I don’t feel like I can be completely impartial on the subject of traffic cameras.
Quite frankly, I’m afraid of them every time I get on Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids, and I imagine the Marion commuters and just about every resident has experienced that fear.
But there’s a chance we will fear no more.
In a vote that fell mostly among party lines, Republicans have passed a ban of these types of cameras in the Iowa House, according to the Gazette.
But why have Republicans chosen to ban these revenue increasing devices?
"…People hate these things," said Representative Walt Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, according to the Gazette. He added that the data showing decreases in accidents from the cameras was "conflicting at best; at worst, it’s misleading."
Some of the 42 mostly Democrats that voted against the measure did so because they said they believed the data shows that traffic cameras make the roads safer.
Cindy Winckler, a Democrat, cited statistics that attributed a 42 percent downturn in accidents in intersections with cameras installed, in her hometown Davenport.
And that jives with statistics from Cedar Rapids.
In a previous Gazette story, former Cedar Rapids Police Chief Greg Graham claimed that statistics show that crashes in Cedar Rapids are down 22 percent and traffic cameras along Interstate 380 are down 76 percent.
Given the safety data and the Democratic majority in the Iowa Senate, the bill may never make it past the senate floor.
We may "hate" them, or fear them like a 6-year-old fears the darkness under his bed frame, but they might be good for us, like raspberry cough syrup.