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Red Light Cameras on State Highways

More municipalities are using photographic traffic signal enforcement systems, or red light cameras, to improve safety at their intersections.

Although TxDOT does not install or operate these cameras, we do allow municipalities to install them on state highways under certain conditions.

For more information, consult our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us.

Overview
A motorist running a red light often leads to tragedy.

Nationally, more than 100,000 crashes and 1,000 fatalities occur because of red light running each year. In Texas, there were over 12,000 crashes in 2008 due to red light violations.

State Law

Chapter 707 of the Texas Transportation Code gives local jurisdictions the authority to install photographic traffic signal enforcement systems, or red light cameras, at their intersections.

How They Work

Red light cameras detect motor vehicles that pass sensors after a traffic signal has turned red. The sensors are connected to computers in high-speed cameras that take photographs of the violation.

Trained law enforcement officials review the photographs and mail a citation to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Objective

The objective of using red light cameras is to improve intersection safety. Municipalities are prohibited from using the devices as revenue-generating sources. They are required to install signs along each roadway that leads to an intersection where a red light camera is in use.

Information for Municipalities
While TxDOT does not install, pay for, or maintain red light cameras, we do work with municipalities to ensure proper installation.

State Right of Way

Red light cameras on state right-of-way (ROW) are reviewed by TxDOT to ensure they do not impact the existing traffic signal operation and meet all TxDOT safety requirements.

Municipalities are encouraged to review Chapter 707 of the Transportation Code for all the requirements related to the installation and operation of red light cameras in Texas.

State Highways

Municipalities may install red light cameras on TxDOT ROW through an amendment to the Municipal Maintenance Agreement (MMA). Municipalities without an executed MMA, and counties, however, are not allowed to install red light cameras on state ROW.

Municipalities with an executed MMA must contact their local TxDOT district office and inform them of the intention to install the equipment.

Engineering Analysis

As per Section 703 of Chapter 707, prior to installing red light cameras municipalities must complete an engineering analysis. TxDOT has developed a sample "Engineering Analysis Template" which can be used to meet this requirement.

Reporting Requirements for Municipalities

State law establishes reporting requirements for municipalities both before and after the installation of a red light camera. TxDOT collects this information and publishes Annual Red Light Camera Data Reports on December 1 every year.

Note: According to Transportation Code §707.004, municipalities are required to report in the format prescribed by TxDOT.

Before Requirements (Cameras Activated After Dec. 31, 2007)

  • Transportation Code, §707.004, requires the submission of a written report of the number and type of crashes that have occurred at the intersection for a period of at least 18 months before the date of the report. A report needs to be completed and submitted for every intersection where a photographic traffic signal enforcement camera will be installed.
  • The "Before" Report for Red Light Cameras Activated After Dec. 31, 2007 is to be submitted by email. A report needs to be completed and submitted for every intersection where a photographic traffic signal enforcement camera will be installed.

Before Requirements (Cameras Activated On or Before Dec. 31, 2007)

  • Transportation Code, §707.004, does not require the submission of a report of the number and type of crashes at the intersection before camera installation if the camera was activated on or before Dec. 31, 2007.
  • In order to provide suitable before and after comparison of the impact of photographic traffic signal enforcement, however, TxDOT requests that the local authority submit the before-installation data.
  • The "Before" Report for Red Light Cameras Activated On or Before Dec. 31, 2007 may be submitted by email.

After Requirements (Required for all Red Light Cameras)

  • Transportation Code, §707.004, requires that after installing a camera, the local authority shall monitor and annually report to TxDOT the number and type of traffic crashes to determine the impact of photographic traffic signal enforcement.
  • A report needs to be completed and submitted for every intersection where a photographic traffic signal enforcement camera is installed.

After Activation Report

The time frame for all annual reports will be from July 1st of the previous year through June 30th of the current year.

The deadline for submitting After Activation Annual Reports for Red Light Cameras for the July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, reporting period has passed. After Activation Reports for the July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, reporting period are no longer being accepted.

More Information