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Webster City installed new speed cameras at four locations late last year. After a 30-day warning period, the cameras began issuing citations on Nov. 17, 2023.

Two of these traffic cameras were placed on rural Highway 20. We asked the city how many accidents occurred at the location of the cameras from January of 2020 until the cameras were put in place.

The answer? Zero.

The cameras were placed on Highway 20 east of the Highway 17/Superior Street interchange as well as on Highway 17/Superior Street near Millard’s Lane.

According to a release from the city, only vehicles traveling in excess of 11 miles an hour over the speed limit will receive a violation notice. The tickets are not reported to the vehicle owner’s insurance company or reported against their driver’s license. Violation penalties begin at $105 and increase based on the severity of the offense.

During the warning period, which covered Oct. 18-Nov. 16, a whopping 7,015 warnings were issued. The fastest speeds recorded were:

101 miles an hour at Briggs Road and Millards Lane (northbound)
109 miles an hour at Briggs Road and Millards Lane (southbound)
109 miles an hour at US HWY 20 near Rte. 17 (eastbound)
113 miles an hour at US HWY 20 near Rte. 17 (westbound)

In total, 10,109 citations have been issued from the four cameras since Nov. 17.

There have been:

4,306 citations on US HWY 20 (eastbound)
3,681 citations on US HWY 20 (westbound)
1,768 citations on Briggs Wood Rd at Millards Lane (southbound)
354 citations on Briggs Woods Rd at Millards Lane (northbound)

As of Jan. 21, 9,479 of those citations have been issued, totaling a whopping $1,021,280. The city has collected payment for 4,136 of the citations, resulting in $444,680. The city’s portion is $299,920 while the rest of the $144,760 goes elsewhere.

In November of 2022, a memo was sent to the mayor and city council from former city manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez and police chief Shiloh Mork. The memo stated that deployment of automated traffic enforcement cameras is intended to “augment a community’s police department’s traffic enforcement resources in order to reduce speed-related collisions.”

“Such systems are meant to enhance safety and seek to alter driver’s behaviors that are attributed to crashes,” the memo stated.

As previously stated in this story, Webster City officials told The Iowa Standard not a single crash had happened on Highway 20 where the traffic cameras were installed since January of 2020.

According to the presentation by Sensys Gatso Group at a Dec. 19, 2023 council meeting, programs in Iowa by SGG had issued 1,760,312 citations in the state with more than 60 systems installed.

That same presentation said there had been 573 crashes in Webster City since January of 2017 resulting in 233 injuries and one death — according to the Iowa DOT. However, none of those crashes since January of 2020 took place where the cameras are located on Highway 20.

The same presentation noted fees are generally $35-$40 per paid violation based on enforcement solution(s) and the size of a program.

Author: Jacob Hall


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