Automated Enforcement Laws

Automated enforcement laws refer to using cameras to enforce traffic safety laws. Kentucky currently has no state laws relating to automatic enforcement. Though many states have laws authorizing automated enforcement, not all states where cameras are in use to enforce traffic laws have such laws, nor are they such laws always necessary.

A common category of automated enforcement program is for red light violations. With red light violations, if a car enters an intersection any time after the signal light has turned red, the driver commits a violation. Motorists inadvertently in an intersection when the signal changes such as when they are waiting to turn left are not red light runners. In locations where a right turn on red is permitted, drivers who fail to completely stop before turning may be considered red light runners. During peak travel times, red light running is frequent.

Use of cameras to enforce speed limits is increasing. Camera Technology is also used to catch drivers who fail to pay a toll, or disobey a crossing signal.

Some states treat automated enforcement citations like parking tickets, making the registered owner liable, not the driver at the time of the traffic violation. Sometimes, like parking tickets that do not result in points or recording on a driver’s record, some jurisdictions do not assess points or make a record of automated enforcement citations.  This way, a persons insurance rates are not affected by the citation.

Cameras help when there are disputes on whether someone actually violated a traffic law.  A traffic violation usually results in criminal liability.  All players in the criminal justice system and the community at large have an interest in protecting the innocent, and law enforcement using cameras are generally dedicated to the ascertainment of truth surrounding the commission of a crime.

Cameras can help keep a community safe and secure.  Technological tools ensure that policies and practices employed to investigate, charge, and prosecute individuals for traffic violations are appropriate, effective, and accurate.  Technological tools such as passive video surveillance capture traffic violations in public areas, schools, and residential areas, at the same time preserve the US Constitution 4th Amendment Right to privacy.   With passive surveillance, only upon a showing of probable cause that a traffic violation has been committed may law enforcement obtain a judicial order to pull video footage.

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