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Speed Cameras Coming To Waterloo

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The City of Waterloo announced Thursday that the Waterloo Police Department will begin using ‘speed cameras’ in the city.

“In their continued effort to increase public safety, the Waterloo Police Department will institute the use of four portable photo-laser speed enforcement units, known as ‘speed cameras’, beginning November 15, 2017.” City of Waterloo Press Release

This has been an ongoing conversation for several months. A review of the minutes from a council work session on June 26, 2017 stated that Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka discussed the idea of the portable photo-lasers. Trelka suggested modeling the ordinance after what the city of Cedar Rapids created. It would allow an opportunity to work with them on the appeals process.

Th police chief explained that the company Gatso has hand held and speed trailer devices. The speed trailer would display how fast an individual is driving and issue a ticket, and the tickets do not go on their driving record.

Later in the session Trelka acknowledged that the cameras would generate revenue and indicted that it could be used to fund more officers or create a tax relief.

“The new equipment includes three hand-held units and a mobile trailer. The units capture high resolution images and video of vehicles violating speed limits. This state-of-the-art system is designed to encourage safer driving habits.” City of Waterloo

There are no upfront costs that the taxpayers will have to incur for installation, operation, and maintenance. Over time the system would be funded by the citations issued.

All equipment and personnel costs directly related to the program will be funded by violators. A percentage of revenue collected from speeding tickets will be paid to the vendor. During the June 26th Council Work Session, it was estimated that 30% to 40% of the ticket cost issued by the then proposed red light cameras would go to Gatso (in the proposed contract and ordinance).

The Waterloo City Council approved the use of traffic cameras on August 7, 2017 after three readings and public input.

Locations for speed trailers will be chosen based on the number of violations recorded on a particular street, the number of accidents, and resident input.

“We are giving our residents the power to determine where the cameras should be used based on what they experience in their own neighborhoods and while traveling the streets of Waterloo,” says Trelka. Citizens are encouraged to direct recommendations to Chief Trelka by email to trelkad@waterloopolice.com or by calling 319-291-4340, option 9.

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