FAQ: How Long Do I Keep Red Light Camera Records?

photo-enforcedWe’re all familiar with red light cameras – those digital devices at intersections that record drivers running red lights. If you’re a local government with red light cameras, you are probably familiar with the records associated with these systems: photos and videos of potential violations, citations issued, and the information from the Department of Motor Vehicles that helps you match the license plate to the owner for correspondence purposes.

But if you go to Local Schedule PS, you won’t find a series called “Red Light Camera Records.”  That is because there just isn’t a series for those records…for now.  (We’ll talk more about how we at the State Library can remedy that in just a moment.)

So what should you do with them for now? We know that most local governments do not have the resources to indefinitely store the copious amount of records created by these systems, but can’t destroy the records if they aren’t listed on a TSLAC Local Schedule. So, we searched our local schedules to find the best fit for now.  Here’s how we recommend classifying each of the records associated with red light cameras:

  • Photos or videos that do not capture a violation:  PS4050-06: Surveillance Videos (AV)
  • Photos or videos that do capture a violation: PS4125-05b(1): Offense Investigation Records for Class C Misdemeanors and other violations of local ordinances that are punishable by fine only (6 months)
  • Information from the DMV used to match the license plate to the owner: PS4175-05c: Dissemination, Inquiry, and Receipt Records of Law Enforcement Information (AV)
  • Citations issued by law enforcement:  PS4125-05b(1) – see above (6 months)
  • Citations that have been cleared by payment, dismissal, or other action of a court: LC2350-05: Parking and Pedestrian Violation Tickets (6 months, unless the tickets are used as vouchers for direct posting to receipt journals or ledgers — then they must be retained for FE + 3 years.)

We’ve received a similar question about school bus passing violation videos – videos that capture vehicles passing school buses as they are loading or unloading students.  We recommended that the municipality follow the same guidelines as above.

About those records that don’t have a clear-cut classification on TSLAC’s schedules — or can’t be matched up with any TSLAC series at all.  Well, every time that we come across a record that needs to be included on a schedule, we add it to a list of suggested revisions.  We keep a list for each local schedule, and we keep any helpful documentation that may help us when we are revising the schedules: applicable bills that changed the retention rules, repealed laws, and emails from you guys who are actually creating and using the records.  When we start revising each schedule, we work to incorporate that information into the next edition.

Trouble finding a record on our schedules?  Contact your analyst for help!

One thought on “FAQ: How Long Do I Keep Red Light Camera Records?

  1. Regarding the information on the Red Light Camera documentation – you might want to include the documentation for appeals as well.

Comments are closed.