CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Unpaid speed camera tickets are piling up in Cedar Rapids. It's because people say they don't feel any urgency to pay them. They also know that if they don't pay, it won't affect their credit.
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)
While others are watching the status of lawsuits and a bill in the Iowa legislature that could ban the cameras. That bill has made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee. If approved, eight cities and one county in the state would have to remove the 79 cameras currently in use by July first.
The Department of Transportation has already ordered the removal of nine cameras. But seven of them are still operating, as communities wait for rulings on lawsuits involving cities and the D-O-T. A hearing is scheduled for that next Monday. A representative from the D-O-T says it will most likely head to the Supreme Court.
A letter sent to Bruce Sillery from a collection agency over his unpaid speed camera ticket isn't sitting too well with him. Especially since the ticket won't affect his credit rating or driving record.
He says, "[The letter] makes it feel like it's going to, and I think it's just a scare tactic to get people to just go ahead and continue on and pay."
Sillery got the ticket while heading to Yellowstone National Park last July, and got the letter last month. He's never dealt with speed cameras before, and doesn't like them because you can't interact with an officer. He also calls them a trap for out of towners. ‘
He says, "This is really not as much about trying to solve a problem with speeding any more than just trying to get some extra revenue."
Mayor Ron Corbett says speed cameras are there for safety reasons, and are more efficient for taxpayers paying for officers on patrol.
He says, "In the state of Iowa of last year there was a big uptick of number of fatalities over 400. And we're part of the system.”
Corbett says people should pay up on the fines. He adds, “We're a community of laws and what kind of message would that send that you can pick and choose what laws you want to follow, and which laws you want to break."
Sillery still sees no reason for the cameras, or paying the fine. "I don't believe during anytime when I was going through Cedar Rapids that I felt like I was endangering anyone or driving reckless anyway. I might have been going over the speed limit when the camera caught it."