Owners of taxicab and limousine licenses in Cedar Rapids have been warned they’ll lose their license if they fail to pay their red light and speed camera fines. They were recently notified through letters after city police noticed they had more than 90 delinquent citations for cabs alone.
Cedar Rapids cab owner Jon, who request his last name not be used, received a letter on Monday from the city clerk’s office. It states he must pay more than $1,400 in delinquent camera fines by October 28th. “We could lose our city cab licenses,” Jon said. “Without the taxicab license, I find another career.”
Cedar Rapids Police Officer Mark Asplund insists the crackdown is about safety. “We’re trying to get people to slow down and make it a safer city, cab drivers included,” Asplund said. City code also requires fines be paid for cab and limo licenses to be valid.
Cab owners like Jon are frustrated because it was cab drivers who broke the law, yet owners are left paying fines. Asplund said city code limits them from moving responsibility to other people. So, owners are stuck with the fines. “The city doesn’t have the ability to transfer liability. If the car is registered to you, it is in your name,” Asplund said.
Jon said he and other cab company owners want reform and are taking their grievances to higher authorities. “We’re talking to state, county, and also federal officials to see if this is constitutional,” Jon said. City officials said they will be offering payment plans with extended deadlines for those that need it.
Before any cab or limo license is revoked the city will give owners an opportunity to appeal. Jon said he’s going to fight paying as long as possible.
(Reporting by Forrest Saunders, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids)