Waterloo exempting city vehicles from traffic camera tickets, may reverse decision

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UPDATE: Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka said he is reconsidering the decision, and will be submitting a resolution for consideration at the next city council meeting.

(MGN / Cutout Photo: Robert Couse-Baker / CC BY 2.0)

The resolution states that if a city vehicle is identified by the traffic cameras, the relevant department head would provide the police department with information about the employee operating the vehicle. That person would then be liable for the ticket.

Vehicles operating in emergency conditions would still be exempt.

The resolution needs council approval before going into effect.

ORIGINAL STORY:

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The city of Waterloo won't fine itself when city vehicles are caught by automated red light and speed cameras.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the issue came up Monday before the City Council voted on enhancing penalties for private vehicles and drivers frequently caught by the cameras.

Police Chief Dan Trelka says his department won't issue citations for violations by city-owned vehicles. Officers review footage of violations before authorizing citations to be mailed to the registered owners of the vehicles. The actual drivers are not identified.

Councilwoman Sharon Juon says it doesn't make sense for the city to fine itself.

Trelka says if there's a problem with a city vehicle driver, it's referred to the driver's department head for discipline.

Trelka has previously indicated a car owner can assign the citation to the person who was driving at the time, such as a friend who borrowed the vehicle. Council members did not discuss why the city couldn't assign the citation to one of its employees using the same process.