Is Iowa FINALLY Banning Traffic Cameras?
Traffic cameras; we know 'em and we hate 'em. It looks like there might be a chance that we could be seeing a lot fewer of these cameras in the Hawkeye State.
It seems every few years there is some sort of push to ban traffic cameras. There currently is some noise being made in the Iowa legislature to ban them. Over the past few weeks, there have been multiple attempts in the Iowa legislature to either ban or limit traffic cameras.
One piece of legislation was introduced to the Iowa Senate by State Senator Andrew Dickey. Entitled, Senate File 2061, if it goes through would ban cities from using traffic cameras if they were operated by a company that is out-of-state.
Another bill was introduced by the Iowa Committee on Judiciary earlier this month that would prohibit, "the use of automated or remote systems for traffic law enforcement, including prohibiting the sharing of related information and requiring the removal of existing systems, and including effective date provisions."
Senate Study Bill 3012 is more of a straight-up ban than the legislation introduced by Senator Dickey. Both are going full steam ahead though. Lawmakers seem to be pushing both of these ideas pretty hard.
These automated enforcement cameras have stirred up quite a bit of controversy. Not only do they seem like a nuisance for drivers, but some say they are actually causing more harm than good.
According to some studies, there are instances where locations of red-light cameras are connected to an increase in crashes. Oftentimes this happens after a driver (who is usually speeding) slows down as they pass through a known traffic camera spot.
Just last year, there was yet another push to ban traffic cameras in the state. At the time, Senator Zaun claimed he was not pushing for people to break traffic laws, but rather,
"Unfortunately, I think these cities and towns and counties have I think really taken advantage of a situation and they’ve become more about revenue than actual safety.”
His Democratic colleagues argued that the fines collected from traffic camera violations are required by law in order to pay law enforcement. As it stood during this time, there are no financials in the bill to supplement this lost revenue stream.
There are about 70 cameras in operation in the state, as of 2018. Iowa is one of 19 states in the country that have active red light and speed cameras.