Sioux City files legal action against Iowa DOT on traffic cam la - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City files legal action against Iowa DOT on traffic cam laws

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Officials with the city of Sioux City say they're taking the matter of traffic camera enforcement to the courts.
The city has filed a petition for judicial review against the Iowa Department of Transportation.
City officials say they've taken the matter of the DOT's new traffic enforcement laws to the courts because they believe the new rules are unconstitutional, but officials with the DOT say their new rules aren't overstepping any bounds.
The Iowa Department of Transportation filed new rules dealing with traffic cameras starting on February 12th of this year; rules they say, are in place to make sure that traffic cameras are only being used to create safer roads.
"Really, the concept is that when cameras are used, they're used for the reasons of safety, and that crashes are being reduced," Steve Gent, Iowa Department of Transportation said.
However, the city of Sioux City has a different opinion. 
"We're contesting the rules in a number of ways. One of which is the constitutionality of the rules under the Iowa constitution. Additionally, we're contesting the rules on the fact that they contradict Iowa law," Justin Vondrak, Assistant City Attorney for Sioux City said.
The city has filed a petition for judicial review, basically taking the new rules to the courts, saying that the traffic camera limitations overstep the Iowa constitution's laws about a city's right to enforce traffic the way they want to. 
"In the Iowa constitution, cities are granted home rule authority, basically the authority to rule in their cities as they see fit. Accordingly, we believe that the city has the authority to enforce the traffic laws in any way that they see fit," Vondrak said.
The Iowa DOT says, on the other hand, that their rules only regulate the use of cameras on state maintained roads, like I-29 running through Sioux City's downtown, and not the use of cameras regulated by cities, like red light cameras at intersections.
"If it's on any of the roadways fully owned and maintained by the city, fully owned and maintained by the city, the cities can do whatever they want, because the DOT has no authority and we certainly don't want to tell the city what to do on their roadways," Gent said.
Gent says that the reason they're having some issues with these new rules is because Iowa is the only state in the nation with traffic cameras on the state maintained roads.
Gent does say, however, that Sioux City's action in taking this matter to court is the only legal action they're facing on the matter right now.
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