The system activates when motion is detected just prior to the stop bar AFTER the traffic signal has turned red. The cameras capture two images of an alleged violation, taken from the rear of the vehicle.
The first image shows the vehicle at the white stop bar and the illuminated red light.
The second image shows the violator in the middle of the intersection with the red light illuminated.
The license plate image is a close-up from one of the images captured.
Data, including the time, date, and duration of the yellow and red lights, is also recorded.
Cameras also record a 12-second digital video of the violation, including six seconds prior to and six seconds after running the red light.
How does the review process work? Tampa police officers will review all potential violations. Officers watch the video of a vehicle running the red light and view the photos showing the light illuminated red both before and after the vehicle enters the intersection. If an officer determines the vehicle ran the red light, the officer verifies that the license plate matches the vehicle and all information is correct before issuing the citation.
Why does the camera flash when no one actually runs the red light? Occasionally, a vehicle may trigger one of the two cameras when coming to a rapid stop, yet not entering the intersection. Additionally, a vehicle may approach the intersection but only slow, rather than stop, before continuing to turn, triggering the road safety program and causing the flash to discharge.
Importantly, all flash incidents do not equate to a citation. Our police department will review each violation event captured by the safety camera and make a final determination about issuance of a citation.