Menlo Park, CA


What is red light running?

A violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection some time after the signal light has turned red. Motorists inadvertently in an intersection when the signal changes to red (waiting to turn left, for example) are not red light runners.

What is the penalty for running a red light?

The penalty for a convicted red light violation is one point on your driving record and a minimum fine of $380. Traffic school is an option for those who meet the court requirements. Information can be obtained through the San Mateo County Superior Court. If you have received a red light citation at an intersection equipped with digital video, you can schedule an appointment by calling 650-330-6693 to review it at the Menlo Park Police Department. You can also view the video of the violation online.

Do the cameras photograph every vehicle passing through an intersection?

No. Cameras are set so that only those vehicles that enter an intersection after the light has turned red are photographed. Vehicles that enter on yellow and are still in an intersection when the light changes to red are not photographed. This technology is intended to identify vehicles driven by motorists who enter an intersection after the signal has turned red.

Does someone review the photographs before motorists are ticketed?

Yes. Trained police officers and staff review every picture to verify vehicle information and ensure the vehicle is in violation. Tickets are mailed to vehicle owners only in cases where it is clear the vehicle ran a red light.

Do red light cameras violate motorists' privacy?

No. Driving is a regulated activity on public roads. By obtaining a license, a motorist agrees to abide by certain rules, such as to obey traffic signals. Neither the law nor common sense suggests drivers should not be observed on the road or have their violations documented. When citations are issued, the only recognizable person in the photos is the driver - all passenger faces are carefully blocked out.