Speeders and red-light runners are bringing some big bucks into the city of Davenport.
The city has automated traffic enforcement cameras in nine locations and a camera-equipped van that moves around the city. The goal is catching speeders and motorists running red lights, and it’s working.
Even though city officials repeatedly say it’s all about safety and not about money, the cameras are quite lucrative. In 2010, 40,000 citations put more that $1 million in city coffers.
The cameras take a photo of the license plate of a vehicle speeding or blowing a red light or stop sign. Then the vehicle’s owner receives a citation in the mail — even if he or she was not the driver.
Davenport began installing the cameras in 2006 and, so far, has won court challenges against them.
Cedar Rapids, Clive, Council Bluffs and Sioux City also have cameras, and other cities are making plans for them.