Speed Camera Cities Appeal to Supreme Court

posted by WMT News / KCRG-TV9 -

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Iowa Supreme Court will decide if automated traffic cameras will be allowed on interstates and if the Iowa Department of Transportation has the authority to remove them.

Radar-enabled speed cameras are attached to a sign post as traffic moves along northbound Interstate 380 near the Diagonal Dr. SW exit on Friday, May 21, 2010, in Cedar Rapids. The cameras will record speeders and issue a ticket for the infraction. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette/KCRG-TV9)

Arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court began Tuesday, with the cities of Des Moines, Muscatine and Cedar Rapids fighting to keep their speed cameras.

The cities disagree with a DOT decision that required each to remove traffic cameras from certain locations. The cameras on Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids have been in place since 2010.

The cities claim the cameras have made roads safer, but the DOT disagrees.

"If the traffic cams are creating a pattern of causing motorists to brake suddenly or a pattern of accidents, I think the DOT may be legally authorized to say your cameras are causing havoc on our highways," said Richard Mull, the attorney representing the DOT.

"There has been no evidence these cameras created a safety problem. And so standing behind this mantle, nothing shows these cameras have created a safety problem," said Michelle Mackel-Wiederander, an attorney representing the cities.

The Supreme Court expects to rule within the next month on whether the DOT has the authority to force cities to remove traffic cameras.

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