State lawmakers haven’t come up with new guidelines regarding traffic cameras along interstates and state highways, so the Iowa Department of Transportation is taking up the issue.
The changes could impact cities with cameras and those planning to install them.
Iowa City leaders, who were planning to install red-light cameras, are playing the waiting game for now, according to Kristopher Ackerson of the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Johnson County.
“We’ll be tracking the process,” Ackerson said.
Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino said the new rules would help as more cities consider using the cameras. The rules would likely require cities to provide data showing that cameras are the best tool to improve safety.
“We have the only interstate system in the United States that has fixed speed cameras on the interstate system … I think, for us, going through a rules process, clearly defining what the process is, will enable people so that everybody clearly understands,” Trombino said.
Crews installed speed and red-light cameras in Cedar Rapids three years ago. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin of the Cedar Rapids police department said she doesn’t anticipate the need to make any changes.
“If you’ve got the rules in place, it is going to be much easier, looking at ‘do we need them?’ It takes away that money grabbing idea that you’re just putting them up for the revenue,” Hamblin said.
The DOT has been considering new rules for a while and will hold community meetings to get feedback from Iowa drivers.
The department also will consider proposed legislation as part of the process.
“This has been a topic that’s been debated at the Legislature for several years, and I think having these rules in place will help alleviate some of the concerns the legislature has had,” Ackerson said.
The process could last all year.