Iowa Senate passes automated traffic camera ban

At least eight Iowa cities operate more than 70 cameras.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 1:25 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2019 1:53 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved a bill requiring the removal of all automated traffic cameras, sending the measure to the House even as that chamber considers another proposal dealing with the devices.

The Senate bill passed Tuesday by a vote of 30 to 19.

Republican Sen. Jack Chapman pushed for the ban, saying cities primarily installed the systems to raise money even while violating citizens' constitutional rights.

At least eight Iowa cities operate more than 70 cameras. The most recent data showed Cedar Rapids raised the most, at $4 million annually. Windsor Heights, a Des Moines suburb of about 5,000 people, raised $2 million.

Democratic Sen. Claire Celsi, who says she received an automated speeding ticket Monday in Des Moines, opposed the bill, saying cameras change driver behavior, improve safety and free up officers.

Similar legislative efforts to ban the cameras have been tried for nearly a decade but have failed.

The House measure would divert an estimated $6.5 million a year from cities to the state Department of Public Safety.

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