Iowa City moving towards traffic cams, lawmakers consider ban - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City moving towards traffic cams, lawmakers consider ban

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The move towards red light cameras in Iowa City appears to be picking up momentum.

In a pedestrian-friendly place like Iowa City, supporters say the automated traffic enforcement tools are a good fit.

"Trying to get across Burlington Street in Iowa City sometimes with the people that blow through the intersections, it's amazing that more people aren't hit," said city council member Terry Dickens.

Earlier in January, the council voted 4-3 in support of a red light camera ordinance.  The second of three needed votes is expected to happen Tuesday night.

If passed, it would allow city officials to write up a contract to purchase and install these cameras at the city's most accident-prone intersections.

"It is safety, if it saves one person from being hurt or killed, then it is worth it," Dickens said.

But this year more than ever, state lawmakers appear to be going the other direction on the issue.

"I'm hearing from a lot of people, especially down here in Des Moines that they don't like the idea.  They don't like the cameras watching everything that we're doing," said State Representative Walt Rogers, D-Cedar Falls.

A bill sitting in a house subcommittee would ban the cameras statewide.  Opponents say the cameras are there solely for revenue, and have a problem with a significant portion of those dollars leaving the state.

"It's not really a good source of revenue because half of that leaves the state to these companies that are the vendors of these cameras," Rogers said.

So will we see more traffic cameras in the state or less?  Right now both sides appear to be gridlocked.

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