Red light camera ban picks up speed

Iowa State Senator Brad Zaun proposed a bill Wednesday that would ban red light cameras throughout the state.

There are about 260,000 crashes a year nationwide caused by drivers running red lights, but there is still a debate about whether it is constitutional to use red light cameras. There are more than 150 red light cameras in Iowa.

“I stop at a red light when I know there’s a camera watching me,” Davenport resident Emily Manuel said. “Anything that provides structure or accountability in our young people’s lives is a good thing.”

Illinois resident Shanna Neal worries that red light cameras can cause more rear-end accidents. She often travels to Davenport, where there are 12 red-light cameras.

“I’m always looking for the camera,” Neal said. “I think people see the light coming, and they’re slamming on their brakes, or they’re worried about running through that yellow light.”

In 2011, Davenport collected $1.3 million from red-light camera tickets. Each of the tickets cost $65 a piece.

“I didn’t fully stop at Brady Street and Kimberly Road,” Davenport North teacher Ryan Riewerts said about his ticket. “But the cameras make me think about how I’m driving, so I do a better job at that.”

Zaun also has another plan in place if the state legislature doesn’t agree with his plan. He is also interested in limiting the amount that camera companies can receive after the drivers run the red lights.

Click here for more news from Davenport and West Scott County

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