State of Iowa Seeks to Rein in Use of Speed Cameras

Traffic flows along the northbound lanes of Interstate 380 as workers install speed cameras on a road sign north of the H Avenue NE interchange on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010, in northeast Cedar Rapids. (Jim Slosiarek/SourceMedia Group News)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — As the use of cameras to enforce speed limits has expanded across the U.S., few places have embraced the devices with the zeal of Iowa.

Cities big and small have installed the cameras to deter speeding and generate revenue from tickets. But the aggressive deployment has prompted an angry backlash among some motorists and the libertarian-minded Iowa Republican Party, who say the devices intrude on civil liberties.

Responding to such concerns, Gov. Terry Branstad's administration is trying to rein in a technology that now generates more than 200,000 tickets annually.

The state transportation department has proposed rules that would allow the cameras to be used only as a temporary, last resort to improve safety. The plan has set off a furor among local officials who say the cameras promote safety.

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