Mobile speed cameras in use in parts of Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mobile speed cameras in use in parts of Waterloo

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New eyes on the road, looking for drivers with a heavy foot.

Today, Waterloo Police rolled out new, mobile speed cameras called "Dragon Cams" and you can get a ticket, without ever being pulled over.

Here's how it works: An officer pulls the trigger sending a laser out to detect the speed, which then takes a picture of your license plate. After police approval, a citation will be mailed out to the driver.

From now until November 30th, only warnings will be issued where the speed cameras are. 

After November 30th, tickets will be issued. 

Updated by: Lauren Moss


The Waterloo Police Department will begin using three new portable speed cameras, beginning November 15, 2017.

The cameras capture high resolution images and video of cars violating speed limits. 

Locations for the cameras will be chosen based on the number of violations recorded on a particular street, the number of accidents, and resident input. Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka says he wants to hear from residents.

"They need to have a voice, and I want them to tell me where they're seeing the problems," said Chief Trelka.

Areas where the Police department has been seeing the most complaints include Highway 218, the South side of town near the Casino, 6th street, and school zones. 

Chief Trelka says starting November 15, officers will be stationed with portable speed cameras in areas where they see high speeding. From November 15-30, officers will only be issuing warnings for those who are speeding. The warnings will come through the mail.

 "We just want people to slow down and drive more cautiously," said Chief Trelka.

Starting November 30th, officers will be issuing citations with the tickets. 

The breakdown for speeding tickets, is as follows:

  • 6-10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit……………….. $50
  • 11-15 miles per hour over the posted speed limit……………… $75
  • 16-20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit…………….. $100
  • More than 21 miles per hour over the posted speed limit…..... $200

Chief Trelka says he's seen mixed responses from the community, but most have been positive.

"The vast majority of the people in our community support these based on the feedback I'm getting," said Chief Trelka. "Some people are against them, and that's their right to express their opinion."

As far as the revenue generated from these tickets, Chief Trelka says it's going right back into the city.

"Well, we want to save lives and diminish accidents," said Chief Trelka. "Some people argue, no it's all about the revenue. Yes, they do generate revenue, I'm not going to ignore that, I haven't from day 1. They are going to raise money for the community. But the number one priority for revenue raised is for tax relief. The number two priority is for me to hire more cops."

Chief Trelka says he'd like to hire three more officers. 

Signs will be posted warning drivers that photo enforcement is in use at the major entrances to the city.

Officers will be trained on how to operate the speed cameras on Nov. 13th and 14th.

"You know a state speeding ticket is pretty expensive," said Chief Trelka. "I feel the fine amount we've established is reasonable. It's still a penalty, but it's reasonable."

There are no upfront costs to the taxpayers for installing, operating, or maintaining the system.

Police say over time this program will be funded by violators.

In the next coming months, the department will also be getting a speed trailer, which will display how fast you are going. 

The Waterloo City Council approved the use of traffic cameras on August 7, 2017 after three readings and public input.

For suggestions or concerns on the locations of the portable speed cameras, contact Chief Trelka by email: 

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