The system activates when sensors detect a vehicle is about to enter into an intersection AFTER the traffic signal has turned red.
If the vehicle is travelling over a certain speed (roughly 15 mph) the sensors trigger, based on the probability that the vehicle will not have time to stop at the light. The system uses the speed to calculate the optimum timing sequence for both the camera and the flashes.
The cameras capture two images of an alleged violation, taken from the
rear of the vehicle.
The first image shows the vehicle entering the intersection when the light is in the red phase.
The second image shows the vehicle in the middle of the intersection when the light is in the red phase.
The license plate image is a close-up from one of the images captured.
Data, including the time, date, and duration of the yellow and red lights, also is recorded.
Cameras also record a 12-second digital video of the violation, including six seconds prior to and six seconds after running the red light.
How does the review process work?
Clearwater Police Department personnel will review all potential violations.
Personnel watch the video of a vehicle running the red light and view the photos showing the light illuminated red both before and after the vehicle enters the intersection.
If it is determined the vehicle ran the red light, personnel will verify that the license plate matches the vehicle and all information is correct before issuing the citation.
Why does the camera flash when no one actually runs the red light?
Occasionally, a vehicle may trigger one of the two cameras when coming to a rapid stop yet not entering the intersection. Additionally, a vehicle may approach the intersection but only slow, rather than stop, before continuing to turn, triggering the road safety program and causing the flash to discharge.
All flash incidents do not equate to a citation. The Clearwater Police Department will review each violation event captured by the safety camera and makes a final determination about issuance of a citation.