After much debate, the Iowa House voted against a move to shutter red light cameras. The cameras used by some communities take pictures when a car runs a red light and then a ticket is sent to the car owner. The cameras have been successfully challenged in court and the Iowa Senate earlier this week voted to ban them.
Representative Lance Horbach, a Republican from Tama, spoke against the cameras. Horbach says: "You’re fighting for public safety, and I’m fighting for rights of privacy and less government intervention. How far are we willing to go."
House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City doesn’t like the cameras because the ticket goes to the car owner — which may not be the person who ran the red light. "Redlight cameras are dispensing justice via remote control, " Rants, says . "The biggest problem I have is we are punishing people because they own a car not because they’re the driver of the car."
But advocates like Representative Geri Huser, a Democrat from Altoona, argued that redlight cameras are a good tool for law enforcement. Huser says, "A fifty dollar red light ticket is a gentle yet meaningful reminder to a young driver to obey traffic laws. And who knows, it may save the life of one of your loved ones."
Representative Ralph Watts, a Republican from Adel, says the cameras are not all that intrusive. Watts says, "Cameras in this day and age are ubiquitous. Police cars are outfitted with cameras all the time. And its’ something nowadays that we just have to live with." The transportation bill without the camera ban now goes back to the Senate