Economy

$75 Speeding Ticket Headed To The Iowa Supreme Court

$75 Speeding Ticket Headed To The Iowa Supreme Court”

Opponents of automated traffic enforcement may view such cameras as "unduly intrusive, unfair and simply amounting to sophisticated speed traps created to raise funds for cash-strapped municipalities by ensnaring unsuspected auto owners in a municipal bureaucracy under the circumstances where most busy people find it preferable to shut up and pay rather than to scream and to fight", Leaf's attorney, James Larew, told the justices on Wednesday.

The Iowa Supreme Court has taken the unusual move of hearing a small claims case stemming from a speeding ticket.

The court Wednesday heard a case brought by 67-year-old Marla Leaf, who argued her constitutional rights were violated after an automated camera ticketed her for speeding on a freeway in her hometown of Cedar Rapids. It was her first speeding ticket, and Leaf says she wasn't speeding. Leaf claims there's no way she's was going 68. The alleged infraction was captured on automated cameras hanging over the road.

It remains to be seen if the justices will be swayed by her arguments but the Iowa Department of Transportation has previously called for the removal of almost one third of speed cameras on "primary highways and interstates" because they didn't improve safety. The cases heard today were assigned to the Iowa Court of Appeals previous year and in February the court ruled in favor of the city. The case is even more rare because small claims cases hardly ever make it all the way to a state's highest court.

One of their arguments is based on the fact that semitrailers and government vehicles are not ticketed by the automated Cedar Rapids interstate cameras. According to court documents, Gatso receives $25 per citation.

Patricia Kropf, an attorney for the city, contends that doesn't matter. Larew alleges that denies people of their right under state law to appeal directly to a magistrate or district court judge.

Larew said the case also raises fundamental questions about whether the city can impose fines on people driving on a federal interstate highway. Leaf contested the ticket and after almost two and a half years the case has made it all the way to the state's highest court.

Across the state of Iowa, many of these camera have already been shut off or taken down.



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