Governor's SUV Gets Pass from Some Traffic 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

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — If Gov. Terry Branstad's SUV speeds through Iowa's two largest cities, the driver could get a break from their camera-enforced speed limits.

The vehicle's status in which its plates aren't listed in police databases was a problem during a recent high-speed pursuit, where troopers didn't know who they were chasing. Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Council Bluffs officials say the designation also means the vehicle wouldn't be ticketed if caught by cameras violating traffic laws.

Lt. Rob Hansen, spokesman for Iowa Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday that state vehicles used for "dignitary protection and other covert law enforcement purposes" have the designation.

He says the governor's vehicle isn't exempt from traffic cameras, noting police could check with the Iowa Department of Transportation to learn it's registered to the department.

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