Email Sign-Up
Sign up for A-Mail to receive news and updates.
Click here >>



Photosafe Program Begins Active Enforcement December 12 at 1:00 a.m.

Violators will be mailed enforcement notices and fines will be assessed.

Albemarle County’s PhotoSafe Program, a photo-based traffic safety system to monitor red light runners at dangerous intersections in the County, will begin active enforcement on Sunday morning, December 12, at 1:00 am.   This enforcement phase begins following the conclusion of a 30-day warning period.  Cameras are installed at the intersection of Route 29 North and Rio Road as the first PhotoSafe location in the County. 

During the warning period to date (November 11 – December 7), the camera system captured 2,040 incidents. Of that number, 464 were accepted by law enforcement following close scrutiny of each recorded incident, with only clear and compelling incidents being accepted as violations. No notices were sent out for payment but letters were sent out for informational purposes for these violation.  1,576 were rejected by the camera vendor and/or by County police officers, some of the reasons for rejections are as follow:

  • Camera Issues (sun glare, camera blurry, no flash, etc.)
  • Red light not visible
  • Vehicle obstruction
  • Police Discretion
  • Incorrect or incomplete DMV information.

Highlights of the PhotoSafe Program:

  • Only vehicles that enter the intersection a half second after the light turns red will trigger the camera system.
  • Signs are located within 500 feet of each photo enforcement intersection to give all motorists ample stopping time to prevent rear end collisions and to remind motorists to comply with the traffic signal laws.
  • Timing of the yellow and red light sequencing is controlled by the Virginia Department of Transportation and yellow sequences have not been shortened at the Route 29 North/Rio Road intersection since installation of the cameras.
  • Violations will be issued for illegal right turns on red – Virginia law requires motorists to come to a complete stop before making a right turn at a red light.
  • While some communities have reported a temporary increase in rear end collisions after cameras have been installed, the majority of the research shows a decrease in the more serious angled crashes.
  • The cameras are a more effective and cost-efficient deterrent to red light running than assigning police officers to the intersection to provide the same level of 24 hour a day, 7 day a week enforcement.
  • The camera system vendor reviews the violation before sending the still photographs and video to the police department.  A sworn police officer will review the violation and has the option to either Accept or Reject the information as a red light running violation. 
  • No photos will be taken of the inside of the vehicle or of any vehicle occupants.
  • Violators have an opportunity to view their violation online and to appeal the violation in court.
  • The registered vehicle owner will receive the summons for the violation, as well as information about how to contest the fine.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance last year regarding the PhotoSafe Program, and the County was authorized to place cameras at up to nine intersections based on the state standard of one intersection per 10,000 residents.  Since that time, County police and other staff have been working closely with VDOT to establish the program and to select the intersections that meet the state’s standards for permitting red light camera enforcement.  VDOT officials have approved the County’s program and have issued permits for installation of the camera system at the Route 29 North and Rio Road intersection based on the significant number of red light running violations and crashes that have occurred at that location.  Other intersection locations will be considered in the future.

Complete information about PhotoSafe, including a program overview, Frequently Asked Questions and a 90 second animated video which shows the system in action, is available on the County website at

How Does It Work?
Signs are located within 500 feet of each photo enforcement intersection in an effort to remind motorists to comply with the traffic signal laws. The camera system is constantly in operation but will only trigger when a violation occurs during the red light cycle.  The system is wired to the traffic lights and to sensors that are buried in the roadway. Vehicles that cross the sensors after the signal has turned red for one half a second are in violation and activate the camera system.  Each vehicle that is in violation is photographed 3 times and a 12-second video is also produced documenting the violation.
The photographed documentation of the red light violation is evidence for the police department to issue a civil penalty to the owner of the vehicle.  The County has a contract with Redflex to provide technology and related services and we have a similar arrangement as the ones used by Newport News, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. 

Return to Newsroom

Featured Events
Planning Commission Meeting
12/17/2019, 6:00 PM
Lane Auditorium (COB)
Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
1/8/2020, 1:00 PM
Lane Auditorium (COB)

View All >>
Links of Interest