Red light cameras stir debate in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Red light cameras stir debate in Cedar Rapids

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by Bryan Goettel

CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Intersections like Collins Road and Northland Avenue in Cedar Rapids could soon have red light cameras. The city is close to buying and installing a camera system, but it remains an issue that is steering people in two different directions.

Both proponents and opponents of red light cameras made their voices heard Tuesday night at an open house at Harding Middle School in Cedar Rapids.

"We really are wanting to save people's lives, save injuries," said Sgt. Cristy Hamblin.

"They can preach safety all they want, but they're hurting for money in this town so I figure anything to get a little more money in the coffers they'll do," said Steve Singleton, who is opposed to the cameras.

Hamblin says the purpose behind the cameras isn't to make money, but looks at the revenue created as more of a bonus.

"We're not trying to catch the bad guys," said Hamblin. "We're really trying to change driver behavior."

A recent study by Iowa State showed red light cameras have cut down on crahes in cities like Davenport and Council Bluffs. That's why some who have even admitted to going through those pink lights...favor the cameras.

"I think there are too many people running red lights and I think they're a good idea," said Midway resident Lewis Staley.

The final proposal will go in front of the city council in the next few weeks. If approved, it could be lights, camera, action by April.

For those that still have questions or concerns about the camera system there will be one more open house. It's on Thursday night at Taft Middle School from 6:30 until 8:00.

Online Reporter: Bryan Goettel

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