Waterloo considers traffic ticket changes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo considers traffic ticket changes

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Monday, the Waterloo city council considered a proposed ordinance that would cut traffic fines and re-rout the money back into the city budget.

The proposal was given its second of three required readings. After it passed the second vote, council members tried to suspend the rules and conduct the third reading, but the vote failed.

Director of Public Safety Dan Trelka proposed the ordinance. He said it would ease pressure on drivers facing state fines of about $200.

"They're just on their way to work, or they're going to the store for something for the baby and they're in a hurry, and they go through a stop sign," Trelka said. "We want to try, if they've got a clean driving record, to cut them a little bit of slack."

The new ordinance would cover violations like running red lights, speeding 6-15 miles of the limit, following another car too close, seat belt issues, and failure to maintain control. The fine would be $100, imposed by the city.

Still, some have voiced concerns that officers would write more tickets if they knew the money was coming back into their department. Councilman Steve Schmitt asked that the proposal be amended so that the funds raised would reduce property taxes or debt repayment.

Mayor Buck Clark said he doesn't think the ordinance would create a conflict of interest.

"We absolutely don't want to get in a position where we're accused or are ... [having] police officers that are writing tickets because they know it will raise revenue," Clark said. "That's not what this is about at all."

The council will consider the proposal again in two weeks.

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