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Decade-long drive to ban traffic cameras in Iowa resumes

DES MOINES — Another drive is underway in the Iowa Senate to ban most traffic enforcement cameras. For the past decade, Republican Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale has been trying to outlaw the cameras used to issue tickets for speeding and running red lights.

“I am not promoting that people break our traffic laws,” Zaun said during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Monday. “Unfortunately, I think these cities and towns and counties have I think really taken advantage of a situation and they’ve become more about revenue than actual safety.”

Senator Kevin Kinney, a Democrat from Oxford, said the fines paid on traffic camera tickets are required by law to be spent on police and sheriff’s departments, but there’s no money in Zaun’s bill to replace that lost revenue.

“I have listened all summer long how the Democrats want to defund the police,” Kinney said. “This bill in Des Moines alone is going to cost them $3 million of revenue that goes back to the police department.”

Zaun’s latest bill on this subject would let speed cameras remain on the S-curves on Interstate 380 in downtown Cedar Rapids. Zaun said the Cedar Rapids police chief has data proving the cameras help reduce speed in that area and prevent accidents.

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