Stop-arm cameras violate surveillance ban, critics say

Posted on July 22, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Gazette reports that critics say newly installed stop-arm cameras on Iowa City Community School District school buses here violate the city’s traffic camera ban, which was adopted in 2013, and systems like this are designed to create revenue, not improve safety.

According to the newspaper, the law prohibits the city from using “any automatic traffic surveillance system or device, automatic license plate recognition system or device, or domestic drone system or device for the enforcement of a qualified traffic law violation, unless a peace officer or parking enforcement attendant is present at the scene, witnesses the event, and personally issues the ticket to the alleged violator at the time and location of the violation.”

The ban was formed in opposition to red-light cameras and written to prevent police from issuing traffic tickets that rely on cameras to identify the perpetrator or their vehicle in place of an officer, The Gazette reports.

Iowa City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes disagrees that the cameras are in violation, according to the newspaper. Dilkes told The Gazette the surveillance law bans traffic cameras only for “qualified traffic violations” and stop-arm violations are not included.

To read the full story, click here.

Related Topics: Iowa, legal issues, stop-arm running/illegal passing, video surveillance

Comments ( 1 )
  • Kevin Lindly

     | about 3 years ago

    If everyone obeyed all the laws there would be no need for cameras and/or LEOs for that matter, but they don't so the need is there. In the article one person stated the current stop arm system needs to be upgraded to lights more like emergency vehicles have. While it is doable, I think the cost would be in the same area as the cameras alone are as not only do the lights need upgraded but the flasher to operate the lights may need upgraded to the LED flasher and there is the labor involved to change the lights out. The last bus I upgraded (I did the 8-way, stop arm, stop, tail & turn lights front and rear with flasher)cost the district about $775 with no labor included.Also if there are a few citations issued the word will get out and maybe drivers would be even more aware of our school buses and when/where they stop to pick up our children. Slow down people, leave your house a little earlier and you won't feel the need to break any laws, let alone endanger our kids.

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