Florida lawmakers may be getting ready to ban red light cameras across our state, but many communities are continuing plans to install new cameras at problem intersections. The Central Florida town of Clermont is the most recent community to announce plans to install the devices. City officials recently announced that they would be adding these devices at 13 intersections along State Road 50 and U.S. Highway 27 to prevent accidents and discourage drivers from disobeying traffic signals.
However, not all city officials are pleased with the announcement. Each of the 24 red light cameras Clermont plans to install will cost the city $4,750 a month, or more than $1.3 million a year. That raised a red flag with some officials, who are concerned about taking on that type of financial obligation at a time when tax revenues are down and the economy is struggling.
"That’s a lot of money, my friend," said Clermont Mayor Hal Turville, one of two council members who voted Tuesday against deploying the cameras that videotape and snap the license plates of vehicles that run red lights and send $158 tickets to offending drivers. "How many tickets will that take for us just to break even?"
Florida law allows cities and counties that install the cameras to keep just $75 out of every $158 fine issued to motorists. Critics of the cameras cite the fact that Clermont will have to issue 1,520 red-light citations each month and more than 18,000 each year to break even on the costs of operating the cameras.
Clermont Councilman Ray Goodgame, a proponent of the devices, said safety concerns trumped the financial concerns of operating the cameras.
"I think it’s expensive, yes. But we’ve seen the contracts of other cities, and we’re not getting a worse deal than anyone else. Bottom line: We have to do something to change people’s driving habits, and there’s only one effective way to do that: in the pocketbook."
Clermont officials report that the cameras will be installed where State Road 50 crosses County Road 561, Fifth Street, East Avenue, Bloxam Avenue, Grand Highway, Citrus Tower Boulevard and Hancock Road and also where U.S. 27 crosses Citrus Tower Boulevard, Hooks Street, Steve’s Road, Johns Lake Road, Hammock Ridge Road and Hartwood Marsh Road.
If you or a member of your immediate family has been injured in an accident caused by a red light runner or another type of driver negligence and you want to learn more about your rights and legal options, call 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) today. Scheduling a free consultation with Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham could be one of the most important decisions of your life. Mr. Cunningham has been using his skills and experience as an Orlando auto accident lawyer to help injured people receive damages from negligent drivers and their insurance companies since 1977. Call today, and let him build an effective case for you while you and your family focus on recovering from your injuries.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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