Ban on Iowa traffic cams a no-go - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ban on Iowa traffic cams a no-go

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- An effort to put the brakes on traffic cameras in the state of Iowa has gotten the red light.

Thursday a three-person Senate Transportation subcommittee decided not to move forward on a bill that would ban the traffic enforcement systems in Iowa.

"I'm not prepared to end this policy," said Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls.  "I am open to amending it so we can address some of the concerns of the public."

Several law enforcement officials, including members of the Cedar Rapids police department testified Thursday accidents have decreased significantly since the cameras went into use.

"We believe that this is benefiting public safety, accidents statistically are down, so far, and we hope that that trend continues," said Lt. Jeff Hembera.

Ben Stone, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa told the subcommittee studies conducted regarding traffic cameras and public safety are inconclusive.

Stone testified the cameras are in place as a way to generate revenue for the cities.

"The problem is municipalities taking money from people for split second violations on a yellow turning red," he said.

Instead of the cameras, Stone recommended extending the duration of yellow lights as a way to enhance safety.

And so the debate motors on, with these cameras getting the green light for the time being.

Lawmakers say they will have future conversations, however, about tweaking the law to help address some of the public's concerns.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

 

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