Ban On Traffic Cameras Back On Table In Iowa


Another attempt to ban traffic cameras is on the table in Iowa. Several bills were filed this week dealing with both speed and red light cams like those in Davenport and Muscatine. Many now are hoping for a compromise in this legislative session.

Since 2004, drivers in Davenport have lived with traffic cameras like this one at Kimberly and Brady. The cameras are once again in question in the Iowa legislature. One bill introduced this week would ban the devices effective July 1st. Others seek new regulations for cities that operate them, like a cap on fines for violators and designating some of the revenue for other uses.

"We want to be as fair as possible to the citizens but we also want safe roads," said State Senator Tod Bowman, (D) Maquoketa. Bowman is the new chair of the Iowa Senate Transportation Committee. He thinks an all-out ban isn't likely, but new restrictions across the state may have more support this time around. Bowman hopes to also require cities to report accident numbers at intersections where there are cameras to see what impact there is.

"Show after a year of an enforcement camera in that area what has it done to this dangerous behavior. We should see reduction," added Bowman.

Davenport police officials say that is what they've seen. "The first two years cameras were there the crashes are down 60 percent. We stop for a while and they go up by 12 percent. I think the numbers speak for themselves," said Chief Frank Donchez.

With that, Chief Donchez is in favor of making procedures uniform across the state. "I think that's probably a good idea because it's not about the money it's about safety."

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