Police use portable speed camera to ticket drivers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police use portable speed camera to ticket drivers

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The Cedar Rapids Police Department is using a portable speed camera called a Dragon Cam to ticket drivers. 

The department received their Dragon Cam last week which allows them to issue speeding tickets without physically pulling someone over. 

An officer does have to man the camera and pull a trigger to detect the speed. 

"All the cars and all the kids, too many opportunities for accidents so I hope the public understands what we are trying to do," says Sgt. Mike Wallerstedt. 

The camera is being used in school and construction zones to try and get people to slow down. 
"A person struck at 30 mph vs. 25 mph is twice as likely to die. Just a 5 mph difference," says Cedar Rapids Police Department Spokesperson Greg Buelow.

Once caught on camera those speeding will be sent citations in the mail. 

The department has already caught dozens of people near schools since getting the camera just last week. 

"There was about 60 at Prairie and half a dozen at Cleveland," says Sgt. Wallerstedt. 

They are hoping the enforcement of the Dragon Cam will ultimately change driving habits. 

 "It's not dissimilar to striking a deer. People will slow down forever in that area where they struck a deer because they realize that something happened to them," Buelow says.

Citations will be civil , as opposed to criminal similar to the Automated Traffic Enforcement camera tickets that were being issued on I-380 in the city. 

In fact only around 50% of ATE tickets get paid. 

To get a criminal citation on your record an officer would have to physically pull you over. 

Cedar Rapids is not the only city in eastern Iowa implementing portable speed cameras. 

Starting tomorrow the Waterloo Police Department will begin using three portable speed cameras of their own.  

They will be sending out warnings at first but starting on the 30th Waterloo police will be issuing citations with their cameras. 

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