Police push for I-380 cameras to issue speeding tickets again

The I-380 Automated Traffic Enforcement cameras continue to monitor speed patterns, but they have been not issuing tickets in Cedar Rapids since April 2017.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department is making a push to have the cameras on Interstate 380 issue tickets to speeders again.

The I-380 Automated Traffic Enforcement cameras continue to monitor traffic patterns, but they have been not issuing tickets in Cedar Rapids since April 2017.

Police will recommend the city change its ordinance to comply with the state's municipal infraction procedures, which means making it possible for the city to file a municipal infraction for people who ignore or want to contest their ticket. That way a district court judge will determine if the driver is liable for playing their ticket. It would also follow the Iowa Supreme Court's opinion on those same traffic cameras from the decision back in August.

Some residents told CBS2 news they do not like the ideas of those speed cameras issuing tickets again.

"I know that this is a very controversial topic. I understand that," said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman.

Others in the community are thrilled.

"Having the cameras, I think are the least expensive way to keep citizens safe in Cedar Rapids on 380," said resident Daryl Julich.

"I'm in this business to protect people to save lives and I truly believe that these systems do just that," said Jerman.

Chief Jerman said the data proves it. There were 62 percent less crashes involving injuries when the cameras enforced the speed limit.

"We have seen since they've been turned off that collisions are beginning to creep upwards," said Jerman.

This number of drivers that exceeded 67 miles per hour when the northbound camera issued tickets was more than 13,000, or about 0.22% of the total number of passes. between May and October 2016. That number increased to nearly 6 percent during 2018 when the camera was not in use.

"It's a huge concern because excessive speed is the number one cause of collisions," said Jerman.

If the speed cameras are approved to re-instate tickets, the police hope the the revenue can be used to improve safety off the interstate.

"We're looking to fund 10 additional police officer positions through the use of the ATE revenue," said Jerman.

"Personally I have not noticed on I-380 at all from traffic going any faster," said Julich.

Like some drivers in the community, Julich is not worried if the city flips the switch on the cameras.

"For me the sooner the better," said Julich.

Chief Jerman said neither the location or the price of the speeding tickets are expected to change if the cameras are allow to start issuing tickets again. He also said if the city approves the plan, they would educate people in the community about the cameras coming back online before they actually do. There would be a couple weeks period of time where the cameras would only issue warnings to speeding drivers before they actually start enforcing a fine.

There is still no scheduled date at this time for the police to present their data and recommendation to the city, but they hope to have this discussion some time in December.

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