The Department of Transportation rules governing speed cameras that led to a lawsuit against the state are now off the books.
DOT Director of Traffic and Safety Steve Gent says the Transportation Commission took action at its meeting Tuesday. “The commission approved rescinding the automated traffic enforcement rules that the DOT worked with the Iowa Legislature to get in place to provide some oversight on the automated cameras around the state,” Gent says.
TheDOT had ordered some cameras turned off under the rules issued in 2015. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on April 27th of this year that the doesn’t have the authority to stop cities from using traffic cameras along interstates. Gent says the commission took action to comply with the ruling.
“This is really just the paperwork of trying to rescind those rules once we got that ruling,” he says. The said the traffic cameras rules were designed to ensure the highways were safe — and that goal hasn’t changed.
“Going forward we’ll gladly work with any city or county that wants to put automated enforcement cameras out on the primary highway system,” Gent says. “Certainly they’ll be some minor things…we’ll make sure the roadway is safe, make sure when they are implementing a system putting devices on a system that they are using proper traffic control. Some of those general things to keep everybody safe.”
He says the cameras that hange over the roadway don’t create much concern after they are installed because they don’t move. The moveable cameras raise more safety concerns. “It’s either a vehicle with a camera in it or a trailer. But we’ll accommodate either type of those,” Gent says. Gent says any change in the regulation of the cameras is now up to lawmakers to decide.
“That is totally up to legislators. The Iowa DOT, we are always available to answer questions — but we will absolutely not take any proposals to the legislature,” according to Gent. Iowa Lawmakers have tried for several years to pass a ban or other types of regulation on the traffic cameras without any success.