Cedar Rapids to continue traffic camera appeal - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids to continue traffic camera appeal

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The city of Cedar Rapids will continue to appeal a judge's ruling, which orders automated traffic cameras on I-380 to be removed or moved. 

The vote was 7-1. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett was the only one to vote no. 

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A state judge ruled last week that the Department of Transportation (DOT) could order cities to remove their cameras from highways and interstates. 

In 2015 the DOT told the city they needed to remove and relocate certain cameras. 

The DOT wanted cameras moved that were within 1,000 ft. of a speed limit change. 

The city appealed and has been continuing to run their cameras and receive the revenue up until this point. 

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett tells us the city council will meet next Tuesday to decide whether to appeal the judges decision. 

He says camera revenue was left out of the city budget this year when they heard what could be happening at the state level. 

In 2015 the cameras generated $3 million for the city, we do not yet have the numbers from last year. 

Money made from the cameras was going to the general operating budget of the Cedar Rapids Police Department. 

For now even though the cameras are not issuing citations, they are still on. 

"We'll keep the cameras on and they are gonna be monitoring the speed so we will know within 30 days, 60 days on whether not having the citations, people start to drive faster," says Mayor Corbett. 

We are told there won't be additional patrols added to I-380 where the cameras are located, Mayor Corbett tells us they don't want to keep officers from patrolling streets and neighborhoods. 

Maria Johnson, a city spokesperson says the city did request a stay order. 

"The City has filed a notice of appeal and request for a stay order. The DOT did not agree to a stay of the district court’s ruling pending the appeal, which is a different position than they have taken thus far.  Our attorney’s felt we needed to act immediately to request a stay order," she says. 

Johnson says if the stay order is put into place then the city would start issuing tickets again through the cameras. 

Cedar Rapids will decide next week whether to join Muscatine and Des Moines in the appeal process. 

Muscatine tells us they are still issuing tickets from their cameras, we have no yet heard back from Des Moines. 

Andrea Henry with the DOT sent us the following statement in regards to the judge's ruling: 

"The Iowa DOT appreciates the judge’s consideration and believe that the judgment is well reasoned.  

We have been asked about the timing of removal of the cameras. In regards to timing of removal of the cameras, the cities have the right to appeal this decision and have 30 days from the date of the decision to do so.  (Des Moines has already filed an appeal.) We would not expect the cameras to be removed until the period to file an appeal expires; if they request an appeal they would have the right to request a stay of our removal orders but we can’t predict whether the appellate courts would grant or deny that. Once the issue has worked its way through the legal process the Iowa DOT will decide how to respond appropriately."


 

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