Osceola County turns on its first red-light cameras

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Osceola County has turned on the first of its red light cameras, at Poinciana Boulevard and Pleasant Hill Road.

Shalonda Edwards noticed the flashing light on the camera when she drove her ice cream truck through the intersection.

"I was like, 'Why does the light keep blinking and there's not even a car there,'" said Edwards.

Though the cameras are powered up, officials won't be handing out tickets just yet. County officials said they plan to send drivers warnings, beginning Monday, and then about a month from now they will start issuing tickets.

Edwards said she was once ticketed for a red-light violation in Apopka. She said while she doesn't plan on having that happen again, she's not sure safety is the reason the cameras are being installed.

"I really just think it's another way to get money," said Edwards.

Red-light cameras have come under fire for a variety of reasons, most recently for tickets being handed out in some communities to drivers who made legal right turns on red lights.

The city of Clermont had to reimburse drivers for hundreds of tickets because the city didn't have uniform right-turn-on-red policy.

Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins said the county has a plan for dealing with that issue.

"We are set up in our contract that right turn on reds will be allowed. You will have to come to a stop. You can't cruise through it," said Hawkins.

The county had nine more intersections that will have cameras installed.