Fla. Firefighters Lose Battle Against Cameras


Orange County firefighters were so upset with new fire truck cameras that they tried to convince the state the cameras were illegal, but it didn't work.

"Red light, Tony, red light! Jesus Christ, Tony!" a firefighter is heard saying in the video.

Even his fellow firefighters were scared, as an Orange County firefighter blew a red light at a busy intersection going more than 40 miles an hour.

Another firefighter was caught going more than 80 mph in the middle of the night as he approached a red light.

Another one barely slowed down as he barreled toward oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road. All were captured with drive cams that were installed in 120 fire rescue trucks.

"We have also seen violations of internal county policy," said Assistant Chief Vince Preston, Orange County Fire Rescue.

But some firefighters sent an email to the Florida Highway Patrol and questioned whether the cameras were legal.

State law prohibits anything on the windshield that obstructs or impairs the driver's clear view, but there are new exceptions.

"GPS meets the definition for that so it's entirely appropriate," Preston said.

The fire chief sent his own inspectors inside the fire trucks to see if the drive cams obstruct the drivers view and found the driver has a clear view out of both windshields and these drive cams are no different than you having something like an e-pass in your windshield.

"The program works," Preston said.

Twenty-one firefighters have been disciplined because of what was captured with the cameras for serious safety violations.

No one has been fired. Contrary to popular belief, firefighters don't have the right to speed. They can only go ten miles over the posted speed limit even when responding to calls.

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