Legislature Trying To Ban Traffic Cameras…Again.
The Iowa Legislature is once again looking at banning traffic cameras used to catch speeders. The potential law passed out of a House subcommittee this week. Similar bills failed in the Legislature last session with the Senate passing a full ban but the House only passing a bill on limits on the cameras.
The ongoing debate has potential implications for cities like Cedar Rapids who have speed cameras. The city is coming up on two years since it issued citations from the cameras. Police records show that they issued 149,000 tickets from the cameras in 2016. That generated nearly $5 million in revenue for the city of Cedar Rapids. This past year, only 12,000 tickets were issued and revenue dropped to $1.5 million.
Data from the Iowa Department of Transportation also shows that crash rates were up slightly in the time that the cameras stopped issuing tickets. The rate is still lower than before the cameras were put in place.
The Iowa Supreme Court recently upheld the legality of such cameras. Cedar Rapids police officials say that they plan on issues tickets again soon. Money raised from the cameras would go towards hiring more officers in the city.