Cedar Rapids has become the ultimate speed trap in the Midwest. Ever since installing hidden cameras on the interstate that runs through it, Iowa’s second-largest city has been sending out tickets at an unprecedented rate...Iowa is the only state where cities post speed cameras on interstates, and no Iowa town has embraced photo enforcement of its expressway speed limit as wholeheartedly as Cedar Rapids, a city of 128,000 halfway between the Twin Cities and St. Louis...In 2010, Cedar Rapids installed four sets of cameras on Interstate 380. Over a 20-month period in 2013 and 2014, Cedar Rapids cited more than 160,000 motorists for speeding on the interstate through town...The speed cameras, two north of the curve and two to the south, are owned and operated by Gatso USA on the city’s behalf. The firm gets $25 from every $75 fine. The cameras snap a picture of any vehicle traveling at least 12 miles per hour over the speed limit and capture license plate data. The owner is then sent a citation...About 70 percent of people who get a speeding citation in the mail from Cedar Rapids end up paying, according to the city. That yields about $3 million for Cedar Rapids, which assigns it to the police department, and amounts to 14 percent of the agency’s fiscal 2015 budget.The city’s rationale for the cameras is that the S-curve can be dangerous, especially for unfamiliar drivers going too fast.
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