Iowa lawmakers drop red-light camera ban

| 4/24/2007

Cities can continue to use red-light cameras in Iowa.

Senate lawmakers voted 40-7 to strip a provision from a larger transportation bill – HF793 – that would have prohibited cities throughout the state from posting cameras at intersections to nab those who run red lights. The vote comes two weeks after senators inserted the provision into the bill.

The effort to ban cameras was dropped from consideration after lawmakers in both sides of the statehouse were unable to reach agreement.

Snapping pictures of red-light runners has drawn a lot of discussion in the state because of pending legal challenges in Davenport and Clive. A handful of cities use the cameras and others are considering installing their own, the Sioux City Journal reported.

Opponents of banning cameras said the issue should be settled in the courts before the Legislature starts meddling. They also say it’s premature to outlaw the technology before an ongoing study in the state can show whether the cameras have increased safety on roads.

People calling for the cameras to be removed said the cameras are an invasion of privacy. They also question the claim that cameras are solely intended to keep people safe.