How many times have you driven through an intersection and noticed what looks like a camera mounted next to the traffic lights? At first glance, you may tense up and worry about getting a ticket if that camera captures you exceeding the speed limit.

Look, there's no reason to freak out. In most cases, those are traffic sensors, not traffic red-light cameras. They help manage traffic flow while sometimes communicating with sensing strips or units placed in the roadway near stop lines. These sensors are often square/rectangular shapes and mounted on poles at the side of intersections.

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What Are Red-Light Cameras?

Red-light cameras are automated traffic cameras designed to capture images or videos of vehicles that enter an intersection against a red traffic signal. These cameras are typically installed where red-light running is a common issue.

Here's how red light cameras generally work:

    1. Detection: Cameras watch for red lights.
    2. Capture: If a car runs a red light, the camera takes a picture or records a video.
    3. Evidence: The picture or video is proof to give the driver a ticket.
    4. Citation: The car owner gets a ticket for running the red light.

Does Michigan Use Red-Light Cameras?

No, Michigan doesn't use red-light cameras. Any tickets claiming to come from a camera are likely a scam. Only Michigan law enforcement officials can issue tickets.

While red-light cameras have not been used in Michigan, they are being used in more than 20 states.

In 2023, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow Automated Speed Enforcement Systems to be set up in certain work zones only.

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