Waterloo, Iowa: Expanded traffic camera plan clears first hurdle

The city is poised to make it more difficult for speeding motorists to avoid automated traffic tickets.

Waterloo City Council members voted unanimously Monday to approve the first reading of an ordinance allowing more cameras to issue speeding citations.

The measure still faces two more readings before it is officially adopted.

“This will simply allow us to enforce speed violations through our red light cameras,” Police Chief Dan Trelka. “… I’m quite surprised at the speed some people are driving in our city.”

Police have been using hand-held cameras and a specially equipped Jeep to issue citations to the owners of vehicles caught speeding. In November, cameras were set up at 13 intersections to catch vehicles running red lights.

While the red light cameras also measure vehicle speeds, the city’s current ordinance doesn’t allow them to issue and mail citations to vehicle owners.

There was no opposition to the ordinance change during the council meetings, although residents did question how much leeway was given on speeding violations and how the city was using the fine revenue automated enforcement generates.