Iowa traffic camera regulations in effect



(The Center Square) – New regulations for Iowa’s traffic cameras are in effect just in time for the busy July 4 travel season.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill that requires cities and counties to prove the traffic cameras are installed for safety reasons. Only drivers over 10 miles over the speed limit can be ticketed.

The law also restricts how cities and counties can use the money, limiting it to transportation infrastructure of the police and fire departments. The bill took effect Monday.

“We’ve heard from so many Iowans who are frustrated by the amount of speed cameras we’ve seen pop up all around Iowa in the past few years,” said House Speaker Pat Grassley in his weekly newsletter. “Some cities and counties argue that these speed cameras are used to increase public safety. However, some municipalities are abusing these systems and using them as cash cows to raise revenue.”

At least 18 states allow communities to use traffic cameras, according to a traffic safety review published in 2022 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin – prohibit speed cameras, according to the review.

The Governors Highway Safety Association said in a report that traffic cameras could positively affect driving behaviors.

“A plethora of studies confirm that speeding, red-light and school bus stop-arm camera programs are a proven way to change driver behavior, resulting in increased safety for everyone on the road,” the organization said in a news release in conjunction with State Farm. “Automated enforcement can also supplement traditional traffic enforcement while addressing potential inequities, since cameras do not see race or ethnicity.”

More Iowans are expected to travel during the July 4 holiday period, according to AAA. An additional 3. 5 million people could be on the road in the West North Central Region, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Iowa prices are hovering around $3.31 for a regular unleaded gallon of gas on Wednesday, 20 cents lower than the national average of $3.51, according to AAA. California motorists are paying the most at the pump at $4.79. Mississippi has the lowest gas prices at $2.98 a gallon.

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