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  1. #1
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    Default Davenport, IOWA - "No Need for Speed" program w/

    DAVENPORT -- A white Chevy Astro van parked on the side of major roads and permanent mounted speed cameras will be watching for lead-footed drivers starting Tuesday.

    The van and the cameras will be the first installment of the city's "No Need for Speed" program, which aims to reduce the number of speed-related accidents.

    "If we have the same reduction in speed-related accidents as we have in red-light accidents, I think everyone will be very appreciative," police Chief Mike Bladel said.

    Chief Bladel said the van can be moved around to high traffic areas, including residential and school areas. Someone from the police department will be inside the van using a laser and camera to nab speeders. The officer will not be pulling anyone over, but a ticket will be sent to the owner, just like with the mounted cameras.

    Permanent cameras will be at the intersections of Brady Street and Kimberly Road, and Harrison Street at 35th Street.

    Other sites for fixed cameras are planned for mid-block areas of the 2700 block of Brady Street, the 2900 block of Harrison Street and the 1300 block of East River Drive.

    Davenport is the first city in Iowa to use speed cameras, according to Jack Weaver of Redflex, the company that owns the cameras. The city paid nothing for the cameras, Chief Bladel said. Redflex will get a share of the finess and the city's share is earmarked for traffic safety purposes.

    For the first 90 days, the cameras will only be ticketing drivers going more than 12 mph over the posted speed limit. After that, tickets will be issued to drivers caught going 10 mph over the limit in residential areas and 8 mph over in school zones.

    The laser in the van and the posted cameras are accurate up to 1 mph over or under the speed of the vehicle, Mr. Weaver said.

    The speed cameras will work similarly to the cameras the city put at five major intersections to catch drivers who don't stop at red lights.

    As civil infractions, violations will not count against the car owner's driver's record or be reported to car insurance companies and can be challenged in district court.

    The speeding citations will show a close-up photo of the license plate, where the laser focused on the vehicle, and a full photo of the vehicle. Each infraction will be video-recorded, just like the red-light violations, so people can review the incident if they want to contest the ticket.

    Aldermen authorized the use of the speed cameras in August, one year after the police department began using red-light cameras.

    Chief Bladel said the red-light cameras are beginning to cut down on the number of accidents at the five intersections where they are posted, from an average of 26 a year to half that, police records show.

    Now, he hopes the same will be true for speed-related accidents.

    The intersections with red-light cameras are Harrison and 35th streets, Brady Street and Kimberly Road, Welcome Way and Kimberly Road, and Kimberly Road and Elmore Avenue. A camera now at the intersection of Division and 4th streets will be moved to Locust Street and Lincoln Avenue.

    All the red-light cameras will be upgraded to allow their use as speed cameras, too, according to the police department.

    While some may fear additional cameras peering down on drivers is another step toward a Big Brother-like society, Chief Bladel said the cameras aren't an invasion of privacy. The cameras won't be taking a photo of the driver and won't be used to spy on drivers.

    "You want an invasion of privacy? How about an officer knocking on your door at 2 in the morning saying your son or daughter was killed by a speeder or someone who ran a red light," he said. "All they have to do is obey the speed limit and not run a red light and this isn't an issue with them."

    Where the cameras are

    Where cameras will be watching in the next two months:

    - Brady Street at Kimberly Road, northbound

    - Harrison Street at 35th Street, southbound

    - 2700 block of Brady Street, northbound

    - 2900 block of Harrison Street, southbound

    - 1300 block of East River Drive, westbound

    - Two or more additional cameras could be added in the future

    What it will cost:

    - 1-7 mph: $5

    - 8-11 mph: $45

    - 12-20 mph: $65

    - 21-25 mph: $85

    - 26-30 mph: $95

    - 31-35 mph: $110

    - 36-40 mph: $125

    - Over 40 mph: $150

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  2. #2
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    Default

    Smile, you’re on speeding camera
    By Dustin Lemmon

    Beginning Tuesday, drivers in Davenport will be able to get a speeding ticket without being pulled over by a police officer.

    The city’s new automated speed enforcement will begin at noon that day as part of the police department’s No Need for Speed program. It will include a van that cruises the city on a daily basis and new speed tracking video cameras, much like the so-called red light cameras that have been in place for more than a year.

    To be fair to drivers, the police will put up signs warning them that a speed zone has been set up, and the van will be “fully marked,” Davenport Police Chief Mike Bladel said.

    “We’re giving (drivers) a full week’s notice,” he said. “It’s going to get the message out that we take speed enforcement seriously in the city of Davenport.”

    The van is provided at no cost to the city by Redflex, a company based in Arizona. The city will split with the company some of the fines resulting from the traffic citations, the chief said.

    Equipped with a speed detection laser and a camera, the van will be the first of its kind in either Iowa or Illinois, company spokesman Jack Weaver said. He said they have such vans in 73 jurisdictions in 15 states.

    Employees of the Davenport Police Department will staff the van and use the laser and camera in the back of it to photograph license plates and track vehicles’ speed.

    When a citation is issued, it will go to the owner of the vehicle since no one is being pulled over and the driver is not actually being identified, Bladel said. That is also why the citation will not go on the person’s driving record.

    He said the van will be used in residential areas and school zones for traffic safety education. Redflex also will be installing speed detection cameras at certain intersections to accompany the red light cameras that are already in place, the chief said.

    The first of the speed detection cameras will be in the 2700 block of northbound Brady Street, the 2900 block of southbound Harrison Street and 1300 block of East River Drive, westbound lanes. The city plans to add more cameras in the coming months, Bladel said.

    The company that operates the red light cameras is upgrading them to monitor speed as well. Starting Tuesday, the cameras at the intersections of Brady Street and Kimberly Road and Harrison and 35th streets also will track speeders, police said.

    Redflex will add two more speed cameras in the future at undetermined locations and to the other three red light cameras at the corners of Welcome Way and Kimberly Road, Elmore Avenue and Kimberly Road and Division and 4th streets. At some point, the camera at Division and 4th will be moved to Locust Street and Lincoln Avenue.

    Bladel said the fixed cameras and the mobile van will result in citations for anyone going 12 mph and more over the speed limit for the first 90 days. After that grace period ends, the leeway will go down to 10 mph and 8 mph in school zones.

    Speeding fines will be the same as they would be for a normal traffic stop, ranging from $45 for vehicles traveling eight to 11 mph over the speed limit, up to $150 for going 40 mph over the limit. The chief noted that police officers still can ticket someone for driving less than eight mph over the speed limit.

    Violators will receive a citation in the mail, which they can contest at the police department just as they can the red light violations. (The red light cameras have been in place since August 2004.)

    The citation will include a photo of the vehicle — taken from behind — the date and time of the offense, the location, the rate of speed, the amount due and the due date.

    Bladel stressed that the monitoring service is meant to slow down drivers and not an attempt to invade anyone’s privacy. He said the cameras are not used to peer into people’s automobiles.

    Those worried about getting a ticket can avoid one by following the traffic laws, he said.

    “All they have to do is follow the speed limit and obey the traffic signals and this isn’t an issue for them,” the chief added.

    Dustin Lemmon can be contacted at (563) 383-2493 or dlemmon@qctimes.com.

    SPOTS TO WATCH

    Initial fixed locations for speed detection cameras in Davenport:

    n The 2700 block of Brady Street

    n The 2900 block of Harrison Street

    n 1300 block of East River Drive, westbound lanes

    n Intersection of Brady Street and Kimberly Road

    n Intersection of Harrison and 35th streets

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  3. #3
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    Default

    Davenport doesn’t need more cameras
    By Ron Phillips, Bettendorf

    The City of Davenport has decided to become part of the “Big Brother” movement in the U.S. with it’s “No Need for Speed” program.

    Protection of society is the usual answer for cameras and has special merit when cameras are placed in high crime areas.

    Could there be a money-making reason for the city and the camera company’s partnership? Tell the citizens the guidelines used for such a union. Show the evidence for the need of cameras. Better yet, let the citizens decide this one at the polls.

    Bettendorf’s Riverdale Heights has an alternative to speed cameras. It’s a “speed indicator sign” that shows the driver’s speed as they approach the school. Interstate road construction

    projects also use such signs.

    Maybe it’s time for citizens to rebuke business and government for encroaching on our lives for our

    protection and security.
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  4. #4
    Yoda of Radar
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    Default




    Davenport fires up speed cameras
    By Dustin Lemmon

    Cars whizzed by on Davenport’s East 46th Street with some slowing down and others going well past the posted 25-mph speed limit. Those who did not bother to slow down or didn’t do so in time had their speeding violations recorded by John Lothrop, a community service specialist with the Davenport Police Department.

    Lothrop was operating the department’s new speed enforcement van near Lorton Avenue between Jersey Ridge Road and Elmore Avenue. East 46th Street was expanded only within the past year to connect with Elmore Avenue south of 53rd Street.

    Tuesday was the first day the van was used to catch those going more than 12 mph beyond the speed limit. The vehicle was supplied by an Arizona company that has a contract with the city for special equipment that will be used to nab speeders at fixed locations as well, including some of the intersections already sporting cameras that catch red light violations.

    After two hours of work, Lothrop said he had recorded about 15 violations on East 46th.

    “I had some going very, very fast,” he said, noting that some drivers were traveling 40 to 50 mph. “They think it’s wide-open.”

    Lothrop said police chose East 46th Street for the first day of the enforcement program because it is a relatively new street where they have had some complaints about speeding. The lower traffic volume on the two-lane road also helped him get adjusted to working the equipment that makes up the specialized system.

    The van has a speed-detection laser like those that officers use in their patrol cars and a camera to record any speed limit violations. Lothrop said they are easy to use.

    He sat in the back of the van Tuesday and had the camera and laser facing out toward the road to catch vehicles as they passed by. The camera records the license plate and citations are then mailed to the

    vehicle’s owner.

    Davenport Police Chief Mike Bladel noted Tuesday that the van is marked with decals and that speed zone warning signs were placed outside, several yards ahead of it. The speeding vehicles were not picked up by the camera until after passing the van.

    The speed-detection laser can catch vehicles from several hundred yards away, Lothrop said, but his vision and the camera’s ability to “read” the license plates limits the distance for tracking speeds to 150-500 feet.

    Lothrop said most of the drivers did their best to slow down after seeing warning signs about the enforcement effort Tuesday, but some were going so fast that they still were over the limit after hitting their brakes.

    “They better be slowing down,” he said. “There is a sign down there saying to slow down.”

    Bladel said he was not certain whether any of the speed cameras at the five fixed locations were operational as of Tuesday, adding, “I don’t know if they’re all linked up to the computer yet or not.”

    The chief said the fixed cameras and the one in the mobile van will result in citations for anyone going 12 mph and more over the speed limit for the first 90 days. After that grace period ends, the leeway will go down to 10 mph and 8 mph in school zones.

    Speeding fines will be the same as they would be for a normal traffic stop, ranging from $45 for vehicles traveling 8 to 11 mph over the speed limit, up to $150 for anyone going 40 mph over the limit.

    Lothrop said the department hopes to have the van out at different locations every day.

    Dustin Lemmon can be contacted at

    (563) 383-2493 or dlemmon@qctimes.com.

    [/img]http://www.qctimes.net/content/articles/2006/01/18/news/local/doc43cdd766a55ea0437862251_thumb.jpg[/img]

    John Schultz/QUAD-CITY TIMES Special cameras mounted atop poles at the intersections of Kimberly Road and Brady Street and Kimberly and Welcome Way in Davenport have been upgraded to catch speeders passing through the intersections as well as red light violations. The city began its new program to crack down on speeding at various corners and other locations Tuesday.
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