Curated by Gregg Hennigan, Terry Coyle/The Gazette
Barring approval of a ban making its way through the Iowa Legislature, traffic cameras are on their way to Iowa City following a 4-3 vote by the City Council Tuesday night. Here are the answers to burning questions about the cameras.
Q: When will the cameras be installed?
A: The city must first negotiate a contract with a vendor, and the City Council would have to approve the contract, before cameras go up. Officials expect that to take a few months. The typical arrangement has private companies install and maintain the camera system, while a local police officer reviews possible violations. The city and company split the ticket revenue.
Q: What would be the fine for violations?
A: A $100 fine has been proposed.
Q: What sort of revenue would the cameras bring to the city?
A: City staffers say that depends on several factors, including the number of intersections with camera enforcement, the amount of fines, contract terms with the vendor and rates of drivers running red lights. Cedar Rapids’ seven cameras generated $22,400 in October and Des Moines’ five cameras brought in $51,285 in December, according to data collected by the city of Iowa City.
Q: What are the safety benefits of installing the cameras?
A: A total of 163 crashes were attributed to signal violations between 2001 and 2010 at the 10 intersections proposed for red-light cameras. Cedar Rapids has reported a 22 percent decline in crashes since cameras were installed in March 2010.
Q: What is the status of the ban in the Legislature?
A: The House Transportation Committee approved the ban Feb. 2, but debate by the full House has not been scheduled. A similar ban has been introduced in the Senate and Gov. Terry Branstad said he would sign a ban into law.