A House committee has narrowly approved a bill that would ban traffic enforcement cameras.
Representative Bobby Kaufmann, a Republican from Wilton, is not a fan of the automated systems that issue tickets for speeding and running red lights.
“It is truly a permit to speed because if you have enough money and you can just pay these tickets that don’t go on your record, you don’t have to fear your insurance being dropped or your license taken away, if doesn’t affect you,” Kaufmann said. “But if you’re someone with a low income, if you’re someone who cannot afford a $125 ticket when you’re going to work and you made a mistake, this is going to seriously affect you, so this is a law that is not applied equally.”
The traffic camera ban cleared the House Local Government Committee on an 11-to-10 vote. Critics of the ban says it would be better to establish new state regulations for where the cameras may be placed and to require the fines be used for road improvements or law enforcement budgets. Representative Art Staed, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, said traffic cameras are a good tool for police, if used properly.
“I think it would be wrong at this time to ban all of these cameras that protect lives, save lives, reduce speeds throughout the state,” Staed said. “There are many, many uses for law enforcement cameras that are legitimate.”
A proposal that would continue to allow traffic enforcement cameras, but set up new state regulations for their operation cleared the Iowa Senate last year. That plan currently is eligible for debate in the House Transportation Committee.