SPEED CAM: Iowans are split on speed cameras

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Law enforcement officers say automated traffic cameras increase safety.  And Iowa city appears to be the next to install the cameras.

Tuesday night, the City Council there will have its final vote to approve the use of red light cameras.

A new poll suggests Iowans are split on this issue.

Fifty percent of Iowans want to ban red light cameras, 46 percent want them to stay at intersections like at MLK and I-235.

Speed cameras are the same: 51 percent of Iowans want to ban speed cameras, 47 percent want them to stay.

A bill to ban the cameras is set to be debated on the house floor.

We wanted to know if lawmakers listen to Iowans – before casting their vote.

Tiny cameras are watching Iowa drivers in more than a half dozen cities.

The Iowa League of Cities says the cameras generated more than $7 million in fines last year.  Some Iowans say – is just big brother cashing in.

Bob Clark of Des Moines says, “I don`t like them at all.  I think it`s just another way of catching people if they want to stop you use the police to do it.”

The Iowa Poll shows drivers are divided.

Some feel if you break the law, you should be punished.

Linda Goeldner of Des Moines says, “I understand it`s a free country and want to do all we have there are economic consequences of not following laws and regulations and accidents that occur.”
Cedar Rapids was one of the first cities to install cameras.  One lawmaker there says – the cameras are about safety.

Senator Rob Hoag says, “People are overwhelmingly in support of them, that`s because they have worked to make it safer to drive in Cedar Rapids.”

Cedar Rapids Police say accidents with injuries have dropped 75 percent since the cameras were installed.

Senator Hoag insists – people in his city, want the cameras.

He says, “I`ve had more people this winter, while in session, call and say, ‘I was against them when they were first introduce but now I like them.'”

Another lawmaker says while he wants to ban the cameras – he’s trying to find some middle ground.

Representative Andrew Wenthe says, “It`s pretty clear that Iowans are divided on issue like to see common sense solution.”

Representative Wenthe’s amendment would cap fees and require signage near the cameras.

He says it’s a compromise.

But other Iowans say – there is no compromise when it comes to cameras.

For them, the issue is black and white.  Or rather, green and red. 

The house version of the  bill is ready to be debated on the floor.  The senate version of the bill is stuck in subcommittee.

Last year, the bill passed the house, but stalled in the senate.