04 May 2015

If you drive through Cedar Rapids, Iowa

As reported in the StarTribune:
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.
More details at the link.


  1. What absolute rot. If they gave a crap about limiting dangerous behavior, then better signage or modifications to the roadway would be the solution, not this nonsense. I know the Iowa Supreme Court has ok'd these fines, but if it's on an interstate, shouldn't it be taken to the Federal SC? It impacts interstate commerce.

  2. I must be getting old. I'm having a hard time working up any sympathy for drivers going 12 mph over the speed limit. Of course the municipality is only in it for the money, but still....

  3. Charlack, MO tried speed cameras on I-170 for a time as well, citing safety concerns. Charlack is a smaller municipality in St. Louis known by locals for collecting revenue through speeding ticket. The camera was placed on an overpass that was owned by Charlack. After some back and forth with the Missouri Department of Transportation and drivers getting hip to Charlack's game, the camera was finally removed.

  4. I want to move to the USA !!!
    Even though y'all still embrace the old imperial measurement system and 50% of you have guns that can kill me, I weant to come live there because you don't have speed cameras on your interstates.
    We here in New Zealand don't have interstates because we are all one country, but we do have State Highways (the state part refers to the national government) which are bedecked with revenue producing cameras. The road toll has dropped not one iota, but there is no way the government is going to stop having them, it is like free tax to them. We are legally limited to 100kph (sorry, you will have to do the maths and work it out, just like I did to find out what 12 mph really is) and my six speed Saab is still in 2nd gear at that speed, foot flat down, of course.

    1. 100 kph is 62 mph. Slow for a limited access roadway.

  5. Cedar Not-so-Rapids. Or maybe Radar not-so-Rapid


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