DES MOINES, Iowa -- Automated traffic cameras are making a comeback on Interstate 235 more than a year after the Polk County District Court had them turned off.
Since that time, there has been constant controversy over the issue of speed cameras. However, the city of Des Moines says it will turn its I-235 camera back on following a Supreme Court ruling that determined the Iowa Department of Transportation does not have the power to control the traffic cameras.
The cameras will turn back on Monday, June 25th, keeping track and issuing tickets to drivers going too fast.
"It's just one more thing to remember on my commute. Oh okay, big brother is watching. You cant go over the speed limit," says Shawna Murphy.
Four cameras are located in all four lanes of the interstate near 56th Street and Polk Boulevard. The cameras ticket drivers going 11 over the 60 miles per hour limit.
The Des Moines Police Department says the cameras help drivers slow down, and when they were turned off the number of speeding drivers increased drastically; the cameras still collected speed data while the cameras citation functions were disabled. The data reveals roughly 31,000 drivers received citations during a four-month period when the cameras were turned on. However, when the cameras were turned off, nearly 122,500 drivers would have received ticket over the same time frame. The report did not reveal whether the number of crashes in the area changed as a result. The Iowa DOT says not enough data was collected.
Officials say the cameras are in place due to safety reasons, while some motorists say it's a money grab by the city, which makes about $12 million a year from the traffic cameras.
Tickets range from $65 to $80, depending on how fast drivers are travelling.