Here you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about red light and speed camera enforcement. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us using the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page.
What is a Red Light Camera Enforcement Program?
This is a traffic safety program in which a city uses a state-of-the-art digital camera and violation detection system installed at intersections for the purpose of decreasing the number of red-light runners and reducing collisions.
Why are they used?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety red light running is a leading cause of urban crashes and often causes injury and death. Cities install the system to improve public safety by deterring red light running.
What is a red light violation?
A red light violation occurs when a vehicle crosses the legal violation point and proceeds through the intersection after the traffic light has turned red. It is not a violation if the vehicle has entered the intersection prior to the signal turning red (such as to complete a left hand turn).
In Arizona the point of violation is defined as the “Prolongation” of the Curb Line. Simply stated this is a line from the curb face on one side of the street to the curb face on the opposite side of the street. If a vehicle crosses this point after the traffic control light has turned red, they are in violation of running the red light. On right turns on red signal, the vehicle must make a complete and discernable stop, prior to the point of violation, and then may proceed through when traffic has cleared and it is safe to do so.
How does it work?
Each intersection is outfitted with a high resolution high speed digital camera. The cameras are activated by sensors which are located at the intersection and are only activated when a vehicle is detected by the sensors after the light has turned red. The cameras take four digital photos which document the violation and are mailed with a citation to the registered owner of the vehicle. The program operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and operates in all weather conditions. The system is only activated when a vehicle runs a red light and all intersections with red light cameras are clearly marked. The Mesa Police Department reviews every violation before the citation is issued. Citations contain images of the violation vehicle before it enters the intersection, while it is in the intersection the license plate and a image of the driver.
Are red light cameras effective?
Yes. Red light cameras have been proven to be effective in reducing red light violations and right-angle crashes. Cities using these systems consistently report safer roads with fewer intersections collisions.
If I am already in the intersection when the light turns red, will I get a citation?
No. Citations are only issued when a vehicle enters the intersection AFTER the light has turned red. If you enter the intersection a green or yellow light you will not be photographed by the camera system.
How do the speed cameras work?
Mobile Speed Vans: The Mesa Police Department deploys mobile speed vans throughout the City. Each van is staffed by an employee of our photo safety vendor, who is visually observing each violation. The vans are setup with a sophisticated RADAR unit that monitors vehicle speeds as traffic approaches and passes the van. If a vehicle is exceeding the ‘enforcement’ speed (11 mph over the posted limit) the RADAR unit signals the cameras to take a picture of the violating vehicle as it approaches the enforcement van and a second image as it goes past the van. These images document the driver, vehicle and license plate of the violating vehicle that the van operator observed.
Intersection Speed Cameras: Mesa has implemented intersection speed enforcement cameras. The intersection speed cameras are the same units that record red light violations. However they are specially programmed to also register the speed of a vehicle as it enters the intersection. If the speed of the vehicle is excessive, (11 mph and greater over the posted limit), the cameras will initiate and record the speed violation.
Who receives the citation?
Citations are mailed to the registered owner or the driver (if identified) of the vehicle.
What is the amount of the fine?
Please refer to www.mesaaz.gov/court for sanction amounts.
What if the registered owner was not driving the vehicle at the time of the citation?
The owner should read and submit the Affidavit of Non-Responsibility (Option “B”) found on page one of the citation received in the mail, within 30 days of the violation date. The owner should submit the name and address of the person responsible for the violation and return it to the Mesa Police address shown on the citation. If the information is acceptable, the violation will be taken out of the registered owners name and the citation will be re-issued with the information provided on the affidavit. If the car has been reported stolen at the time of the violation, the owner must submit a copy of the filed police report with a signed Affidavit of Non-Responsibility.
Can I receive citations for other offenses as a result of my red light camera or photo speed citation?
No. Drivers who receive photo citations are cited for red light or speed violations. The Mesa Police have chosen not to assign multiple violations.
Will intersections that have red light cameras be publicized?
Yes, locations will be announced and listed in the local newspaper and on the city website. In addition, they are listed at the following link: http://www.mesaaz.gov/police/photo-enforcement/redlight_cameras.aspx
The daily deployment locations of Mesa’s Speed Enforcement vans can be found on the Mesa Police Web site: http://www.mesaaz.gov/police/photo-enforcement/speed_radar.aspx
Where do I mail my payment?
Mail your check or money order, payable to the City Mesa, along with the tear-off coupon (Section "A") in the enclosed envelope, making sure the payment side shows through the envelope window. Do not mail cash. Write your Notice Number on the check.
Mesa Municipal Court
Photo Safety Program
250 E 1st Ave
Mesa, AZ 85210
Can I pay my fine in person?
You may also pay in person at the Mesa Municipal Court; 250 E 1st Ave, Mesa, AZ 85210 between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday through Thursday, excluding holidays.
Where do I mail my Affidavit of Non-Responsibility?
Sign the front and mail "Section B," which has the notice number on the back, along with a clear copy of your driver's license to:
Photo Safety Program
130 N Robson
Mesa, AZ 85201
What if I want to request a hearing or attend Defensive Driving School?
Sign the front of Section "C" and "D" and then, on the back, place a check mark by option C or D. Mail this section to:
Mesa Municipal Court
250 E 1st Ave
Mesa, AZ 85210
Where can I get help with my photo safety citation?
Customer service can be reached toll free: Monday thru Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. CALL: (866) 790-4111
The City of Mesa, the Mesa Police Department and American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS) have joined together to improve the safety for students, faculty and community members in the Rhodes Jr. high school corridor on West Baseline Road, Fremont Jr. high school corridor on Power Road, and Brimhall Jr. high school corridor on Southern Avenue.
The fixed-site speed cameras at school zones were the first of its kind in the State of Arizona. Photo enforcement between Pennington and Longmore was the first mid-block speed camera system in Mesa. The system consists of sensors in each lane that detects the speed of all vehicles that pass over them. The cameras, at all three school locations, are operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When the school zone yellow lights are flashing, a reduced speed limit of 35 miles per hour is enforced and during non-school periods the speed limit of 45 miles per hour is enforced. The cameras photograph the front and rear of the vehicle traveling 11 miles over the posted speed limit. The speed technology in the system is synchronized with the flashing lights to ensure violations are captured with the appropriate speed limit.
In addition to the fixed speed cameras, streaming video is provided for court purposes and on the citation website for recipients to view.