How they work, what they look like
Not all red light camera locations have a camera at them. Most are just empty boxes, with a few cameras being moved around between them.
Red light cameras always come in pairs. The pole closest to the intersection is a flash, and the one furthest away contains the camera.
The sensors for the cameras are just after the line. They are not the same sensors as the ones that make the lights change colour, these are before the line.
Passing over the sensors will set off the camera (if one is installed) and two photos are taken. These are about a second apart and proves if you are actually running the light, or just stopped a bit over the line.
The cameras will also not take a photo if the light has only been red for a split second (I don't know exactly how long. I hear it is 0.3 sec in Sydney). This makes a difference between "very red" and "a little bit red".
So basically, to get caught by a red light camera you have to be unlucky enough to run a light that has a camera installed, and the light has definitely turned red.
You won't get caught if you go through a yellow just as it turns red, or you are already in the intersection and someone does not set it off behind you, or there is no camera installed at that time.
There are a lot of good reasons not to run red lights. There may be a police officer nearby, or you may be killed/maimed. Take a look at the Victorian government sites on my links page for photographs of what happens when people run red lights.
The information contained in this document has been obtained
from newspapers, government brochures, and personal observations
of the author.
Thanks to Everyone who has
emailed me locations of cameras.
© 1999-2002, Peter Lowther