New Rules For Iowa Red Light Cameras

Paul Gutierrez

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM) - Iowa cities can no longer place red light cameras wherever they see fit. Effective now, the Iowa Department of Transportation will decide where the cameras are placed and if they can stay where they are.

"The cities I don't think are excited about losing some of their home rule," said Don Bauermeister, an assistant city attorney for Council Bluffs.

New rules dictate cities can now only place red light cameras in areas prone to crashes and they must justify their decision to keep them around every year.

"What's the motivation? Is it personal? Is it organizational? Where does the buck stop?"

The answer isn't clear, but supporters of the change say they want to be sure the devices are truly going where they're needed most and not just being used as a money maker for local communities.

New numbers from the finance department indicate the City of Council Bluffs makes about $73,000 a month because of the cameras or about $900,000 a year, but Bauermeister argues the change is an unnecessary and unwanted one.

"Cities want to be efficient and they want to have better drivers. That is a no-brainer."

The City Attorney's Office told FOX 42 News Wednesday it doesn't believe use of the cameras will ever become unenforceable. Opponents successfully challenged the City of St. Louis this week, but we're told a state Supreme Court decision several years ago would prevent that from happening in Iowa.