Centre for Road Safety

Your questions answered

  1. What do red-light speed cameras detect?
  2. What are the benefits of red-light speed cameras?
  3. How many red-light speed cameras are there in NSW?
  4. Where are red-light speed cameras located?
  5. How are red-light speed camera sites selected?
  6. How do red-light speed cameras work?
  7. What if I wasn't the driver at the time of the offence?
  8. Are there signs to warn approaching motorists of the cameras?
  9. What happens to the money from red-light speed camera fines?
  10. How do we know red-light speed cameras are accurate?
  11. What if I entered the intersection on a yellow (amber) light?
  12. Are red-light speed cameras installed in school zones?
  13. What does the camera record?

1. What do red-light speed cameras detect?

Red-light speed cameras enforce red-light and speeding offences. The cameras can detect vehicles that run a red light or exceed the speed limit at any time, whether the traffic light is red, amber or green.

A list of fines can be found on the Roads and Maritime Services website. Speeding fines vary depending on the number of kilometres over the speed limit. A motorist can be fined for both speeding and running a red light on the same occasion.

2. What are the benefits of red-light speed cameras?

Red-light speed cameras play a vital role in reducing road trauma. Speeding leads to an increased chance of a crash as well as increased risk of death or serious injury. Running red lights can lead to serious T-bone crashes or vehicles crashing into pedestrians. Reviews of the speed camera program in NSW consistently demonstrate a reduction in the number of crashes and injuries at intersections after the installation of red-light speed cameras.

3. How many red-light speed cameras are there in NSW?

Red-light speed cameras are being rolled out at 200 intersections across NSW. There are currently 180 intersections with a red-light speed camera. Those intersections are located in Sydney and in regional areas, where the crash risk has been identified as high.

4. Where are the red-light speed camera locations?

The location of all red-light speed cameras in NSW can be found at Current locations. These locations are reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure that the red-light speed cameras are achieving their intended road safety benefits.

5. How are red-light speed camera sites selected?

Red-light speed cameras are installed at intersections that are identified as having a high crash risk, either through a known crash history or the potential for serious crashes. Details of the criteria used to select sites can be found at the NSW Speed Camera Strategy.

The community can nominate a location for a speed camera on the Safer Roads NSW website. Crash data and other road safety information are assessed to help to prioritise future locations for speed cameras in NSW.

6. 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 and if it 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.

7. 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 Revenue NSW for processing.
Images of offences taken by red-light speed cameras can be viewed online at the Revenue NSW website free of charge.

8. Are there signs to 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, the speed limit that applies where the camera is located and the text ‘RED LIGHT SPEED CAMERA AHEAD’.

9. What happens to the money from red-light speed camera fines?

All fines from all camera detected red-light and speeding offences is directed to the Community Road Safety Fund. This funds road safety initiatives including engineering works, enhanced enforcement by the NSW Police Force, public education campaigns and community grants.

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

Digital speed camera systems chosen for NSW have undergone a comprehensive evaluation and testing procedure to ensure their accuracy and reliability. This includes both the digital camera recording device and the associated speed measuring device. Experts, authorised by Roads and Maritime, inspect each camera system and verify its accuracy and proper function before it becomes operational, 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 of these devices.

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

Revenue NSW 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.

12. Are red-light speed cameras installed in school zones?

Red-light speed cameras can be installed in school zones. 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 an increased penalty.

13. 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.

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