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DSM traffic cameras increase violations

In July alone, speed and red light cameras accounted for 2,489 tickets issued in Des Moines.

Tickets cost $65 for a red light violation. Speeding fines start at $65 and increase based on miles per hour traveled over the posted limit.

Des Moines began installing the new traffic cameras on June 3. The project was completed with the mobile speed camera, which monitors eastbound traffic on Interstate 235 between 56th Street and Polk Avenue.

Sgt. Christopher Scott says the cameras are more effective than having officers on patrol.

“We simply don’t have enough man power,” he said. “These cameras monitor traffic 24 hours a day. They have the potential to capture every violation whereas an officer may only observe five or six a shift.”

Cameras are located at 15th Street and Maple Avenue; 19th Street and University Avenue; 9th Street and Grand Avenue; Southeast Fifth Street and Army Post Road; Martin Luther King Drive and School Street; and on Interstate 235.

The new cameras will increase violation revenues for Des Moines. However, police say the ultimate goal is to encourage people to drive safely and to reduce accident rates.

“It’s still too early to tell,” Scott said. “Right now we can only access our stats from month to month. It will probably take six to seven months before we start to see any trends and a year before we get a full report from the Iowa Department of Transportation.”

Car owners need to be cautious about who they lend their car to. Violations caught on camera will result in a ticket being issued to the car’s owner. The owner of the car is ultimately responsible for paying any fines and could have his or her driving record affected.

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