Friday, February 18, 2011
Having trouble determining if that is a red light camera or just your typical traffic camera? Trapster is a user generated service, so we are depending on you to report accurate traps on the Trapmap, but with all the different models of these cameras, it is hard to be sure. Lets go over what these revenue raking machines look like.
What Red Light Cameras Look Like
These machines are constructed to take accurate pictures of license plates and sometimes even get a clear shot of the driver, in order to do this you will notice certain characteristics shared by most red light cameras:
Flash: Not a good feeling when you try to beat a red light and flashes are going off like you are walking the red carpet. A positive indication that it is indeed a red light camera is the big flash bulb. Sometimes the flash is not attached to the camera, so you will really have to scope out the intersection for the location(s) of the separate flash unit(s).
Glare control: You sport some sunglasses to help block out the sun, these cameras also need to block out some rays.You will notice these cameras have some sort of way to block out sunlight, headlights, etc. A hood will be over the lens, and/or an anti glare piece of plastic or glass will encase the lens.
Multiple lenses: The photos vary from state to state, but these photos usually need: multiple shots of your vehicle violating the traffic signal, a shot of your license plate, and a clear shot of your beautiful face behind the wheel. So, another sure sign that it is indeed the dreaded red light camera is more than one lens.
Bulky: Red light cams usually have some size to them, like a big boxy metal case. This is to keep these cash cameras safe from natural elements and from someone going postal because they just received a $300 red light violation fine.
The Most Common Mistake
Now just because there is some sort of camera looking device perching on the traffic light bar, it doesn’t mean it is a red light camera. Most of the time these are just regular traffic surveillance cameras.
Notice there is no flash? No multiple lenses? Not too bulky…
Speed cameras are popping up all over the U.S. Some states even use a combination camera which is able to monitor your speed and catch you running a red light. I know you can’t contain your joy about that little tid bit, but the harsh reality is it makes it even more confusing when reporting these cameras. But that’s a topic for another blog post.
For now we hope this helps you accurately report and be more aware of the red light cameras in your area. For some info on understanding trap types and confidence levels on the Trapmap, check out this previous blog post.
Now get out on the town and report all the red light cameras in your area!