Sioux City Police turn in camera traffic data to DOT for review - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City Police turn in camera traffic data to DOT for review

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The Sioux City Police Department has submitted traffic data regarding the city's traffic cameras cameras to the Iowa Department of Transportation office, but say they're not necessarily happy about it.

All of the rules and regulations that came into effect on February 12 of this year, rules that give the DOT the final call on traffic cameras, are still in place.

Thursday was the city's first due date to submit traffic data surrounding the red light and speeding cameras to the DOT.

Now that the data is in, the future of those cameras, for the first time, is officially resting in the hands of the state government, instead of the city.

As a part of the new rules instated by the Iowa Department of Transportation, every city in Iowa with traffic cameras must submit data, so the state can decide whether those cameras are improving safety or not.

Sioux City's officials say they aren't happy about submitting the report.

But, Chief Young says he's confident the report numbers, showing a decrease of accidents by 40% at all intersections, prove the safety effect the cameras have had.

"We think it's been effective. It's always in the back of people's minds as they're traveling up and down the interstate that we're monitoring the speeds out there, and I think as a result, it pretty much speaks for itself," Chief Young said.

The report also shows that from 2009 to 2010, more than 38% of cars driving Interstate 29 were speeding.

In 2013, that number is down to 0.51% a 98.7% reduction in speeders.

Chief Young goes as far as to suggest that this means driver safety hasn't just improved at camera sights, but all over the city.

However, Traffic and Safety Director at the Iowa DOT Steve Gent says Sioux City's report leaves a little to be desired.

"It looks to me like we're going to be needing additional information, from a really quick glance. I didn't see much of any 'before data,'" Gent said.

That 'before data,' Gent says, is a part of the administrative rules, requesting traffic data before camera installation at all sites.

Chief Young says he doesn't agree with the process, because the city doesn't agree with the DOTs implementation of city traffic rules.

But he does say they're cooperating, because the city and the DOT need to have a working relationship. Gent says he agrees.

"We've had a good relationship for years. You know, when you talk about making a road safer, nobody does it by themselves. When you talk about safety, we need to work together. If we start pulling apart and working against each other, that's just bad for everybody," Gent said.

Chief Young says he's confident that these rules will be overturned, but for now, they'll comply.

"We're willing to cooperate. They've always been good partners to us, but we want to stress that by no means does this mean that we agree with what's being done here," Chief Young said.

Steve Gent says the reason the rules aren't overstepping any bounds is because they only monitor cameras on state maintained roads.

In fact, Sioux City didn't have to submit data for six of the eleven traffic cameras in town, because they're on city roads.

Sioux City is currently contesting the DOT's new rules in court.

Both Chief Young and Steve Gent said there's no set date for when the DOT ruling on Sioux City's cameras will come down.

Gent said the DOT has a lot going on right now, but they're hoping to get something decided within a month or so.

For Sioux City's traffic camera stu
dy click here.

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