Speed cameras in LeClaire went live Jan. 5, with warnings going out the first two months and then actual citations being issued March 5, Police Chief Shane Themas said in a news release issued last week.
“Our number one goal is to reduce speed in high-risk spans of roadway within our city limits and ultimately decrease the number of vehicular accidents caused by excessive speed,” Themas said.
Themas added that he understood that Automated Traffic Enforcement cameras were not often embraced by the public, but, “we hope our residents and visitors understand that their safety is our top priority.”
There are two enforcement zones, with one along Interstate 80 just before the I-80 bridge and the other in the 2300 block of South Cody Road (U.S. 67). Signage has been posted in both locations.
The city also has a mobile camera that can be used in other areas of the city that have speed-related concerns.
The cameras will pick up speeders from both directions of travel.
By a vote of 3-1, the LeClaire City Council in October approved a five-year contract with Sensys Gatso USA Inc. for the installation of the new speed services.
Themas said the city would have no financial investment in the system. Instead, it will receive a portion of the fines.
According to the agreement, for the first three years LeClaire will pay Sensys Gatso a fee of $35 or 35%, whichever is larger, from every citation collected. The fee will reduce to $32 or 32% of total citation fees collected (whichever is greater) in subsequent years.
Themas said that in the past 10 years there had been 334 crashes on I-80 and U.S. 67 just within LeClaire’s city limits. Those crashes involved 552 vehicles, and caused three deaths and more than 115 injuries.
“Unfortunately, just one accident, one injury or one life lost is too many, so if this program can reduce these numbers by half, or save even one life, we believe it’s worth it,” Themas said.
Themas added that the technology had been proven in other cities to reduce speed-related crashes and improve traffic safety.
“We are confident it will do the same for our citizens and roadways,” he said.