Davenport ponders traffic camera changes

Ann McGlynn | Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 12:05 am | Loading…
Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font size One of the cameras at the intersection of Kimberly and Welcome Way keeps and eye in the sky on traffic. The red-light camera at Kimberly Road and Welcome Way is working again.

The speed and red light camera system that capture the illegal driving moves of Davenport drivers may undergo some changes, officials said.
City leaders are considering proposals to add two new red light cameras, hire a collections agency to handle offenders who do not pay up and allow mobile cameras operated from vans to take pictures of the front of vehicles in certain instances.
An additional proposal would use some of the proceeds from tickets to pay for electronic signs that tell drivers how fast they are going in 20 school zones in the city, said Lt. Mike Venema of the Davenport Police Department. Each of the signs cost $16,000.
The cameras, which were turned on at the beginning of the year after a lengthy legal battle, are running smoothly, Venema said.
"They keep us very busy," he said. "Nobody likes having to pay the fine. It does help modify driver behavior, and that's what we're looking for."
The two new spots up for consideration for red light cameras are at the corners of Locust and Brady streets and Locust and Harrison streets. In the past two years, there have been 11 accidents related to red light running at those intersections, said Gary Statz, traffic engineer.
The intersections have some of the highest instances of such crashes in the city, a statistic that officials think could be helped with the higher awareness prompted by cameras, Statz said.
Handing overdue tickets over to a collections agency would mean city officials wouldn't have to file small claims actions in court to get paid for fines, Venema said. It would avoid the substantial cost and time required to do so, as well as avoiding clogging the court with small claims requests.
The Davenport City Council will consider that measure in upcoming meetings.
Also, the city is set to expand its use of cameras in mobile vans by again filling positions once held by civilians. Police officers have been running the cameras. The civilian employees will cost less to hire, allowing officials to run both vans for two shifts, Venema said.
The vans also may start taking pictures of the front of cars in certain instances, Venema said, noting that the vans must make illegal maneuvers in order to get into proper position in some cases. The vendor will block out the portion of the photo showing the occupants of the car in order to address privacy concerns, he said.

Posted in Local on Friday, July 3, 2009 12:05 am Updated: 9:43 am. | Tags: Traffic Cameras, Red Light Cameras, Mike Venema, Gary Statz