Cedar Rapids speed camera appeal denied by Iowa DOT - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids speed camera appeal denied by Iowa DOT

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - The Iowa Department of Transportation says four traffic cameras along Interstate 380 must be to be turned off -- unless Cedar Rapids decides to go to court.

Earlier this year, the Iowa DOT ordered the city to take down the traffic enforcement cameras on Interstate 380 at two locations, and move two other cameras. The city appealed, and the DOT just recently denied that appeal.

"We've worked without the DOT to get those cameras in place, and we've reduced accidents and eliminated the deaths," said Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett.

Corbett calling the DOT "the judge, the jury and the executioner," so the the city is looking at ways to put up a fight.

Corbett says the speed cameras along Interstate 380 are a local problem, the city found a local solution, and the DOT wants to take away.

"Well we have to remember that this thing goes back about five years, when the DOT actually gave us a permit to put the cameras and work with us," said Corbett.

The city argues that the DOT was not authorized to regulate the placement of the cameras through administrative rules, didn't comply with all rule-making requirements and violated the city's home-rule authority.

The speed cameras along the S-curve on I-380 gives drivers 12 mph over the speed limit, before a ticket is mailed, said Corbett.

In a letter sent to the City of Cedar Rapids by the DOT denies the city's appeal.

Corbett says the letter states the city has 30 days to disable the speed camera at the 1st Avenue and 10th Street intersection, move the northbound cameras on I-380 near Diagonal Drive, remove/disable the northbound cameras on I-380 at J Avenue, move the southbound cameras on I-380 near J Avenue and remove/disable the southbound cameras on I-380 near 1 st Avenue.

If the city refused to do that, they must take the DOT to court.

"I kind of side with the city, because I have seen, especially when it's wet outside, (the camera) really does make a difference," said Cedar Rapids driver Jaye Kennedy.

Corbett says the revenue collected from the speed cameras is a "small" amount of money, but noted the city collected nearly $3.5 million from the speed cameras just last year alone.

He says he's not too sure if the city will sue, but the city attorney is already looking at cost and timing in filing suit.

"We'll make the best decision for the safety of the citizens of Cedar Rapids and the driving public of 380, not the revenue that the cameras bring in," said Corbett.

Corbett says 99.5 percent of drivers obey the speed limit, and since the DOT won't give them money to hire more police, the cameras are the most efficient way.

"We need to get rid of them, because Urban Dictionary says Cedar Rapids is the worlds largest sped trap, and I believe it," said driver Brandy Harp.

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