Flood Warning

Iowa Supreme Court to Rule on Traffic Camera Case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Traffic camera (WHO-HD)

Traffic camera (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court will once again weigh in on automated traffic cameras and whether or not they are constitutional.

Friday, the court is expected to issue a ruling in the case of Jacobsma versus Sioux City.

Justices heard arguments in the case last October.

Michael Jacobsma is challenging the legality of automated traffic cameras. He says a speeding ticket he received from a speed camera violated his right to due process because it doesn’t prove he was driving the vehicle and no officer was present to confirm he was behind the wheel.

Sioux City officials contend that Jacobsma’s ticket clearly spells out an appeals process for him to prove someone else was driving.

In the past the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of traffic cameras.


  • John Smith

    I think speeding tickets have ALWAYS presumed guilt, so I will not be surprised if the ISC comes up with some rationale to support the police in this case.

    Next up: I hear that lots of crime takes place in public restrooms. The police will be needing to put cameras up in those, and, of course, they will need to record the audio, too.

      • John Smith

        Well, I think the speed cameras are all owned and operated by private third-party companies, are they not? So, there will be more than just “official” interest in the outcome.

        I got a camera ticket in a SE Iowa town one time, and neither myself nor my vehicle was there. The company that owned the camera transposed a couple of characters on the license plate of the vehicle that was actually in the picture, and sent me the ticket in Des Moines! The actual vehicle was registered in the town where the alleged offense took place. Mine, of course, was registered here.

        So, I called the company and pointed out the mistake. Easy, right? Next thing I received was a Failure to Appear letter from the traffic court in this SE Iowa town.

        After yet more long-distance calls (the camera company was in Rhode Island, as I recall), the matter was supposedly cleared up. I got nothing from any court saying so. I haven’t driven in that town since. For all I know, they would arrest me for the outstanding ticket.

  • Rebecca Hergert

    Zoom in on the camera to see if the person is driving.
    This definitely helps in accidents!!
    Other-wise you are gonna have, ‘he says, she say’s’

  • Karl

    The greatest part of stories such as this are ones posted on real name/user forums. The ones yelling the loudest are the ones with multiple tickets found at Iowa Courts Online. It’s not about legality and the Constituion; it’s about one more way they can be busted.

    • marcopolish

      I’m sorry to inform you that you are not correct. The problem is private companies operating the equipment taking license with the actual data and fudging it to their favor, and local jurisdictions taking rights and money from drivers and denying them the due process of confronting their accuser when the fining is automatic and the process subject to being rigged for the money it harvests.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.