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Iowa House Bill requires DOT approval for traffic camera installation on highways

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Speeding drivers are never safe for anyone on the roads, and the Iowa House of Representatives is looking to keep the roadways a little bit safer. 

House Bill 740 would require communities to get approval from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to put in traffic cameras in high accident areas. While some may not like traffic cameras, local law enforcement said they see speeding drivers drop the minute cameras are installed.  

“Once we post the signage, that number drops,” Sioux City police sergeant Jess Aesoph said. “Then, once the cameras come out, as soon as people are getting the notices issued and find out that they cost them to speed, they slow down.”

Iowa legislatures are looking to include the DOT when it comes to installing traffic cameras, a tool Sioux City law enforcement has used to keep the streets safe.  

“We use them for neighborhood complaints for speed,” Aesoph said. “We’ll do a speed study, see that there is a problem with speed there and then after that we will post signage, let people know that they’re coming, and then put the cameras out there.”

If passed, the bill would serve to protect police officers from pulling drivers over on unsafe areas of the highways, keeping our officers safe and available to protect the city. 

“I mean, you can only be in one place at a time, so i think it’s just an extra officer that’s working 24 hours a day seven days a week,” Aesoph said.

Some local drivers think the introduction of traffic cameras would benefit the roadways.   

“The main roads, highways, things like that, I think it would lessen traffic accidents for sure, and carelessness that’s happening,” Sioux City resident Ashley Brand said.

The best way to avoid a speeding ticket is to not speed, but drivers that have been caught by the cameras took their ticket as a learning experience. 

“Just makes you realize ‘oh hey, that happened’ and then you just make sure that you know that you’re stopping at the lights you’re supposed to and trying not to be in such a hurry,” Brand said. “I think it teaches people to slow down.”   

In 2023, Sioux City’s traffic cameras caught more than 10,000 speeding drivers. 

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