The city of Cedar Rapids is preparing to install video cameras that will take pictures of people running red lights or speeding. Sergeant Cory McGarvey says a police panel that included the city engineering department and state D.O.T. helped select the 10 locations for the cameras.
McGarvey says the placement is all based on accident data, and what they looked for were intersections with a high number of right angle crashes. He says the right angle crashes are what they are trying to prevent. The department will also use a patrol car that is fitted with a camera along with the stationary cameras.
He says when an officer has to stop a car and issue a ticket and then go back and get set up again, that all takes time. McGarvey says the photo car allows the officer to take pictures of violators and the pictures are then sent in and reviewed and then sent back to the department. McGarvey says the camera company will review all pictures and then send the possible violations to the police department. Officers will then decide if they will write a ticket.
McGarvey says each violation is approved by a police officer and is not decided by a civilian sitting at a computer. McGarvey says they will be letting motorists know the locations of the cameras and the photo car because the goal is to prevent accidents. He says the hope is the cameras work as a deterrent, then don’t have to issue any tickets.
“I hope we have no business, I hope we don’t get a single one,” McGarvey says. The cameras are getting ready to be installed and McGarvey says there will be a 30-day notification period for the public before the police department begins using the system. Two of the cameras will be set up on the northbound and southbound lanes of I-380 and will take pictures of speeding cars only. The other cameras will be on city streets.