Residents react to announcement of I-380 traffic cameras issuing tickets soon

    Residents and people driving through Cedar Rapids have mixed feelings about the I-380 traffic cameras issuing tickets again soon.

    The automated traffic cameras in Cedar Rapids will start issuing fines again.

    The announcement was made on Wednesday by Mayor Brad Hart at Wednesday's State of the City address. It's an announcement that's seeing mixed reviews from residents and those who travel through Cedar Rapids on I-380.

    "I'm comfortable with the way it is now. It's just a reminder when I'm at the right place to make sure I'm slowing down. I don't need the cameras to remind me of that," said Jason Friedman, who says he's received a few tickets from those cameras when they were issuing tickets.

    The cameras stopped issuing tickets in April 2017, but they remained on and collected data. For some residents, issuing fines couldn't have come soon enough.

    "If people know that there's a possibility that they could be fined, they will slow down and be more careful," said Ruth Armstrong, who lives in Cedar Rapids.

    The City says it saw a 62% reduction in crashes on I-380 when cameras were issuing fines. In the six months following April 2017, the city reports a 14% increase in crashes.

    "I don't have a problem with them doing that because if it slows traffic and just keeps all motorists safe, I think it's an okay thing," said Mary Austin, who uses I-380 to get to work every day.

    City leaders say revenue from the fines would be primarily used to hire police officers. The reasoning behind the increase in officers comes after calls for service have gone up 17% over the last five years. The city still needs to approve that part of the upcoming budget.

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