By: Christine Souders
New rules could be coming for traffic cameras in Iowa.
Iowa's transportation commission voted Tuesday on a proposal that would create uniform rules on where red light and speed cameras can be located.
If the new rules are enacted, cities and counties would have to prove the need for traffic cameras on major highways.
Those rules would require local agencies to show cameras are targeting documented high–crash or high–risk locations.
They would also have to justify a renewal every year.
"If there is not a safety issue, there's really no need for these cameras, but that's the reason for these rules, is if there is a safety issue, and the agencies can show that there's some significant benefit here, that's fantastic. Let's keep in mind there's other safety counter measures that can be implemented, and we would hope jurisdictions are looking at those," said Steve Gent, with Iowa DOT.
The proposal now heads to the Administrative Rules Review Committee.
A public meeting is set for February to make the changes into law.
One rule is that traffic and red light cameras cannot be installed within three blocks of a lower speed limit.
Which means the camera at the intersection of Kimberly Road and Brady Street, may have to be taken down.
Davenport Police said before speed and red light cameras, Kimberly and Brady was the 3rd worst intersection in the state for crashes.
Now it's 26th.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is responsible for U.S. 6 and 61, at the Kimberly Road and Brady Street intersection.
The speed limit changes from 35 to 45 near there.
Under new guidelines, IDOT could ask Davenport police to remove these cameras.
"They may take them away, and then we might end up going back there in a year or two because things have gotten so much worse, to me tat's just crazy," said Chief Frank Donchez said unlike other cities, Davenport is unique because there isn't an interstate running through the middle of the city, which means the volume of traffic on the streets is higher.
"Why risk more crashes. Why risk having more injuries, and more fatalities, more dead Iowans on our roads."
But some drivers we talked to said the new camera rules are fair.
"I didn't even see it, until I gotten through it. The light turned red, right as I went through the yellow, and they sent me a ticket for $75 dollars," said Connie Judge, an Iowa Driver.
"If the speed limit changes 50 to 45, the minute you cross that line, there are going to write you a ticket for it. That's a bunch of crap," said Whitey Reed who also adds, it is a deterrent for speeders, and see's a need.
"You break the law, you get caught."
Davenport PD has to justify the need for cameras there.
But if Iowa DOT doesn't believe there's a safety issue that could create a problem.
"We don't have unlimited resources, so what these cameras do, that's the beauty of technology. It's allowing us to cover places without paying for the manpower."
There's been some controversy whether or not these traffic cameras are just a money generator for cities, and doesn't reflect safety concerns.
Chief Donchez addresses that, and why the state should follow davenport as an example when deciding to make this a law.
We've put that on our web site as a web extra.