An Iowa City attorney says his clients are still considering an appeal of the federal court ruling that found the traffic cameras in Cedar Rapids do not violate the fundamental rights of motorists and are constitutional.
Attorney James Larew was out of the country when the ruling was released on July 2nd. Larew spoke for the first time about the ruling with KCRG T-V in Cedar Rapids.
“The option that the clients have is whether to appeal it or not. My sense is that there is a fairly high likelihood that they’ll decide and instruct us to appeal it to the federal circuit court,” Larew says. The suit was filed in September of 2014 and Larew says a lot has happened since then.
“There are a number of legal issues that were not raised in that lawsuit, since that lawsuit was filed back on Labor Day of last year,” Larew says. Some of the new issues include the Iowa D-O-T telling Cedar Rapids they have to either remove or move some of the cameras. He says Attorneys General from 32 states have ruled the collection process used by Cedar Rapids is wrongful. And, he says the data on the traffic cameras should be accessible and public record.
Larew says he is looking at all avenues for the next step in the legal fight against the traffic cameras. “Cedar Rapids is virtually the only community in the United States that has place fixed cameras on highways,” according to Larew. Larew’s isn’t the only legal battle involving the cameras.
The Cedar Rapids City Council voted on June 8th to sue the DOT to keep the cameras in place. Due to the current litigation between the city of Cedar Rapids and the Iowa DOT, city leaders have been hesitant to grant interview requests about the speed cameras. On Thursday, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman offered this statement to KCRG TV9:
“We are very pleased with Judge Reade’s ruling,” wrote Jerman. “The automated traffic enforcement cameras are critical to improving the safety of our community for motorists and first responders. There has been a reduction in serious injury crashes and there have been no fatalities on the interstate since the installation of the cameras.”