Many Clermont drivers skeptical of city's motives for installing red light cameras

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CLERMONT, Fla. —

The Clermont City Council will meet Tuesday night to hammer out how many red light cameras they will install and where they will install them.

But many residents said they remain suspicious of the motive. Some said they believe money is motivating the city.

Police report a high number of wrecks at the intersection of State Road 50 and Hancock. They said some of those are caused by red-light runners.

Many of the drivers waiting at traffic signals along State Road 50 in Clermont on Tuesday echoed John Hamill sentiments.

"Absolutely. That's all it is. That's all it is," said Hamill when asked if he thought money might be the motivating force.

Hamill said he is convinced that a City Council plan to install red light cameras is all about money.

It's a common complaint in other central Florida cities that already have the cameras, but supporters insist they have safety in mind.

Some Clermont officials want 24 cameras put up along S.R. 50, and U.S. Route 27.

Officials said they have targeted the intersections that have the most accidents.

"If it makes a safer environment for us, then I'm all for it. But if it's just a money-making deal, and it's not really to help citizens, then I'm kind of skeptical about that," said Ray Knazze.

Officials said the deal with the provider of the equipment protects the city from any loss. If the city doesn't make enough money from tickets to pay the annual fee for the hardware the vendor takes the loss.

Some drivers worry the city has an incentive to enforce as many violations as possible to turn a profit.

"That's all it is. There aren't that many accidents from red lights. It's money," said Mark Stiefel.

The citation for running a red light would be around $160, according to officials.