Important Update: COVID-19


Red Light Cameras

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Questions or requests for information regarding red light photo enforcement issues should be directed to:

581 Magnolia Avenue
Red Light Cameras Division
Millbrae, CA 94030
(650) 652-2701

Red-light Safety Program FAQs

What is a red-light running violation?
A red-light running violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. Motorists already in the intersection when the signal changes to red, waiting to turn for example, are not considered red-light violators.

Where are the red-light cameras located?
The intersections with camera installations are listed below. Each intersection is marked clearly with signs.

  • The Southbound Highway 101 off ramp at Millbrae Ave.
  • Millbrae Avenue at Rollins Road.
  • El Camino Real at Millbrae Ave.

How do the cameras work?

  • The system activates when motion is detected just prior to the stop bar AFTER the traffic signal has turned red. The cameras capture three images of an alleged violation, two taken from the rear of the vehicle and one taken from the front of the vehicle
  • The first rear image shows the vehicle at the white stop bar and the illuminated red light.
  • The second rear image shows the violator in the middle of the intersection with the red light illuminated.
  • The third image is taken from the front to show the driver of the vehicle.
  • The license plate image is a close-up from one of the images captured.
  • The driver face image is a close-up from the front image.
  • Data, including the time, date, and duration of the yellow and red lights, also is recorded.
  • Cameras also record a 12-second digital video of the violation, including six seconds prior to and six seconds after running the red light.

Why does the camera flash when no one actually runs the red light?
The intersection safety camera system is designed to take three photographs of a vehicle that may be committing a violation. The first rear image captures the vehicle prior to entering the intersection with the traffic signal red, the second image shows the vehicle continuing through the intersection during the red signal phase, and the third image captures the front of the vehicle.

On occasion, a vehicle approaching an intersection with a red light may come to a stop before entering the intersection yet trigger the safety camera system, causing the flash to discharge. In addition, a vehicle approaching the intersection and making a right turn may not come to a complete stop but only slow before continuing to turn, triggering the road safety camera system and causing the flash to discharge.

The Police Department reviews each violation event captured by the intersection safety camera system and makes the final decision to issue a citation. All flash incidents do not equate to a citation.

What to do if you receive a Notice of Violation

Why did I receive this Notice to Appear?
Based upon images captured by the automated system, your vehicle was determined to have committed a red-light violation. As the vehicle owner, the Notice to Appear is mailed to you.

How much is the fine?
Please contact the San Mateo County Superior Court for the fine amount.

How much time do I have to pay my Notice of Violation?
You must respond to the Court on or before the date located on the bottom of the Notice of Violation.

What are my options?

  1. Pay the bail amount.

    • Your bail will be fortified to the court. You will not have to appear in court. You will be convicted of the violation and it will appear on your record at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A point count will be charged to your DMV record for this offense and your insurance may be adversely affected.
    • You may be able to avoid the point and the adverse affect on your insurance by attending traffic school. You must pay the bail amount and you may have to pay additional court fees.
  2. Request a hearing.
    Send a certified or registered letter postmarked not later then five days prior to the appearance date, or come to the court by the appearance date to request a court trial on a future date when an officer and witnesses will be present. You will be requites to submit the bail amount. You will be given a date for your trial.

    Send a certified or registered letter postmarked not later then five days prior to the appearance date, or come to the court by the appearance date to request a court trial on a future date when an officer and witnesses will be present. You will be requites to submit the bail amount. You will be given forms to allow you to write a statement and submit other evidence without appearing in court. An officer will also submit a statement. The judicial officer will consider all of the evidence at the same time and decide the case.

  3. Submit an Affidavit of Non-Liability.
    IF YOU WERE NOT THE DRIVER: If you were not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the violation, complete the “Affidavit of Non-Liability”. By completing the Affidavit of Non-Liability, the citation issued to you will be dismissed after review and approval by the court. The person named on the form will be cited and notified by mail. Mail the completed ‘Affidavit of Non-Liability’ 5 days prior to your appearance date to: Violation Processing Center, P.O. Box 22091, Tempe, AZ 85285-2091. Or, you may fax the completed ‘Affidavit of Non-Liability’ to 480-990-4819.

What if I was not the driver/owner of the vehicle at the time of the violation?
Per the City of Millbrae you may request a hearing and submit an Affidavit of Non-Responsibility by mail. The Affidavit must be filled out accurately and in its entirety. You may obtain this form either by downloading and printing the form from or visiting the Court in person. Bring the completed form to the Court in person on your hearing date.

What happens if I ignore the Notice to Appear?
You must respond by one of the procedures by the date on the front (see “WHEN”). If you do not, you may lose your license to drive, and your money penalties may increase.

Will I receive any points on my driving record for this Violation?
Yes, this is an infraction and your driving record may be adversely affected. Please contact the San Mateo County Superior Court for more information.

Will my insurance rates be affected?
Points will be assessed to your license and insurance rates by be adversely affected.

Will the road safety cameras take a picture of the driver of the vehicle?

What if I was issued a citation from an officer for the same offense?
The citation issued by a police officer takes precedence over the Notice of Violation. You must request an adjudication hearing and bring both the citation and the Notice of Violation with you to the hearing. The adjudication hearing officer will take the appropriate actions.

I do not believe I ran a red light. Where can I go to view my images and video?
To view video and images, logon to and enter the Notice Number and the PIN Number located at the top right of your Notice to Appear. If you do not have Internet access, you may visit any public library for Internet access to view your images.

I do not believe I ran a red light and want to discuss my case with someone.
You may schedule a hearing by contacting the San Mateo County Superior Court.

I am Handicapped and unable to appear in court for my hearing. What do I do?
Please contact the San Mateo County Superior Court for more information.

Can someone other than me attend the hearing?
Please contact the San Mateo County Superior Court more information.

Is there more than one place that I can attend my hearing?
No, there is only one location. Hearings are held at:

  • Superior Court of California - Northern Branch
  • County of San Mateo
  • 1050 Mission Road
  • South San Francisco, CA 94080

How do I know that these violations are valid?
Images of your vehicle were captured and recorded by an Automated Intersection Safety System. You can review your images and video of the actual occurrence online. The images and video were reviewed by several qualified technicians and finally by the Millbrae Police Department before the alleged violation was affirmed and mailed to you as the registered owner or identified driver.

What company provides the red-light camera program in Millbrae?
The City of Millbrae has contracted with American Traffic Solutions Inc. (ATS)

Red-light Running Facts

Red-light Running is a Dangerous and Costly Problem.

  • Red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • In 2006, 144,000 injuries and nearly 900 fatalities in the U.S. were attributed to red-light running. There were more than 1.8 million accidents at intersections.

A Crash Caused by a Driver who Runs a Red Light is More Likely to Result in Serious Injury or Death.

  • Deaths caused by red-light running are increasing at more than three times the rate of increase for all other fatal crashes.
  • More people are injured in crashes involving red-light running than in any other crash type.
  • Reduction in red-light running through a comprehensive red-light camera program will promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of Millbrae’s citizens.

Most People Run Red Lights because They are in a Hurry, when in Fact They Save Only Seconds.

  • Almost all drivers (96%) fear being struck by a red-light runner.
  • A majority of Americans (56%) admit to running red lights.
  • Red-light runners can be anyone who drives.
  • One in three Americans knows someone who has been injured or killed in a red-light running crash.
  • Red-light running is often a result of aggressive driving and is completely preventable.

“Stop Red Light Running,” Federal Highway Administration Safety Website
R. A. Retting and A.F. Williams, "Characteristics of Red Light Violators: Results of a Field Investigation," Journal of Safety Research (1996): 27.1, 9-15.