Johnson County speed trailer has camera, county supervisor oppos - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Johnson County speed trailer has camera, county supervisor opposed

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) -

The speed trailers you see on the side of the road are meant to alert you to how fast you are going, but in Johnson County upgrades to the trailers has a camera.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek says they have two speed trailers, but they're buying equipment to attach to the existing trailer, that's currently not working.

He says it doesn't have the proper working components. 

The speed trailer with the camera is not speed trap, according to Pulkrabek. He says it's to help reduce speeding, but Johnson County Supervisor Janelle Rettig is opposed.

"Are they recording? What's the purpose of the camera? Are they trying to catch speeders," said Coralville resident Ashley Tickle. "Can they not take it out or deactivate it, that's my question."

Rettig apparently voiced her opposition, Wednesday saying she was it's one step closer to the controversial cameras in Cedar Rapids.

Supervisor Terrence Neuzil says the camera is low-resolution and will likely not even pick up licence plates. He says the camera will not be used for citations.

"This is a camera that cannot be used to check someone's speed and to take a picture of their licence plate and arrest them," said Neuzil.

Neuzil sees nothing wrong with it because it won't be used for any tickets, simply to curb speeding and increase safety in school zones and other areas.

He says citations can't be issued unless a deputy actually sees the driver speeding.

"They're not going to be utilized anything more than a piece of equipment, a tool that may be used if there's a possibility that there's a chronic speeder," said Neuzil.

He says county  Rettig also argued that it's wrong to budget the new equipment costing roughly $10,000 under a jail surveillance expense and without public comment.

However, Pulkrabek says not every purchase has a dedicated line item, so sometimes they have to add a purchase in the most appropriate spot in the budget.

Even though Tickle is not for the speed trailer with the camera, she says it is a deterrent for potential speeding.

"I think it does make most people think twice. I noticed a lot of times when people drive past them if they see their speed is too high, they will tend to slow down," said Tickle.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors will vote on the equipment purchase Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

It will likely get approved because Rettig is the only supervisor opposed.

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