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‘Wish I had the manpower,’ fume officials after July 1 law banned US cities from adding speed cameras – new 2-year wait

A NEW state law is restricting cities from implementing speed-monitoring cameras.

Police and local officials are speaking out against the new road law after neighborhoods were days away from mounting the street-side tech.

KCRG

Several cities in Iowa were blocked from mounting speed cameras[/caption]

KCRG

A local mayor said the city would have to wait two years to implement speed tech[/caption]

State lawmakers passed a new requirement that all cities go through the Iowa Department of Transportation before installing speed-capturing cameras.

The law forces city officials to go through a two-year application process before they can use the automatic ticketing devices.

Drivers will also have a standardized ticketing system with prices set by the state.

But local community members are speaking out, saying it makes a larger impact on areas with increased speeding and few cops.

Police in small communities said they are already struggling keeping up with speeding drivers.

“I don’t have the manpower to sit up here all day, every day,” De Soto’s Police Chief, John Sparling, told CBS affiliate KCCI.

Chief Sparling is one of two officers on the police crew’s full-time staff.

Highway 169 runs through the town. Some vehicles are cautious when taking on the red-light infused road.

However, Chief Sparling said he has clocked other motorists going at top speeds of at least 102 mph.

“They fly in here,” he added.


Dubuque, Iowa’s mayor, Brad Cavanagh, said his town was days away from putting speed cameras up around its roads.

Now, the officials have been forced to about-face on the speed-capturing program, according to local ABC affiliate KCRG.

“If we make decisions based on really good information, and really good discussions, and do so responsibly, we should as a city be able to move forward with that,” Cavanagh told the station.

“It’s a frustration because we still have this need. We still have a police department that’s asking for this, but the legislature has taken away the police department’s ability to enforce that.”

How to fight a speeding ticket

According to a legally reviewed post, there are five effective strategies to fighting a speeding ticket if it was wrongfully issued.

  1. If pulled over and issued a ticket, drivers can argue or dispute a driver’s personal opinion. When issuing a speeding ticket, an officer is required to write their opinion and come to an “objective” conclusion. If the ticket was written based on that judgment, it can be contested. An example would be if you were going 75 mph in a 65 mph zone because others were traveling at the same speed, you could argue that it would be more dangerous to travel at 65 mph.
  2. You can dispute the officer’s presentation of evidence. If you were ticketed for something like running a stop sign or making an illegal u-turn, you can’t contest that if an officer saw you, but you can call things into court like eyewitnesses, diagrams, or photos.
  3. Argue that the ticket was issued by a “mistake of fact.” This is tricky, but a “mistake of fact” is a mistake made by a driver about a situation that was beyond their control, or if a driver legitimately did not know they were violating the law. For example, you were driving in two lanes because the lane markers were so worn down that you could not see them.
  4. You could say circumstances justified your driving. You could say you were speeding to pass a possibly drunk driver, or avoiding an accident by rapidly changing lanes. However, the argument won’t work if there’s proof you continued to speed after passing.
  5. Similar to the above, it could be argued that speeding was necessary to avoid harm. The key is to argue that if you weren’t speeding, you or someone else could have been harmed.
  6. Consult a traffic attorney, if all else fails. Many have free consultations to decide whether or not there’s a case.

Source: FindLaw

Dubuque city officials just finished a study that found that several streets consistently had fast drivers.

But state lawmakers were adamently opposed to the speed cameras, according to KCRG.

Statewide officials reportedly called the cameras cash grabs.

The law doesn’t impact cities that already have the speed capturing devices watching drivers.

In fact, another law from the state’s major cities will make drivers pay more for speeding infractions.

Six Iowa cities – Davenport, Cedar Rapids, LeClaire, Muscatine, and Des Moines – recently passed a law allowing state police to assign automatic fines to drivers caught going 10 mph over the speed limit.

The fines range from $75 to $500, depending on the rate of speed.

Fines will double if the camera catches a speedy car in a construction zone.

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