Centre for Road Safety

Red-light speed cameras

What do these cameras detect?

Red-light speed cameras enforce both red-light and speeding offences. The cameras are capable of detecting vehicles exceeding the speed limit at all times whether the traffic light is red, amber or green.

How many red-light speed cameras are being installed?

By the end of 2014 there will be red-light speed cameras at 200 intersections enforcing red-light and speeding offences.

How are sites selected?

Red-light speed cameras are installed at intersections that meet site selection criteria detailed in the NSW Speed Camera Strategy. The position of all red-light speed cameras in NSW can be found in the Current Speed Camera Locations document.

How do red-light speed cameras work?

Red-light speed cameras operate automatically day and night. The cameras detect and record the speed of a vehicle by using vehicle tracking radar or electronic detectors that are embedded in the road’s surface. These detectors accurately measure the speed of the vehicle. If the speed of the vehicle exceeds the speed limit, a digital photograph is taken of the offending vehicle.

The red-light detection function of the cameras is connected to the traffic lights and is activated when a vehicle crosses the white stop line after the lights have turned red. The camera is programmed to take photographs of the rear of any vehicle travelling over the stop line or entering the intersection after the lights have turned red. The camera is not triggered by vehicles crossing the stop line on yellow (amber) or green lights.

What if I wasn’t the driver at the time of the offence?

If you were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence, you should provide the name and details of the driver by completing the statutory declaration form provided with the penalty notice and forward it to the State Debt Recovery Office (SDRO) for processing.

Images of offences taken by red-light speed cameras can be viewed online at the SDRO website www.sdro.nsw.gov.au free of charge.

Will signs warn approaching motorists of the cameras?

Yes all intersections with red-light speed camera enforcement are signposted with red-light speed camera signs. The signs display an image, speed zone information and the text ‘RED LIGHT SPEED CAMERA AHEAD’.

What happens to the revenue from red-light speed cameras?

Fine revenue from all camera detected red-light and speeding offences is directed to the Community Road Safety Fund to support road safety initiatives.

How do we know red-light speed cameras are accurate?

Digital speed camera systems (including the digital camera recording device and the associated speed measuring device) chosen for NSW have undergone a comprehensive evaluation and testing procedure to ensure their accuracy and reliability. Experts, authorised by Roads and Maritime Services, inspect each camera system and verify its accuracy and proper operation before the commencement of the camera operation and afterwards at regular intervals. The camera recording device is inspected every 30 days and the speed measuring device is inspected at least every 12 months in line with current legal requirements. An inspection is also conducted after any maintenance or repair of either these devices.

What if I entered the intersection on a yellow (amber) light?

The State Debt Recovery Office reviews all images and will only take enforcement action when it is clear that a vehicle has proceeded through a red-light at an intersection.

Red-light speed cameras installed in school zones

Red-light speed cameras are only installed in school zones with flashing lights. Where a red-light speed camera is located in a school zone, drivers who are detected speeding or running a red light during school times will receive increased penalties.

What does the camera record?

If a vehicle is detected speeding or running a red light, a digital image of the vehicle is recorded, which includes the registration plate of the vehicle. Red-light speed cameras have the capacity to measure speed in both directions of travel.

Digital images also include information about:

  • Date and time of the offence
  • Location details of the camera
  • Direction of travel of the offending vehicle
  • Speed of the offending vehicle
  • Speed limit applying to the road on which the camera is located
  • The lane in which the vehicle was travelling