• Apopka officials green light 5-year extension of controversial red-light cameras

    By: Mike Manzoni , Mark Boxley

    Updated:

    APOPKA, Fla. - By a vote of 3-2, the Apopka City Council voted Wednesday to extend its contract for red-light cameras for another five years.

    The vote was taken during a council meeting Wednesday after dozens of drivers showed up to speak against keeping red-light cameras in the city.

    None of the members of the public who spoke during the meeting were in favor of the cameras.

    One group against the cameras passed out fliers at the meeting, calling the Apopka mayor and city commissioners “red light tyrants.”

    “Anyone who pushes these red-light cameras is anti-American,” Edward Wagner said during the meeting.

    Public comments about the city’s 21 cameras at 10 intersections were similarly negative.

    “These red-light machines have nothing to do with liberty,” one speaker said.

    “These red-light cameras are Darth Vader,” another said, invoking the black-clad villain of the “Star Wars” movies.

    “They are absolutely, diabolically illegal and unconstitutional,” another speaker said.

    After more than two hours of discussion, the council narrowly voted to keep the camera program in place for at least five years.

    In 2016, Apopka’s red-light cameras raked in $965,000 from 33,000 tickets, which is less than 1 percent of the city’s $100 million average budget.

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