Caught on Camera: Cedar Rapids speeders could soon see I-380 tickets

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — The Cedar Rapids Police Department will soon ask city council to flip the switch on the I-380 speed cameras.

This comes after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of Cedar Rapids back in April, ruling them legal.

Police Chief, Wayne Jerman said his reasoning is safety, which is why they were installed in the first place.

According to police, there were seven deadly accidents on the S curve from 2003 to 2009 before the cameras were installed. Since they went up in 2010 there has only been one deadly crash.

The city got the green light to turn the camera’s back on and start issuing tickets back in April. They did turn them on. However, they were not issuing citations. Instead they were collecting data.

They found that speeding through the cities hazardous S curve has increased from an average of 89 drivers speeding 12 mph or more each day, to a whopping 2,639 each day.

We tried driving the speed limit to test it out, multiple cars and semi’s blowing by us, right under the cameras.

“What we seek is voluntary compliance. If we didn’t make a single dollar off any of those speed cameras, that would be great. They do show and provide that they do save lives,” said Chief Jerman.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruling the cameras were legal, as long as Cedar Rapid’s made some changes to its ordnance that regulates the citations.

“The prior method had an administrative hearing. Where a violator, if they chose to contest the citation, they could request an administrative hearing,” said Chief Jerman.

If council approves the police’s proposal, it would do away with administrative hearings. Leaving the guilty verdict to the courts.

The cameras won’t start issuing tickets right away said Chief Jerman, “There will be a pretty long period where only warnings are issued for a couple of weeks.”

Giving drivers a chance to change their habits and slow down.

Tickets issued by speed cameras will not go on your driving record.

If the vehicle owner fails to pay the fine, they’d be issued a penalty through the city.

Now they don’t have a date set for when they will make the proposal but they say it will be soon.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department is going to propose that the money made from the speed cameras be used to hire 10 more officers. Without the speed traffic money it would cost $1.3 million dollars a year to hire those new officers.

The city does have the locations of the speed cameras on their website, you can find that here.

 

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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