Rather than allow residents of Iowa City, Iowa to decide whether to impose a permanent ban on red light cameras, speed cameras and drones, the city council unanimously decided Tuesday to exercise the option of directly adopting the proposed initiative with some modification. This marks the first time that a city council with a strong pro-camera majority has repealed an automated ticketing ordinance in response to a public petition.
Four of the council members spoke in favor of cameras Tuesday, and only one was strongly against them (another, Michelle Payne, only opposed the staff's attempt at justifying camera use). These supporters made it clear they considered adopting the initiative as a temporary moratorium rather than a permanent ban.
"Because of what's happening at the state level, we're not in a position to put up red light cameras until the state department of transportation makes some rulings on where they can be used, how they can be used, et cetera," Councilman Susan Mims, a major red light camera backer, said. "From what we heard from staff, we don't expect anything on the state for at least a few years, so we're not going to do anything until that happens."