Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate have passed a bill that would ban all automated traffic cameras in the Hawkeye State. The measure now moves into the House just as lawmakers in that body are considering another bill that addresses the use of the cameras.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 30 to 19. Proponents of the bill, both Democrats and Republicans, say use of the cameras has been utilized to raise money by cities, but has violated citizens' constitutional rights in the process by not allowing the accused the chance to face their accuser, the state.
More than 70 cameras are currently in use in at least eight Iowa cities, with recent data showing that towns are bringing in millions every year by using the camera. Cedar Rapids tops the list at $4 million annually, while Des Moines suburb Windsor Heights, a town of roughly 5,000 residents, brought in $2 million thanks to the cameras. Other cities that utilize the cameras include Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Des Moines, Waterloo and Iowa City.
This is not the first go around for a bill like this, as legislative efforts of this kind have tried and failed to pass since the traffic cameras have been in use in the state, roughly nine years.