(SIOUX CITY, IA) Sioux City police have been dealing with several important matters this week.They've expressed their opposition to a new set of guidelines on red light and speeding cameras proposed by the DOT.
The new IDOT proposal wants to implement stricter guidelines, a 6-part application and an annual report to determine if some of the state's largest cities can use traffic cameras.
Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young says that state officials are overreaching."They're not experts in law enforcement. They're experts in construction of highways-making us highway safe- but when it comes to enforcement, that's law enforcement's job and we need to figure out ways of doing it safely," said Young. City officials insist safety, not revenue, is the main reason they installed the cameras.
They point to I-29, where cameras help slow down traffic.
IDOT, however, says it makes the rules for highways and interstates. "The Department has a role. We have the primary role of oversight in an interstate and state role perspective and that includes anything that falls under safety and from my perspective it's important that we work together on those issues and if we disagree we should have a forum to work through some of that issue," said Director Paul Trombino. The director says the issue is about more than just safety, and that finances play a bigger role than cities admit.
When we broke down the numbers the city brings in about $6 million dollars through the speed cameras throughout I-29 and red light cameras at 11 intersections but if IDOT's proposals go through all that money could vanish.
If passed, the proposed changes would take place in February.
In the meantime, Sioux City Police say the traffic cameras on I-29 are temporary and will be removed once construction is finished on the highway.