Red Light Cameras in DC

Red light cameras are part of an automated photo enforcement program which automatically photographs the license plates of vehicles whose drivers violate the DC traffic regulation. The photographs are only able to capture the rear of the vehicle and the license plate and not the individual who is driving.

The purpose of the red light cameras is to reduce the number of traffic violations that occur in DC thus preventing accidents and injuries. The DC Metropolitan Police Department currently has forty-eight red light cameras at intersections throughout the DC area.

Red Light Laws

DC Municipal Regulation 18 Section 2103 states that a vehicle facing a red light must stop before entering the intersection and must remain stopped until a green light or flashing yellow is shown. Additionally, a vehicle may turn right on red after stopping and only if it is safe to do so and not specifically prohibited at that intersection. A vehicle is never able to turn left when facing a red signal.


The Metropolitan Police Department developed the automated photo enforcement program through which you receive a red light camera citation. Additionally, an officer from the Department may pull you over and issue you a red light infraction. However, all payments or adjudications are administered by the DC DMV.

Some individuals may receive a ticket for running a red light due to the fact that he or she stopped in front of the limit line instead of behind it. Additionally, there may be an instance in which an individual runs through a yellow light as it was turning red. In DC, it is not illegal to deliberately drive through a yellow light, as long as your vehicle entered the intersection or passed the limit line before the light turned red.

Typically, citations are mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner after an examination of the license plate photograph. Once you have been notified, you must either pay the fine or request an administrative hearing to contest the ticket.

Can Someone Appeal a Ticket From a Red Light Camera?

You may request an administrative hearing which will take place at the DMV to contest your citation. If you are not happy with the hearing examiner’s decision, you may submit a Motion for Reconsideration within thirty days of the hearing examiner’s decision.

Penalties For Running a Red Light

A red light ticket is a traffic infraction that is handled at the DMV is results in a $150 fine for anyone accused of this infraction. In addition, the driver will also receive two points on your driver’s record. Beyond the fine and the points, however, there are no criminal ramifications as this infraction is handled at the DMV and not the DC Superior Court.