This is a follow up to a previous post where we discussed red light cameras being installed in Clermont, Florida (Lake County).
The City of Clermont has twenty-four red light cameras at various intersections. The intersections are:
- State Road 50 and 12th Street
- State Road 50 and Fifth Street
- State Road 50 and East Avenue
- State Road 50 and Bloxam Avenue
- State Road 50 and Grand Highway
- State Road 50 and Citrus Tower Boulevard
- State Road 50 and Hancock Road
- US 27 and Citrus Tower Boulevard
- US 27 and Hooks Street
- US 27 and Steve’s Road
- US 27 and Johns Lake Road
- US 27 and Citrus Tower Boulevard/ Hammock Ridge Road
- US 27 and Hartwood Marsh Road
A map of the intersections can be found here.
There is a bill pending in the state legislature (H.B. 4009) that would ban installation of new cameras after July 1, reduce the initial fine from $158 to $83, and allow cities to charge a surcharge fee of $25. This new bill is significant because it strikes a blow to the cities that are depending on revenue generated by red light cameras.
Under current law, the State of Florida receives $83 of the $158 fine. The cities maintaining the cameras receive the balance of $75. This is a much needed revenue source and cities depend on their residents to pay it. Cities like Clermont, which have a large number of cameras and huge lease contracts to operate and maintain the cameras, need as much of that revenue as possible in order to maintain the cameras and make their payments. According to reports from WFTV, the City of Clermont pays about $5,000 per month, per camera for operations and maintenance. That is about $120,000 per month that the city needs to keep the cameras operational. If this bill becomes law, the city would only receive up to $25 per ticket. This reduction in revenue could be enough to force the city to reduce the number of cameras in operation or get rid of them completely.
H.B. 4009 is pending in the House of Representatives and is gaining support. The situation in the Senate is much different. Opposition to red light cameras is weak in the Senate so there is a possibility that the legislation may not pass this year. Nevertheless, the growing trend against red light cameras has put these cities on notice that their use of cameras is becoming more and more unpopular.
Regardless of whether the bill becomes law or another casualty of the committee process, the Reed Law Firm stands ready to represent and defend drivers who receive one of these tickets.