The state has slowed down Iowa City’s plans for red-light cameras, and other Iowa communities may also confront roadblocks to using traffic-enforcements cameras.
A divided City Council early this year OK’d the use of the cameras and expected them to be up by this fall. But then the Iowa Department of Transportation said it wanted more traffic data on intersections marked for monitoring that include state routes, such as Burlington and Dodge streets and Highway 6.
Collecting the crash history, traffic and speed counts and other information the DOT wants may take until the spring, said John Yapp, Iowa City transportation planner. And then the city will have to await word from the DOT. So even if approval is given, the cameras could go up a year later than expected.
Other Iowa communities interested in red-light or speed cameras, and even those like Cedar Rapids with cameras already running, may face similar obstacles after the state this summer implemented written guidelines for the use of the cameras on the DOT-governed primary highway system, which includes interstate, U.S. and state highways.
One central Iowa town is even suing the DOT over the denial of its request for speed cameras.
The more rigorous state guidelines are an example that four years after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled traffic-enforcement cameras are constitutional, the technology remains controversial.
What do you think? Have your views on red-light and speed cameras changed since their installation? How do you feel about them today?