Ocoee city commissioners have voted to allow the installation of three additional red light cameras after police showed them that the cameras can be used to solve other crimes besides drivers disobeying a traffic signal. Ocoee Police used footage from a camera already in place to help solve a recent homicide and received permission to place red light cameras at three busy intersections: westbound State Road 50 and Blackwood Avenue; westbound S.R. 50 and Maguire Road; and eastbound Silver Star Road and Clarke Road.
Ocoee Police chose these locations after evaluating crash data and receiving numerous complaints about drivers running red lights at these intersections. Ocoee installed red light cameras at two locations in 2009 and added three more in 2010. These five cameras caught more than 14,000 red-light violators in 2010 and about 8,300 more in 2011.
Lt. Brad Dreasher has credited red light cameras with a sharp downturn in drivers recklessly running red lights in the area.
"You can see people are getting the message," Dreasher said, explaining the drop in tickets from 2010 to 2011.
He also said that footage from these cameras has been very helpful in solving crimes in Ocoee.
"The cameras are running 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Dreasher said. "If a crime happens in its view, the camera captures it. They’ve become important tools for us to investigate crimes other than traffic offenses."
Drivers who get caught on camera running a red light equipped with one of the cameras receive a $158 ticket in the mail. However, each ticket is verified by an officer watching the footage before it is sent to the driver in order to ensure the integrity of the system. The fines are split between the state, which receives $83 from each fine, and Ocoee, which pays a portion of their share to American Traffic Solutions, the company that manufactures the cameras.
"After all the bills, we’re netting between $25,000 and $30,000 a month," Dreasher said.
If Ocoee is receiving that much money on a monthly basis, it illustrates the scope of the red light running problem in that Central Florida community. Sadly, Ocoee is not the only town in our area that has a problem with drivers running red lights. Many other towns in the area have also installed red light cameras to make roadways safer.
Drivers who run red lights are negligent in the extreme, as their actions cause serious T-bone accidents that kill and injure countless Floridians every year. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a reckless driver and you want to seek damages against him or her to recover medical bills and other costs, call Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587). Call today to get his skills and experience on your side!
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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