Commission OKs red-light cameras for Osceola County

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Monday afternoon, Osceola County commissioners approved adding more red-light cameras around the county.

The cameras will be installed at the 10 intersections with the highest number of crashes across the county.

"I don't think they're really effective, to tell you the truth," said one Osceola County driver.

"If they're actually running the red light, yeah, nail them good," said another.

There were 72 crashes at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and Osceol in 2012, but officials don't know how many were caused by red-light runners. The uncertainty about how many accidents are caused by those running red lights is a concern for Osceola County Commissioner John Quinones, who voted against the cameras.

But Osceola County Sheriff Bob Hansel was at Monday's meeting and told Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez why he believes they are needed.

"We've experienced a lot of growth, and yet our infrastructure is the same. So we have a lot of traffic on roads that are not supposed to handle that many vehicles, so there are a lot of violations that occur and a lot of accidents that occur," said Hansel.

The initial fine for those caught running red lights will be $158.

Unlike the city of Kissimmee, where money generated from the tickets goes into a general fund, Osceola County will use the fund to pay for public safety projects like lighting, sidewalks and road improvements.

If all goes as planned, the cameras will go up by this summer.

Drivers will get warnings for the first 30 days. There will also be signs at intersections with cameras, alerting drivers that red-light cameras are in place.