Research group questions ethics of traffic cameras - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Research group questions ethics of traffic cameras

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Traffic cameras are already a reality in Cedar Rapids and more are being considered in other communities, but are these cities more interested in your safety, or generating revenue?

A new study from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group cites cities that outsource traffic surveillance cameras to outside companies.

According to the study one out of every five Americans lives in a community paying a for-profit company to install & operate traffic cameras. As many as 700 cities across the U.S. outsource their street and highway camera systems and about half of states have authorized use of traffic cameras.

While the cameras are making those companies money the stats show they could be enhancing safety as well.

In Cedar Rapids, from 2010 to 2011 car crashes were down 31 percent, personal injury crashes were down 19 percent, and most importantly traffic deaths were down city wide 80 percent.

"Has it made money for the city of Cedar Rapids? Yeah. Was that our intent? No one believes this but that was not our intent. Our intent and we've achieved our goal so for that it has reduced the personal injury crashes. No one is getting hurt like they were before the cameras," said Cedar Rapids Police spokesperson, Cristy Hamblin.

Since the cameras in Cedar Rapids went online they have generated more than $7.3 million.

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