SafeLight - Red-light Camera Program
The goal of the SafeLight program in Raleigh is to reduce angle collisions at intersections where the problem continues after other safety-measures have failed to work. Cameras are a safe, effective tool to alert drivers to the danger of the intersection and reduce red-light runners.
The City of Raleigh manages the red light camera program using an automated enforcement vendor who is responsible for camera installation, maintenance, imaging processing, violations and payment processing, customer service, and adjudication support.
Citations are sent to the registered owner of the vehicle and carry a $50 civil fine with an additional $50 penalty if the fine is not paid within a specified period. No driver's license or insurance points will be assessed
See our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to other questions about red-light running or ordinances.
SafeLight Raleigh is part of a statewide initiative, allowing red light photo enforcement in certain cities and towns under NC General Statute § 160A-300.1.
- 1997 - Senate Bill 741 authorizes red light cameras.
- 2001 - Senate Bill 243 authorizes red light photo enforcement systems in Wake County.
- 2003 - City-Council authorizes a red light camera program under City Code, Section 11-2135.
- 2003 - House Bill 786 clarifies red light camera rules throughout North Carolina.
What is a Violation?
A violation has occurred when a car enters the intersection, crossing the stop bar, after the traffic signal has turned red. (N.C. General Statute § 20-158)
Two pictures are taken of the vehicle.
- One of the rear of the vehicle before it enters the intersection with the traffic signal showing the red light. This will show city officials that the signal was red before the vehicle entered the intersection.
- One picture of the vehicle in the intersection with the red traffic signal. This will show City officials that the vehicle continued into the intersection and did not try to stop just past the stop bar.
A photo will not be taken if the traffic signal turns red after the vehicle is past the stop bar or if the vehicle gets stopped in the middle of the intersection.
Occurrences that are not considered violations:
- Being directed through the intersection by a uniformed officer of emergency worker
- Moving out of the way of an emergency vehicle
- In a funeral procession
Paying a Citation
Appealing a Safelight Citation
The SafeLight program provides an appeal process for individuals who feel unjustly cited for a red-light violation. Appeals must be received no later than thirty (30) days from the date of issuance of the ticket.
- The registered owner of the vehicle will be mailed the citation.
- Vehicle owners are responsible for violations unless they can show that someone else was in the "care, custody or control" of the vehicle when the violation occurred.
- The City will accept affidavits as allowed by law and an affidavit transferring responsibility is included on the back of each citation.
- Instructions on how to appeal a SafeLight citation also appear on the back of each citation.
- Timely appeals will be heard by an administrative hearing panel, usually within 30-60 days after the appeal is properly filed.
Current Camera Enforced Locations
Peace at West – East Bound
• New Hope Church at Brentwood - East Bound
• Hillsborough at Friendly – East Bound
• Dawson at Morgan - South Bound
• Dawson at South Street - South Bound
• New Bern at Tarboro - East Bound
• Six Forks at Rowan - South Bound
• Capital at Highwoods – North Bound
• McDowell at Morgan – North Bound
• Wilmington at Chapanoke South Bound
• McDowell at Morgan – North Bound
• New Bern at I 440 (Inner) – East Bound
• New Bern at I440 (Outer) – West Bound
• Capital at New Hope Church – North Bound
• Six Forks at Dartmouth Rd – North Bound
The City of Raleigh is allowed to use the money from the payment of citations to cover any administrative costs to the operation of the SafeLight program, the buying or leasing of equipment, and paying the contractor to operate the system. State law requires that "clear proceeds" above any expenses go to the Wake County Public School System.
Red Light Cameras in other Cities
Approximately 50 communities in the United States were using red light cameras when the Raleigh City Council approved their use in Raleigh.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found that red light camera enforcement in conjunction with public awareness can modify driving behavior and has been shown to reduce red light violations and intersection crashes. Nationwide each year, drivers who run red lights are responsible for an estimated 260,000 crashes resulting in approximately 200,000 injuries and 800 deaths. Cities across the country have reported fewer citations and crashes at intersections with the cameras.
SafeLight programs in other North Carolina cities include Wilmington.