Council to consider Redflex traffic camera system
By Lynn Zerschling Journal staff writer

Under a proposal to be presented to the City Council Monday, red-light violation cameras would be installed at 11 Sioux City intersections.

City staff and personnel from Reflex Traffic Systems Inc. propose the cameras be installed at:

-- Interstate 29 and Singing Hills Boulevard, for eastbound traffic

-- Gordon Drive and South Palmetto Street, westbound

-- Outer Drive and Cheyenne Boulevard, westbound and southbound

-- U.S. Highway 75 and Sixth Street, southbound

-- South Lakeport Street and Sergeant Road: northbound, eastbound and westbound

-- Gordon Drive and Fairmount Street, westbound

-- Gordon Drive and Pierce Street, southbound

-- Fifth and Court streets, eastbound

"We will be asked to approve a development agreement and a contract with Redflex and agree to the locations," Mayor Craig Berenstein said Friday during his morning press conference.

The contract calls for use of the cameras at up to 25 intersections. The placement will be agreed upon by the city and Redflex.

The mayor predicted the lawmakers will want to discuss the locations and placing them at others instead of or in addition to the ones proposed.

Redflex Systems, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., will not charge the city to install, operate and maintain the technology.

Instead, Berenstein said, "It is my understanding they get a percentage of the fines, but we'll ask those questions on Monday."

According to the proposed contract, the city would pay Redflex $2,500 a month per intersection approach, plus $17.50 for each paid citation. However, the amount paid won't exceed the amount of fines received in any given month.

Starting on July 1, 2007, the total fee will increase by the percentage increase based on the Consumer Price Index over the previous year.

When asked about the constitutionality of installing the system on street lights given court action in other cities, Berenstein, an attorney, answered, "We did an analysis of that. ...We believe this camera system is different than in other states where such systems have been installed and should withstand any constitutional challenge."

In addition, Redflex would agree to help the city in educating the public about the project including the development of artwork for inserts in the monthly utility bills, press releases and schedules for any public launch of the Redlight Photo Enforcement Program. Actual print and production costs will remain the city's responsibility. Redflex will pay to install signs, but the city will pay to produce them.

The city also will be required to name a police project manager.

Berenstein emphasized the goal is not to stuff city coffers with the fine money, but, rather, to improve traffic safety by encouraging people to voluntarily obey the signal lights.

In March, the council authorized City Manager Paul Eckert to negotiate a contract with Redflex and amend city code to authorize the use of those red-light cameras.

Lynn Zerschling may be reached at (712) 293-4202 or