 red light cameras and 14 intersection speed cameras at 19 intersections throughout the city.

A photo-based traffic enforcement attitude study was conducted in the City of Mesa in 2006 and again in 2013. The study's gauged the support for a photo safety program and its effectiveness.

  • Eight out of ten residents believe red light running is a problem in Mesa.
  • Over 85 percent of Mesa residents are in favor of the city's red light camera program.
  • Of those surveyed, 3.5 percent received a red light camera citation in the past year. Of those, nearly 86 percent said it made them a more careful driver.

In summary, the City's red light camera program is well supported by Mesa residents.

Automated red light running photo-enforcement systems, also known as red light cameras, can help communities enforce traffic laws and prevent dangerous traffic signal violations. Red light cameras are connected to traffic signals and to sensors buried in or above the pavement at the crosswalk or stop line. The cameras are triggered by vehicles passing over the sensors after the signal has turned red. Two photographs of the violation are taken, one when the vehicle enters the intersection and the other while it is in the intersection. In most localities with the systems, citations are mailed to the registered owner of the car who is able to challenge the citation if he or she was not the driver at the time of the violation.

Some argue that red light cameras violate a motorist's privacy rights, but they are less invasive and less subjective than traditional law enforcement methods. Cameras photograph only the vehicle's license plate or the face of the driver, depending on a state's law, whereas a ticketing officer can see inside the vehicle. With the cameras, there is no subjectivity or privacy violation because whoever crosses the intersection after the light turns red will receive a citation.

By obtaining a driver license, an individual agrees to abide by certain rules, one of which is to obey traffic signals. The use of cameras is just one way to enforce this law and is a necessary supplement to ongoing police enforcement.