DES MOINES, Iowa -- State Senator Brad Zaun apologized to constituents Thursday, saying he let them down after his bill to ban speed cameras was gutted, and then passed out of the senate.
“What happened? In the last minute I lost some votes I thought I had with some deals that were cut and I was a few votes short” said a disappointed Zaun.
Senator Zaun says he is not giving up, however, and is speaking with counterparts in the house to reintroduce the full ban language; he says he is "somewhat optimistic" of getting something done that way.
Zaun authored a bill to ban the cameras, and to have those already in place removed by July. He voted against the bill Wednesday night when fellow republican Dan Zumbach of Cedar Rapids added an amendment regulating cameras rather than an outright ban.
It’s a move that is in opposition to the majority of Iowans who support a full ban.
“I don’t necessarily think they’re bad but I don’t think they’re totally needed either. I feel like there’s always a flow of traffic people follow and when they know they have to slow down that kind of disrupts the flow of traffic” said Rachel Schatz.
The amended bill would allow cities to keep existing cameras but would require a public hearing before installing a new one. At that hearing, authorities would have to provide documentation that the place they want install a camera is a high risk, or high crash location.
Signs would also have to go up warning drivers of the upcoming camera.
It would also require the revenue cameras generate to only go towards road construction or public safety.
The bill now goes to the house where Speaker Linda Upmeyer says its fate is unclear.
“I think there are many opinions but we haven’t caucused on that yet so I don’t know…especially where our new members are on that topic” she said during a press conference Thursday.
The current bill now waits to get taken up by the house transportation committee.