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Cedar Rapids turns on the red light cameras

Authorities in Iowa’s second largest city have activated the first of more than 20 red light and speed cameras, but drivers who are caught on camera breaking traffic laws won’t have to pay a fine just yet. Instead, for the next 30 days, Cedar Rapids drivers who break the law will receive a warning.

However, in mid-March, motorists who are caught running red lights or speeding could receive a citation in the mail and pay fines of up to $100. The cameras are expected to generate about $750,000 a year but Cedar Rapids Police insists it’s not about money.

Sergeant Cristy Hamblin says the cameras will help prevent accidents and injuries. “We have found — not just here in Cedar Rapids, but nationwide — that angle crashes…90-degree or 45-degree angle crashes produce the most injuries,” Hamblin said. All of the cameras in Cedar Rapids will be active by this summer.

“We’ve got 10 different locations selected, not just for red light camera violations, but also for speed enforcement as well,” Hamblin said. The cameras in Cedar Rapids will be clearly marked with signs to notify drivers where they are located. In Iowa, red light cameras are also active in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Clive and Davenport.