Iowa DOT, Sioux City leaders struggle to find common ground - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Iowa DOT, Sioux City leaders struggle to find common ground on traffic camera issue


If you've ever driven in Sioux City, you've probably seen the traffic cameras to catch speeders and red light runners.

City leaders claim they make the roads safer, but the Iowa Department of Transportation doesn't agree that's always the case. 

Speeding or running a red light comes at a hefty price if there are cameras watching, and officials from the Iowa Department of Transportation are concerned about the locations of the speed cameras, specifically in work zones along Interstate 29. 

"A lot of times it's sitting along the shoulder, it's actually been hit. So that, I believe is actually a significant danger from a safety perspective," Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino said.

But, Sioux City Police Captain Mel Williams said he's received praise from contractors and workers at those sites.

"They all commend us for the safety improvements that have happened because of the cameras," Williams said. 

The DOT is trying to go forward with rules governing camera placement. In order to make the best decision, Trombino says collecting data, and a lot of it, is needed.

"What we're asking the communities to do is do what I think is very common, traffic engineering study, and evaluate what the safety issue is on the system," Trombino said.

But, Williams said the DOT already has the data they need.

"He's asking us to analyze what his people did. And, the other thing that's strange about that is everything they're asking for, we already sent to the DOT," Williams said.

Williams said if they wanted to deploy another mobile speed camera on the highway, they have a court injunction that allows for it.  And, if they wanted another red light camera, they would have to ask the DOT for a construction permit.

Williams added how important it is drivers speak up when it comes to this issue. He suggests calling state lawmakers and DOT commissioners.

Trombino said cameras along Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids have improved the roadway because more than 40 other measures such as lighting and signs have been added to increase safety.


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