Governor Terry Branstad is making it clear he favors a proposed state policy that will regulate when and where traffic enforcement cameras may be used on state highways and the interstates.
Police chiefs from four Iowa cities that employ traffic cameras spoke out against the proposed Iowa D-O-T rules last week during a public hearing. Branstad says the DOT is “clearly within” its authority to act.
“The rules that the DOT is looking at only involves state and interstate highways,” Branstad says. “It does not affect city streets or county roads…What they do on their city streets and county roads is one thing, but what they do on our state’s highways is totally another thing and our state’s DOT has a responsibility to oversee the highway system.”
Police chiefs from Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, and Windsor Heights defend the use of traffic cameras on interstate freeways that run through their cities, saying it’s a safety issue. Davenport does not have traffic cameras along the interstate that runs through the Quad Cities, but Davenport’s police chief defends the use of red-light and speed cameras as an effective way to reduce accidents. The governor suggests there are other issues that need to be addressed.
“One of the concerns Iowans have about it is how much are the out-of-state vendors getting out of this and what is the fairness of some people being ticketed even though they weren’t driving,” Branstad says, “and other people, because their license isn’t disclosed, are not subject to it.”
Unless a legislative committee that reviews state agency rules enforces a delay, the DOT rules on traffic enforcement cameras along state highways and interstates are scheduled to go into effect early next year. Attempts to limit the amount of tickets issued by traffic enforcement cameras or to ban the use of traffic cams altogether have failed in the Iowa legislature.