Red light cameras are at 18 intersections in the county and serve an important role in helping to reduce red light running and collisions at those intersections. A list of red light camera locations, a link to pay citations, and FAQs about the program can be found below.
- Brokenland Parkway at Cradlerock Way
- Brokenland Parkway at Snowden River Parkway
- Brokenland Parkway at Stevens Forrest Road
- Cedar Lane at Freetown Road
- Cedar Lane at Hickory Ridge Road
- Dobbin Road at Dobbin Center Way
- Governor Warfield Parkway at Windstream Drive
- Little Patuxent Parkway at Banneker Road
- Little Patuxent Parkway at Brokenland Parkway
- Little Patuxent Parkway at Columbia Road
- Little Patuxent Parkway at Governor Warfield Parkway
- Snowden River Parkway at Berger Road
- Snowden River Parkway at McGaw Road
- Snowden River Parkway at Oakland Mills Road
- Snowden River Parkway at Dried Earth Boulevard
- U.S. 1 at Corridor Road/Howard Street
- U.S. 40 at Ridge Road
- U.S. 40 at St. Johns Lane
NOTE: Locations subject to change
As of 2020, there are 26 red light safety camera sites monitoring 18 intersections in Howard County. In sum, the county has installed 50 sites since the program's inception in 1998. Many of the sites were subsequently de-activated when red light running and collisions decreased sufficiently at the locations.
Howard County Police use at least two different technologies in the Red Light Camera Program. At some intersections, above-ground LIDAR/laser technology monitors an approaching vehicle's position and speed as it nears the white stop line at an intersection. At other locations, radar technology is used to perform the same function. If either the laser or radar technology recognizes an approaching vehicle is exceeding a preset threshold speed prior to the intersection, the camera system initiates a photograph sequence. The camera first captures a wide-angle photograph of the vehicle before it enters the intersection with the traffic signal clearly illuminated red. Shortly thereafter, the camera captures another photograph of the vehicle in the intersection with the traffic signal still illuminated red. Depending on the site's technology, a photograph of the license plate may be cropped from one of the two wide-angle images, or a secondary narrow-angle camera may capture a dedicated license plate photograph. While some camera sites utilize a flash, others may be flashless. In 2009, Howard County upgraded all its red light safety cameras to include full motion video evidence to accompany the still-photographs. A multi-step review process occurs prior to issuing each and every citation and it is ultimately trained Howard County police civilians who make the final determination if the criterion to issue a citation was met.
Dedicated Red Light Camera Program personnel are constantly assessing all active camera locations, and reviewing the quantity of red light running incidents and citations issued. Moreover, the Howard County Police and Traffic Engineering departments regularly consider what intersections may warrant the introduction of red light safety cameras based on crash data. Before a camera is installed, traffic engineers have attempted to eliminate red light running collisions by altering signal timing or adjusting traffic flow in another manner. Adding a camera is the final solution after other engineering measures have been attempted.
Red Light Camera Program revenue is allocated in Howard County’s General Fund.
- 2014 = 30,886
- 2015 = 38,073
- 2016 = 34,695
- 2017 = 31,887
- 2018 = 36,870
- 2019 = 35,622
The cameras and detection devices are mounted on dedicated metal poles prior to and/or after an enforced intersection approach.
A 2019 Howard County analysis revealed that red light running at enforced sites has reduced by 62 percent when compared to the sites' initial activation.
No. Maryland law prohibits the use of red light cameras for any other purpose other than enforcing red light camera violations.
If a vehicle crosses completely over the white stop line while facing a red signal, a violation has occurred and a citation may be issued. However, if the driver only partially crosses the stop line before coming to a stop, Howard County Police will not issue a citation.
No. If your vehicle has crossed the white stop line and entered the intersection while the light is amber (yellow) and then the light turns red while the vehicle is still in the intersection, a citation will not be issued.
Howard County red light cameras do not monitor right turn lanes. However, if a police officer observes a vehicle failing to make a complete stop at a red light before making a right turn, the officer may issue a traffic citation.
The citation is sent to the address of the vehicle’s registered owner on record with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA.) Citations are required by law to be mailed within 14 days of the violation. Howard County usually processes and mails citations within three to eight days after a violation occurred.
The citation will include three pictures showing the vehicle committing the violation and the vehicle’s license plate number. It will include the exact date, time and location of the violation, a violation number, the amount due, the due date and instructions for paying the fine or requesting a court date. The vehicle’s speed, the road’s speed limit, the length of the amber (yellow) light and how long the light was red when the photographs were captured are all included. It also includes a signature of the certified Howard County police civilian employee who reviewed the images and determined if the criteria to issue a citation were met. Additionally, red light citations include a link to a web site where you can view the photographs, full motion video and pay the fine.
Similar to a parking ticket, the registered owner of the vehicle is the responsible party in Maryland, regardless of who was driving the vehicle at the time the citation was issued.
If you receive a citation, you have the option to pay the fine or request a court hearing. If you wish to schedule a hearing, you are required by law to mail a request to the police department's Automated Enforcement Division and it must be received five days prior to the payment's due date. You will be mailed a notice of the court hearing date, time and location. If you appear in court, the maximum amount you may be charged is a $100 fine and $22.50 in court costs.
Failure to pay the fine or request a hearing in a timely fashion may result in a flagging of the vehicle registration and therefore MVA's refusal to renew its registration. If this happens, the vehicle’s registered owner is then liable for an administrative motor vehicle flagging fee with the MVA in addition to the original fine to renew their vehicle registration.
The fine is $75. There are no added late fees. The addition of an MVA administrative flagging fee applies if the citation goes unpaid and the vehicle registration is flagged as a result.
- Pay online: View/pay the citation online. Major credit cards are accepted. There is an added $2 convenience fee to use the online payment service.
- Mail a check: You may also mail a check for the amount due, along with the payment stub attached to the citation, to Howard County Red Light, PO Box 37236, Baltimore, MD 21297-3236. Checks should be made payable to the Howard County Director of Finance.
- Pay in person: You may make payments in person at the Howard County Office of Finance, in the George Howard Building, 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Red light camera citations are civil citations, not moving violations, similar to parking tickets. They are not reflected on driving records. No points are assessed. Insurance companies are not allowed to access red light camera violation information or raise insurance rates as a result of them.
The office telephone number is 410-313-3216, and the fax number is 410-313-7533.