Photo Radar and Red Light Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is photo radar and photo red light?

2) Why is the city of Boulder using photo enforcement?

3) How does photo radar work?

4) How does photo red light work?

5) What happens if I'm in the intersection when the light changes color?

6) What's the difference between photo radar and a handheld radar gun?

7) Will you publicize specific locations of photo radar and photo red light?

8) For photo radar, what is the speed threshold that will trigger the camera to take a photo and thus issue a ticket?

9) What do I do if I receive a ticket in the mail?

10) What if someone else was driving my car and I receive a ticket?

11) Does someone review the photographs before motorists are issued a citation?

12) Will points be assessed against licenses for photo offenses?

13) How can I get more information about Boulder's photo enforcement program?

Have you or someone you know received a traffic ticket due to a picture taken by a traffic light camera? If so, contact one of our experienced traffic violation attorneys in your area today!


1) What is photo radar and photo red light?
Photo radar and photo red light are technologies that record serious traffic violations the moment they occur. Cameras are used to photograph only vehicles that speed or run red lights in targeted areas. Traffic citations are then issued to the vehicle's registered owners through the mail. Camera radar is not a new technology. It has been used since 1968 in other countries. If you drive the speed limit and do not run red lights your vehicle will not be photographed.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

2) Why is the city of Boulder using photo radar and photo red light?
An April 1998 survey showed that over 80 percent of respondents felt that speeding was a problem in Boulder. Drivers running red lights were also seen as a problem by about three-quarters of those surveyed.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

3) How does photo radar work?
Cameras are mounted in a van and operated by trained police employees. The photo radar program combines the use of cameras, radar and a computer. Photographs are taken of both the driver and the license plate of those vehicles exceeding a predetermined speed threshold. A citation with photos of the car, the driver and the license plate will be sent to the vehicle's registered owner.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

4) How does photo red light work?
Cameras are mounted in enclosures at selected high-accident intersections. Photo red light takes pictures of vehicles that run a red light, records the time elapsed since the light turned red and the vehicle entered the intersection. The citation with photos will be sent to the vehicle's registered owner.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

5) What happens if I'm in the intersection when the light changes color?
You will only receive a photo red-light ticket if you enter the intersection after the signal turns red. If you find yourself "trapped" in the intersection while the signal turns from yellow to red, you will not get a ticket. It is good driving practice (and the law) to not enter an intersection unless you will be able to exit it, to avoid gridlock, so it's best to try to avoid getting trapped in the intersection in the first place.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

Have you or someone you know received a traffic ticket due to a picture taken by a traffic light camera? If so, contact one of our experienced traffic violation lawyers in your area today!

6) What's the difference between photo radar and a handheld radar gun?
A photo radar antenna is much more accurate than a radar gun. With photo radar, there is no need to pull drivers off the road for routine traffic violations. Citations with photos are issued by mail.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

7) Will you publicize specific locations of photo radar and photo red light?
Photo radar and photo red light are two different tools used to aid in recording traffic violations. Photo red light equipment is permanently mounted, and the sites do not change. Currently, the four locations equipped with photo red light cameras are at 28th and Arapahoe, Table Mesa Drive and Foothills Parkway, 47th and Valmont and 28th and Canyon. (Photo red light equipment is permanently mounted near traffic lights.) Photo radar sites will not be made public since the photo radar equipment will be mobile and move from place-to-place. (Photo radar equipment is mounted in a van that moves from site to site.)

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

8) For photo radar, what is the speed threshold that will trigger the camera to take a photo and thus issuance of a ticket?
The speed threshold will vary.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

9) What do I do if I receive a ticket in the mail?
A traffic ticket issued through Boulder's photo radar/photo red light safety program is the same as any other traffic ticket issued within our city's limits. You may pay the fine or appear in Municipal Court.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

10) What if someone else was driving my car and I receive a ticket?
If someone other than the car's owner is driving and the owner receives a citation, the citation may be returned by mail or by personal appearance at the Boulder Municipal Court. An affidavit of the facts should be completed and a photocopy of the owner's current driver's license provided. Officials will investigate the authenticity of the affidavit and make a determination regarding the appropriate actions required.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

11) Does someone review the photographs before motorists are issued a citation?
Yes. Officials review every picture to verify vehicle information and to ensure that vehicle is in violation. Tickets are mailed to vehicle owners only in cases where it's clear that a violation occurred.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

12) Will points be assessed against licenses for photo offenses?
No. Fines are the only assessment. Fines are $40 for speeding, $75 for running a red light. Both fines double in school zones.

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

13) How can I get more information about Boulder's photo safety demonstration?
Call the photo radar/photo red light information line with questions or comments at 303-441-1985. You can also go to our Report a Problem page to express your opinion or to ask a question about the photo safety program.


For More Information Call or Fax Photo Radar Information Line: 303-441-1985 Transportation Division: 303-441-3266 Boulder Police Department, Photo Enforcement Unit: 303-441-3475 or fax: 303-441-3392
http://www.bouldercolorado.gov

Back to Photo Radar and Red Light FAQ's

Last Updated Wednesday, 09 April 2008

Content Related to Topic


Have you or someone you know received a traffic ticket due to a picture taken by a traffic light camera? If so, contact one of our experienced traffic violation attorneys in your area today!

Talk to a Lawyer

Need a lawyer? Start here.

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
Get Professional Help

Talk to a Traffic Ticket attorney.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you