Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cedar Rapids' red light cameras catch cops too

Or so they say. They being the police chiefs of the cities of Cedar Rapids and Marion.
“We want to be consistent and show no favoritism,” [Marion Police Chief Harry] Daugherty says. “If my people have a reason to be speeding, I will excuse them. On the other hand, if they don’t have a reason, I won’t. (Otherwise), I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t.”
Touching sentiment, chief. Too bad the rest of us don't get a review:
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Greg Graham reports that the enforcement cameras had snapped photos of 26 Cedar Rapids police cars speeding or running red lights as of last week.

No, these photos don’t immediately end up being tossed aside, the chief says.

Upon review, Graham reports:

Five of the potential violations were deemed not to be violations; officers were operating in “legitimate” fashion. For instance, they were tailing a speeder at the speeder’s speed.
The enforcers get to enforce themselves and deem whether they get a ticket. Will a common citizen get the same opportunity?

Read more and the comments at: Red light cameras nab police cars speeding


Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand this correctly:

1. The "only ones" get a review. But if I get caught by one of these cameras, I get a fine.

2. "Tailing a speeder at the speeder’s speed" implies it's okay to break the law to enforce the law?

Consider this: there have been studies that show that these camera system actually decrease safety. People get so worried about the cameras, that they lose their situational awareness, and do dumb things. For instance, red light cameras cause increases in rear end collisions. There are other studies that show that when there are fewer traffic control signs, like stop signs, speed, etc people actually drive safer. This is especially true when they don't have to worry about some revenue enhancement, I mean law enforce officer following them or waiting off the side of the road to catch them in a violation.

Face it, these cameras are nothing more more than a Cedar Rapids revenue enhancement tool. Shame on the officials of that city. And double shame on the companies that make and sell these systems.

straightarrow said...

he's a cop, therefore he lied

strandediniowa said...

Search my blog for "ka-ching" and you will find posts that claim Cedar Rapids is pulling in over $1000 a day just on the red light cameras. Then they set up speed cameras on I-380 which might double that figure.

You're right anon, this is about revenue not safety.

Bawb said...

It's been almost 20 years ago, but I knew a CRPD officer through the military. He got called on the carpet for a verbal reprimand because he once went through an 8-hour graveyard shift without writing a ticket. He said he hadn't caught anyone doing anything illegal, but the captain said that was no excuse. Yup, all about safety.