Cameras/Legality/USA

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The legality of photo/video enforcement of traffic laws varies from state to state and between the various jurisdictions inside a state depending on how the laws are written. Below is a list of the laws by state. DISCLAIMER: We are not attorneys and are not responsible for mistakes and/or outdated information. The most current information has been found on IIHS and GSHA.

Not all camera looking devices at intersections are speed or red light cameras. Review the article on cameras before adding them to the map.

State table

Legend

Not Legal Statewide NOT LEGAL
Legal in Certain Jurisdictions SEE NOTES BELOW
Legal Statewide LEGAL STATEWIDE


State Red Light Cameras Speed Cameras
Alabama SEE NOTES BELOW No Laws
Alaska
Arizona LEGAL STATEWIDE LEGAL STATEWIDE
Arkansas SEE NOTES BELOW
California LEGAL STATEWIDE
Colorado LEGAL STATEWIDE SEE NOTES BELOW
Connecticut NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Delaware LEGAL STATEWIDE
District of Columbia LEGAL STATEWIDE LEGAL STATEWIDE
Florida LEGAL STATEWIDE NOT LEGAL
Georgia LEGAL STATEWIDE
Hawaii NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Idaho SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
Illinois SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
Indiana NOT LEGAL SEE NOTES BELOW
Iowa No Laws No Laws
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana LEGAL STATEWIDE LEGAL STATEWIDE
Maine NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Maryland SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
Massachusetts NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Michigan NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Minnesota
Mississippi NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Missouri
Montana NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Nebraska NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Nevada NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
New Hampshire
New Jersey SEE NOTES BELOW NOT LEGAL
New Mexico
New York SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
North Carolina SEE NOTES BELOW NOT LEGAL
North Dakota
Ohio SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
Oklahoma
Oregon LEGAL STATEWIDE NOT LEGAL
Pennsylvania SEE NOTES BELOW NOT LEGAL
Rhode Island LEGAL STATEWIDE
South Carolina NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
South Dakota
Tennessee SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
Texas LEGAL STATEWIDE NOT LEGAL
Utah NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Vermont NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Virginia SEE NOTES BELOW NOT LEGAL
Washington SEE NOTES BELOW SEE NOTES BELOW
West Virginia NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Wisconsin NOT LEGAL NOT LEGAL
Wyoming

Notes by state

Alabama

Red light cameras are limited to Montgomery. Speed cameras have no laws regulating them.


Arkansas

Photo radar only in school zones and railroad crossings with an officer present at the time of the infraction.

Colorado

Speed cameras restricted to construction zones, school zones, residential areas, and adjacent to municipal parks.

Hawaii

The state of Hawaii prohibits the use of any Speed or Red Light cameras.

Idaho

Idaho has no state law regarding the use of speed cameras or red light cameras. As of December 2013, the state neither operates nor has publicized plans to operate in the future, cameras of either type.

Illinois

  • See the list of communities where red light cameras are legal here .
  • Mobile speed cameras may be in use in construction zones statewide; these cameras should not be mapped.
  • Municipalities with a population of 1,000,000 or more may use speed cameras in safety zones (one-eighth mile from school or park). The City of Chicago is currently the only Illinois community to qualify for speed camera placement.


Indiana

The only cameras allowed under state law are for toll booth areas only for purposes of non payment enforcement.


Maryland

Speed cameras are authorized in school zones and work zones statewide (and in residential areas in Montgomery County ONLY), but each jurisdiction (county/city) must pass legislation to implement them. The Maryland State Highway Administration has detailed FAQs on Speed Cameras on its website.

Red Light cameras are authorized statewide, but require SHA approval before installation on state roads. The Maryland SHA has details about Red Light cameras on its website.

The Maryland page has details on local camera systems.

New Jersey

New Jersey is piloting a Red-Light-Running (RLR) camera program at authorized intersections in select municipalities throughout the state. Further information, including a document describing all authorized intersections within the state, can be found here.

Due to the controversial nature of this program, some municipalities may have outlawed red-light cameras after initially applying for and being authorized to use them. Such places may appear on the list of authorized intersections, but no longer have cameras there.

At the time of this Wiki's writing, the following municipalities are known to have outlawed red-light cameras, despite having intersections authorized by the state for their use:

  • Brick township, Ocean County

Editors should be advised to double-check, as best as possible, the actual status of red-light cameras marked in Waze before approving them.

New York

Red light (NY)

Red light cameras are permitted only in the following locations (Vehicle & Traffic Law Article 24):

Speed (NY)

On August 1, 2013 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that permits New York City to establish a five-year demonstration program to monitor school speed zones in New York City with speed cameras and to allow evidence captured on camera to be used to impose liability for speeding. This new law will enhance the safety of children, pedestrians and drivers in New York City school speed zones by encouraging drivers to drive with caution through these areas and supplement law enforcement efforts to catch violations and prevent accidents caused by speeding. (Governor's press release)


New York City was originally authorized to set up 20 cameras in school zones. (There was some discrepancy in media reports if this means they are limited to just 20 cameras or if they can put multiple cameras in each of 20 school zones.) These cameras can be moved from school zone to school zone as the city sees fit. The cameras can only operate during school hours and/or after-school activities. This is a 5 year pilot program - the law is set to expire on August 1, 2018 unless it is extended by the New York State Legislature.


On June 25, 2014 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that permits up to 245 speed cameras, including vehicle mounted mobile speed cameras throughout New York City and Long Island. The bill would authorize up to 69 cameras in Suffolk County and 56 in Nassau County. New York City already has 20 of the devices and stands to get 120 more. (CBS NY)

North Carolina

Red Light Cameras are only legal in Raleigh and Wilimington at this time.

Ohio

See the list of communities where cameras are legal here.

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia is currently the only city with active red light cameras, however red light cameras are also legal in a few cites and suburban towns. See the section on Speed and Red-Light Cameras on the Pennsylvania state page for more information.

Tennessee

Each municipality may decide to use "unmanned traffic enforcement cameras", but they are all governed by state-wide laws contained in Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55, Chapter 8, Sub-Section 198 (TCA § 55-8-198).

  • All cameras must be signed (TCA § 55-8-198(c)(2))
  • No Cameras allowed on Interstates except for temporary work zones (TCA § 55-8-198(f))
  • No cameras allowed near speed limit changes of 10 mph or greater (TCA § 55-8-198(l))

Texas

Although the state allows red light cameras, some communities are not using them. Some cities (Houston) have used them, but then decided to take them down.

Vermont

Neither speed nor red light cameras are NOT legal in the State of Vermont.

Virginia

Each town, independent city, and county may elect to install a limited number of red-light cameras pursuant to state law, but not all jurisdictions have done so. (Va. Code § 15.2-968.1)

Washington

Both Red Light and Speed Cameras are legal across the entire state of Washington except in Whatcom County

Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin prohibits the use of any Speed or Red Light cameras.