Cedar Rapids one step closer to reactivating speed cameras

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The City of Cedar Rapids is one step closer to reactivating controversial automated traffic enforcement cameras on Interstate 380. The Cedar Rapids City Council will vote Tuesday to change an ordinance that would allow police to resume issuing tickets.

The cameras as used to issue citations to vehicles captured speeding on camera. The city turned the cameras off in 2017 as they faced legal challenges.

At a city council meeting Tuesday, officials from the Cedar Rapids Police Department will present information about its automated traffic enforcement program to officials. The presentation will also provide a history of the program, illustrate how the program has reduced crashes and address how the revenue from citations will enhance public safety. Late last year, police put forward a plan to use revenue from restarting the cameras to pay for 10 additional officers and an administrator to help process citations.

Earlier this year, Cedar Rapids Mayor Hart said he's heard overwhelming calls to turn the cameras back on.

"If 50 people have talked to me about the cameras, 49 have said please turn the cameras back on," Hart told the crowd at the Doubletree Convention Center in downtown Cedar Rapids. "And the one who doesn't like them doesn't live in Cedar Rapids."

With the 380 cameras off, police said the speeds of traffic and crash rate have increased. It's also meant about $4 million less for the city in revenue from the cameras.