The bill to Ban Traffic Cameras in Iowa (HF 2214) failed to come to the House floor for debate ahead of a March 16th funnel deadline. House Republicans caucused, voting 28-6-4 on the measure.
Rep. Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls), who’s sponsoring the bill, moved it to the House Appropriations Committee in order to bring it to the House floor after the funnel deadline. It passed out of the Appropriations Committee on a 14-11 vote as HF 2450.
House Democrats have lined up en masse against this bill, but Republicans have a 60-40 majority. It’s no surprise that Republicans representing districts where these camera systems are already in place would oppose this bill, but there are still 22 Republicans who are not on record for or against this bill and 4 more that didn’t pick a side when voting in their caucus.
The bill would bar cities and the state from installing automated traffic camera systems that record speeders and red-light runners and then issue tickets automatically by mail. It also requires the removal of such systems from the eight cities where they are already in place.
You can click here to download the legislation.
Sponsor Walt Rogers, R-Cedar Falls, believes these camera systems represent a creeping infringement on personal liberty, and raise questions concerning drivers’ rights to due process.
More importantly, they don’t increase safety! James Walker, a member of the National Motorists Association and Board Member and Executive Director of the National Motorists Association Foundation stated on a recent blog post, “As long as traffic cameras are allowed, there is an enormous financial temptation to set posted speed limits lower than the safest level, and a similar temptation to set the yellow intervals on lights shorter than is correct for approaching traffic.
These two engineering ‘errors’ (which are usually deliberate) are required to make the traffic cameras profitable.”
You can find more information about traffic cameras and safety here (check the sidebar for Popular Studies).
Mr. Walker went on to say that “Correct engineering is the real answer to improving traffic safety. Allowing ticket cameras tempts far too many officials to engineer for profits and not for maximum safety. A total ban on ticket cameras is the only realistic answer to remove the temptations, as several states have already done.
If House File 2214 passes and is signed into law to ban ticket cameras, the state and local officials responsible to engineer posted speed limits and traffic lights will have no more reasons to engineer for anything other than maximum safety.”
Gov. Branstad has already said he would sign a bill to ban traffic cameras if such a bill were to reach his desk. I need your help to get it passed.
Click here to find your representative and contact them.
Capitol phone number: 515.281.3221.
Tell them you don’t like being spied on by your government. Tell them it doesn’t make you feel any safer. Accidents will still happen; more cameras on the road can’t prevent that. Tell them to support HF 2450.
If our roads are unsafe, then we need to engineer them for safety--we need to fix them. Traffic enforcement--tickets and fines--can’t do that.
Interim State Coordinator
Iowa Campaign for Liberty
P.S. Don't forget to click here to contact your Representative. Tell them to support HF 2450.