Cedar Rapids works to crack down on unpaid traffic camera ticket - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids works to crack down on unpaid traffic camera tickets

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Thousands of people have chosen not to pay their traffic camera tickets in Cedar Rapids. 

"No, I take a look around and I see that I had kids I needed to feed, I had bills I needed to pay," says Jerry Wehde.

Cedar Rapids city officials say there are $17.1 Million in unpaid traffic camera tickets out there. 

We are told more than 60,000 tickets have gone unpaid in just the last 14 months. 

The city is working to figure out if they can go after past unpaid tickets or if the changes they plan to make would just impact future unpaid tickets. 

Cameras on I-380 are no longer issuing tickets as the legality of them is still working it's way through court.

City officials say they are however on and collecting data. 

Meanwhile multiple cameras are still issuing tickets on city streets including:

-Edgewood Road and 42nd Street NE northbound and southbound

-1st Avenue and L Street SW eastbound and westbound

-Center Point Road and Collins Road Ramp northbound 

-Williams Blvd and 16th Avenue SW

There is also a jeep that acts as a mobile speed camera that issues tickets. 

More than 1,800 camera tickets have gone unpaid since July. 

"We expect folks to do the right thing but it obviously is not the complete case here," says  Susie Weinacht, City Council Member At Large.

The council is working to crack down on unpaid tickets through an ordinance in three ways. 

1. They hope to expand the definition of a vehicle owner to include long term renters. 

2. They plan on adding a 25% late fee to unpaid tickets.

3. They want to use the state Income Offset Program to pay debt owed by a ticket holder by pulling it from their tax refund or lottery winnings for example. 

The city says it's about safety and collecting the debt they are due. 

"Folks look at it as oh it's all about the money, it's really not were not arguing that. So we have these already up and running, there are citations that are being given within the city and those need to be paid," says Weinacht. 

The city passed the first of three readings on Tuesday 8-1.

Mayor Corbett was the only person to vote no. 

The second reading will be on September 26th and a third is scheduled for October 10th. 

There is a chance the second and third readings will happen at the same time. 
  

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