Cedar Rapids stands by traffic cameras as possible ban is on the - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids stands by traffic cameras as possible ban is on the way

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The city of Cedar Rapids has had traffic cameras for several years generating $3 Million in 2015 alone, 2016 numbers are not yet in. 

In total, ten cameras are set up throughout the city, four of them on I-380 which only calculate speed and then another six on city streets which calculate speed and catch people running red lights. 

Generally tickets from Cedar Rapids traffic cameras are $75. 

Some people believe the city only uses the cameras to make money, "I think it's a ponzi scheme, I think it's something they are just doing just to bring in the revenue, I don't think it's fair," says David Johnson of St. Louis. 

Johnson says he received a ticket while traveling from out of state to Cedar Rapids for work. 

The latest annual report from the city (2015) says between January 2007-2010 before the cameras were in place, there were 4 traffic deaths and 213 crashes on I-380 where the cameras are now located. 

The report goes on the say since the cameras have been in place (2010-2015) there have been no deaths and 210 crashes near those locations. 

On Wednesday an Iowa Senate Judiciary subcommittee approved legislation that would ban traffic cameras in the state altogether. 

The bill will now go on to the full Judiciary Committee. 

With a possible ban on the way, the city released this statement standing by the cameras:

"Our data shows that the use of automated traffic enforcement has reduced the severity of accidents in Cedar Rapids, including significant reductions in the severity of crashes on 380 through the S curve. The City of Cedar Rapids would like to work together with State officials to develop a solution that continues to focus on the safety of our roadways as the number one priority."  -Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz

Republican Sen. Brad Zaun who introduced the bill says he believes governments mostly use the cameras to collect money. 

Some people say they are more concerned about where the cameras are located than the money they make, "It's like a trap because they are in the wrong places, and then the places they've got them in like people be running speed limits 35 or 45 miles an hour then you have to break down to 25," says David Whiteside of Cedar Rapids. 

The DOT told the city to move or turn off certain cameras that are within 1,000 ft. of a speed limit change, but the city has not done so. 

A separate bill sent to committee would allow the traffic cameras if they were placed only in high risk areas and the money made from them would be required to go to road maintenance. 


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