Traffic cameras make Cedar Rapids safer

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Dick Trotter, guest columnist

I’m not sure who irritates me more; Gary Hughes of Marion or Sen. Brad Zaun of Urbandale. They both are great cheerleaders for those that speed, breaking the law and subject to a hefty fine.

In early January, Zaun told Cedar Rapids City Manager Jeff Pomeranz and Mayor Ron Corbett that “the train is going down the tracks,” indicating that he has the votes to ban the cameras. Gary Hughes, in his second Guest Column in The Gazette (March 3), cites myriad statistical facts that support those who break the laws by speeding on I380 through our city.

What is most appalling is neither of the “lobbyist” for the lawbreakers made mention of The Gazette headline on Jan. 3 which stated “Iowa traffic deaths soar to at least 400.” What is it that they don’t understand about the fact that “speed kills”?

Neither Gary Hughes or Sen. Brad Zaun can tell me that traffic doesn’t slow to 60 miles-per-hour when entering the city from the north or south. Needless to say my wife and I are not happy with their attempt to ban safety cameras. We have traveled on I380 without the safety devices when cars were going 70, 75 and 80 miles-per-hour. This can be frightening when you are involved in rush hour traffic. Today, with cameras, traffic is slowed to a much safer speed, eliminating fatalities.

How Hughes, Sen. Zaun and other elected officials can ignore the facts of improved highway safety presented by local police and the Iowa State Patrol is mind boggling. They would have those of us who drive and obey the speed limits in Cedar Rapids, Muscatine, Des Moines, Davenport and Sioux City take a “back seat” to those who break the law. Give me a break.

I really have no sympathy for those ticketed for speeding and receive a hefty fine for their wrongdoing. They are breaking the law and putting those of us abiding by the law at risk. Today, we are much safer driving I380 in Cedar Rapids than we were before the installation of safety cameras.

My hope is that safety-minded residents will let their legislators know that we intend to de-rail Zaun’s train.

• Dick Trotter is a retired coach and teacher living in Cedar Rapids.

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