The director of the Iowa D-O-T says there’s “mixed” research data about whether automated traffic enforcement cameras improve safety or actually cause more wrecks. Paul Trombino’s agency has proposed rules which would require cities and counties to show safety would be improved on stretches of state highways and interstates where traffic cameras are located.
Law enforcement officials in cities like Clive, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Sioux City say the strategic use of traffic cameras improves safety. Trombino says there also is data suggesting traffic cameras cause more accidents.
Unless a legislative committee that reviews state agency rules imposes a delay, the D-O-T rules on traffic enforcement cameras along state highways and interstates will go into effect early next year. Efforts to ban traffic cameras or to limit the fines that can be levied have failed at the statehouse for the past few years, but Representative Josh Byrnes, a Republican from Osage who is chairman of the House Transportation Committee, says there’s a possibility legislators may act in 2014.
Byrnes has also asked cities with traffic cameras to provide information about how much is being paid to the private companies that run the cameras.