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Derecho slows down tickets from Cedar Rapids traffic cameras

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 7:41 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Regardless if you’re on the road this Thanksgiving or staying at home, those speed cameras are still watching the road. But, those cameras were turned off for about a month.

The city of Cedar Rapids told TV9 the derecho took those cameras offline after they lost power on August 10. The cameras stayed off until September 4. While the cameras were turned off, the vendor for the cameras accessed the cameras for damage while the city replaced signs during the time.

The cameras gave out around 5,300 tickets during August, which was a record low number of citations. Normally, the cameras regularly give out around 15,000 tickets a month.

City Spokesperson Greg Buelow told TV9 in an emailed statement the city believes these high-speed cameras make the roads safer and help change behavior.

“Before automated traffic enforcement cameras were in service, there was a 43.2 percent chance that an accident on U.S. Interstate 380 that is monitored by the ATE system would result in an injury,” he said. “After the cameras were activated, the likelihood decreased to 26 percent.”

TV9 also learned of those tickets, which are contested about a quarter of those are dismissed.

The city says those tickets are dismissed for a number of reasons including being a vehicle reported as stolen or an emergency vehicle. Cedar Rapids does not break down the number of dismissals by specific reason and the officer who reviews the citation has the discretion to dismiss the citation.

A city spokesperson told TV9 in an email it’s the same type of discretion that an officer may use in issuing a verbal warning if you were pulled over by a police officer in person.

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