While many view Cedar Rapids’ automated traffic cameras as unforgiving “speed traps” that deprive citizens the chance to plead their case to a live ticket-writing officer, the program does not violate motorists’ due process rights, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court applied a “shocks the conscience” test, exploring whether the program was so egregious it is unconstitutional. It is not, the court found — at least based on the evidence in the case of Myron Dennis Behm et al v. the City of Cedar Rapids and its traffic camera vendor, Gatso USA.
“This case involves traffic citations with small fines, not the pumping of a resisting person’s stomach,” according to the 95-page opinion written by Justice Brent R. Appel. “There is no outrageous utilization of physical force; state-sponsored imposition of uncalled-for embarrassment or ridicule; or intolerable, disreputable, and underhanded tactics that may arise from government action deliberately designed to penetrate attorney-client privilege.”