Even as a lawyer who practices in the area of personal injury law, I love those speed cameras on I-235, I really do. If Des Moines could put me out of business representing accident victims on I-235 I would be happy. Our office is in West Des Moines and the Polk County Courthouse is in Des Moines. We travel both east and west along this very busy Waveland Golf Course corridor which gives us firsthand knowledge of what goes on in both directions. I have been making this drive since about 1982 so maybe I even qualify as an expert. Before the cameras were installed it was not unusual to see cars speeding at over 70 mph and weaving in and out of traffic. That sort of bad driving behavior encouraged others to do the same which made my trip to the courthouse seem like a life-or-death experience. After the cameras were installed the drive became safer than I have ever experienced. As you can tell I’m in favor of speed cameras on I-235. And I think the DOT is nutty.
I am trying to understand the DOT’s position. Is it that the City of Des Moines should stop making so many people obey the law? The DOT is saying we are unfairly picking on out-of-towners (probably rural folks coming to Des Moines) and making them do what in-towners have to do, which is drive the speed limit. Or is the DOT position that making people obey the law is just unfair? Will we folks who live in central Iowa receive "Get Out of Jail Free" cards for traveling in rural Iowa? This Iowa is becoming a strange place to live and work.
But now the Iowa DOT has told the City of Des Moines to stop making so many people obey the law. [I think they did the same thing in Cedar Rapids.] The DOT is saying we are unfairly picking on out-of-towners (probably rural folks coming to Des Moines) and making them do what in-towners have to do, which is to drive the speed limit. The DOT seems to be saying if the City of Des Moines would make fewer people obey the law the DOT would be okay with the speed cameras. Why is the DOT pandering to rural Iowa? Is this a political stunt being driven by someone else in the Executive Branch? Is someone using the DOT as its own political arm?
Have you ever felt like you are from another planet? This Iowa is becoming a strange place to live and work.
Des Moines appeals DOT order to remove I-235 speed camera
The City of Des Moines has appealed the Iowa Department of Transportation's order to remove the speed camera on Interstate 235 near Waveland Golf Course by Friday, claiming the DOT didn't have the authority to issue the demand.
DOT had ordered the city to shut down the camera because it appeared to have no significant effect on safety on the freeway while the city issued 36,202 citations in 2012 and 42,156 in 2013, which the state considered "extremely high numbers."
The DOT contended the city was picking on travelers from outside the area, who would not be as familiar with the camera as locals. City attorneys Carol Moser and Thomas Fisher, in a letter to the state Thursday, said non-local drivers have the same obligation to obey speed laws as others.
They said DOT's order is "without factual basis or legal authority. They asked DOT to reverse its decision or delay the shut down while the city continues its appeals. Read a previous article on Business Record.com.