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Cedar Rapids City Council approve first step to flip the switch on I-380 speed cameras

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — Speed cameras along interstate 380 might soon get the green light to start issuing tickets again.

The Cedar Rapids City Council heard a proposal from Police Cheif Wayne Jerman regarding an updated ordinance needed to reinstate the use of the cameras, according to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Today, councilors voted unanimously to approve the first reading of the ordinance, which would change the way tickets issued by the speed cameras are challenged.

The proposed ordinance would get rid of the administrative hearings originally required and an offset program that could involuntarily collect money for tickets.

If passed those caught by the cameras could submit a written appeal to the Police Department said, Chief Jerman, “It’ll be reviewed by a police officer and if they’re appeal is not successful, they may take it to the court right away and file a request the municipal fraction be filled and the case will be heard in court then.”

Cedar Rapids Police also presented the council with data collected since April 2017 as the cameras have actively monitored drivers. Chief Jerman said speeders, accidents, and injuries have all increased since the cameras have been off.

“What is very alarming are the speeds from 67 mph and above, where you see almost a 500,000 vehicle increase in speeds traveling greater than 67 mph.”

Two people spoke out against the camera program during the meeting. One of them, David Beer, an Emergency Responder said he’s worked on the S curve since it was built and doesn’t believe the program is working. Beer cited the fact that since he said the number of tickets issued has increased over the years, it shows the program isn’t effective at preventing speeding.

Beer also asked for the speed camera program to be decided by the citizens.

“The council has said many time we have community support for this, great prove it. Put it on the ballot, simple questions should cedar rapids continue the speed camera program, yes or no. Put it on there every two years,” said Beer.

If the proposal is approved after the next readings, warnings will begin to be issued on June 1st and citations will begin July 1st.

The revenue from the tickets will be used to hire 10 new police officers and an administrative assistant to help with the municipal infractions.

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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