3D Tracking Radar

This 3D tracking Radar and camera are a red-light safety system manufactured by Arizona’s “American Traffic Solutions” (ATS). The radar portion of the system tracks passing vehicles’ location and, if a car runs a red light, the camera is activated. That image is then processed to recognize the license plate number, and a ticket is mailed to the registered address. A ticket issued by this system is treated differently to one issued by a police officer, with a lower fine and no points on the driver’s license, as it is difficult to prove who was driving the vehicle at the time. Due to NY state legislation, the number of red light systems is heavily regulated.

At the base of the streetlamp on which the camera and radar sit is a box from which telltale antennas covering a range of frequencies and channels protrude, in this case manufactured by Laird Technologies, a company based in London and with North American operations headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

The black device mounted above the street is marked with the product brand name “Plate ID,” styled like the full range of ATS solutions, but no reference can be found to this product. The name implies that the system is connected to a Automatic License Plate Reader, which would make sense for a red-light safety system.

In a description of a similar ATS system in use in Washington State, the Seattle police department explains how the system works:

Three basic components: a high resolution camera for taking still color photos, a video camera that provides a broader view of the offending vehicle and any other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists in the intersection, and a vehicle sensing device that activates the still cameras and captures video of approaching vehicles that the system “predicts” will violate a red signal. The stills show the vehicle behind the stop line with the traffic signal showing red in an “A” photo and the same vehicle fully beyond the stop line with the traffic signal still showing red in a “B” photo. These two photos, together with a cropped image of the vehicle license plate are included in the citation (also known as the notice of infraction, NOI) that is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Type3D Tracking Radar & Camera System
Owner/AdministratorNew York City Department of Transportation
ManufacturerAmerican Traffic Solutions