Snap Judgment Chat with Chris Earl
 
11:23
Chris Earl: 
Chris Earl here - all week, we're been airing our series, "Snap Judgment" on KCRG-TV 9 News at 10. Lots of phone calls, lots of emails have followed -- yes, it is the subject that keeps giving... Come on in and talk.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:23 Chris Earl
11:25
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
2 quick points 1. MOTORCYLES AREN'T CITED BY THE PHOTO ENFORCEMENT BECAUSE THEY HAVE ONLY ONE LICENSE PLATE AND IT'S IN THE BACK OF THE BIKE. SINCE THE CAMERAS ARE SET TO RECORD ONLY FRONT VIEWS BIKES ARE NEVER MONITORED. 2. CITATIONS ARE NOT MADE A PART OF YOUR DRIVING RECORD AND ARE NOT REPORTED TO INS COMPANIES. THEREFORE A HABITUAL VIOLATOR WILL NOT LOSE THEIR LICENSE AND REMAIN A THREAT ON THE ROAD. DRIVERS MAY LEARN TO SLOW DOWN FOR THE PHOTO CAMERAS WHICH LOCATIONS ARE WELL PUBLICIZED BUT THEY'LL SPEED UP AFTER PASSING THEM, THUS DEFEATING THE PURPOSE OF THE CAMERAS.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:25 floyd
11:26
Chris Earl: 
Hi Floyd -- here is what I've seen on the citations we have seen at the station. Two photos, both from the back instead and not the front. I haven't seen any of the tickets from motorcycles, however.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:26 Chris Earl
11:27
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
ok, i thought they were only frontal
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:27 floyd
11:27
Chris Earl: 
(at least what I've seen) - you get a ticket with two images on it - a "close up" of the license plate and a wider shot of the vehicle going through the checkpoint - all from the back.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:27 Chris Earl
11:29
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
so that's why they say they ticket the car and not the driver,,,they can't see the driver
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:29 floyd
11:29
Chris Earl: 
Exactly. Treated the same as a "parking ticket". Just a $75 ticket... for most people.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:29 Chris Earl
11:30
Chris Earl: 
Well, if you see the cameras, notice the direction they are pointing -- from the back of the intersection, looking ahead.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:30 Chris Earl
11:31
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
weird, i could swear those cameras are frontal
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:31 floyd
11:31
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
i believe people should be fined if they're speeding...but the citationk should also go on their record...otherwise whats the purpose
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:31 floyd
11:31
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
i'm talking 380 cameras
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:31 floyd
11:31
Chris Earl: 
Yes, the 380 cameras point 'forward' - on the back of the highway/exit signs.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:31 Chris Earl
11:33
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
so that means they're frontal
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:33 floyd
11:33
Chris Earl: 
Some of the other larger questions I've received all week -- and I'll try and get to those throughout the hour.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:33 Chris Earl
11:34
Chris Earl: 
Where does the revenue go? Cedar Rapids Police Department general fund.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:34 Chris Earl
11:35
[Comment From jessejesse: ] 
as time goes by and everybody either avoids them or slows down then the camera company and the city are no longer making money what happens to the cameras?
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:35 jesse
11:36
[Comment From floydfloyd: ] 
ok, bye
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:36 floyd
11:36
Chris Earl: 
We also mentioned this on Sunday night on KCRG-TV9, within the story. Many people ask what the tolerance is. The police department won't say it but - in all the data we've gone through (40,000+ citations), no tickets for driving less than 67 on I-380. That's a 12-MPH tolerance.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:36 Chris Earl
11:36
[Comment From BrentBrent: ] 
By now most if not all local residents know where each camera is and watches out for them, the only people getting hurt now are travelers and people from out of town/state. I think that would make some people/company's start diverting routes and such..
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:36 Brent
11:37
Chris Earl: 
Jesse - thanks for checking in and being a part of this. What will happen to the cameras? Hmmm..hard to say. The police chief says they will keep it at 10 cameras and not add any further cameras.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:37 Chris Earl
11:38
Chris Earl: 
Brent - thanks for coming over here. I do know - through media and police getting the word out - people here in Eastern Iowa, I think, know they are in place. Especially now, a few months into the cams going live, the speed does seem to "clump" quite a bit on 380 now.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:38 Chris Earl
11:39
[Comment From jessejesse: ] 
but who pays for maintance, repair and replacement?
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:39 jesse
11:39
Chris Earl: 
Jesse - of the cameras? The city says GATSO, the camera company, handles all of those costs.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:39 Chris Earl
11:40
[Comment From jessejesse: ] 
but if they are not making money what's their incentive?
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:40 jesse
11:40
[Comment From nicknick: ] 
380 is 55 now since everyone is scared.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:40 nick
11:41
Chris Earl: 
GATSO does get, $30 from every ticket. So for a $75 ticket (about 84-85% of the tickets issued), it is a 45/30 city/company split.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:41 Chris Earl
11:41
[Comment From SandySandy: ] 
Hi, Chris,
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:41 Sandy
11:41
Chris Earl: 
Hi Sandy!
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:41 Chris Earl
11:41
[Comment From SandySandy: ] 
I'm thinking that we need signage that notifies the drivers that there are cameras
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:41 Sandy
11:42
Chris Earl: 
Sandy, the cameras do say 'PHOTO ENFORCED', on I-380. Not sure how much signage is at the cameras on city streets (1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, etc). The 380 ones I'm...very familiar with.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:42 Chris Earl
11:42
[Comment From BethBeth: ] 
Chris, thanks for hosting this chat and for the great pieces running this week. I was just curious, in watching the interviews of this week, it didn't seem to me that any violators took ownership for their driving. It seemed like they were angry for getting caught. Was there anyone that you interviewed sorry that they sped because they could have caused injury if their speed had cause a wreck, or were they only sorry for getting caught?
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:42 Beth
11:43
[Comment From BobBob: ] 
I'm sure you covered this, but I didn't see so I'll venture to ask now. How is this not violative of due process?
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:43 Bob
11:43
[Comment From SandySandy: ] 
I can understand the out of state person driving through, and how miffed they'd be
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:43 Sandy
11:44
Chris Earl: 
Hi Beth - I appreciate you coming on here with the kind words. To answer the 'remorse' question... I would say, no. Most people are just upset on getting caught. When we were in the police conference room for "Appeals Night" -- the people appealing were remorseful, although that may have been just from the need to try and contest the ticket.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:44 Chris Earl
11:44
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
Winter is coming people will slid through intersections. Also I heard rumors of people not clearing the snow off their plates so they dont get charged. I also think there should be a timeline, once it happens the ticket should be given to them within 5 business days
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:44 guest
11:45
Chris Earl: 
Hi Bob - thanks for writing in. The "due process" part is very sticky. One local attorney has a major problem with it in that: a) the tickets arrive 2-3 weeks after the incident and b) he says the city makes it difficult to contest it.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:45 Chris Earl
11:46
Chris Earl: 
Hi Sandy - just last month, a driver from Hawaii got a ticket -- making it now all 50 states that are "represented" in the CR traffic cameras. :)
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:46 Chris Earl
11:46
[Comment From JeanJean: ] 
I don't see how out of state people can be upset. You have to be going at least 12 mph over the speed limit. You are really breaking law. I can not believe how fast some people are going. One person was going 22 mph over on those curves by the hospital!
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:46 Jean
11:48
Chris Earl: 
To the kind guest: I will say this on the 'delay' between ticket and arriving in the mailbox. On "Appeals Night" at the CRPD, if a person got a citation on, say, July 18, July 24 and July 27 -- but the July 18 ticket arrived on August 5 -- the person responsible for dismissing citations was open to throwing out the second or third tickets -- as the driver may not have been aware about the July 18 violation.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:48 Chris Earl
11:48
[Comment From karinkarin: ] 
I think the cameras are a good thing to a point. People are only going to slow down near the camera locations. I drive Edgewood rd Near 42nd st every day to and from work and see people all the time slowing down to 20ish MPH and slamming on their brakes right at the intersection thinking it will turn red.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:48 karin
11:48
[Comment From MelissaMelissa: ] 
Man you guys really think that the tickets are not a good thing well it will teach everyone to not speed or drive fast becasue even in the winter time people should not be driving fast anyway I agree with all the traffic light camera
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:48 Melissa
11:49
Chris Earl: 
Hi Karin - I live right by 42nd & Edgewood - and see the intersection 6-10 times a day. It has slowed there quite a bit -- but to 20ish? I will say this...when I'm on 380, I usually drive 50-55 on 380 southbound at H Avenue, even though I know I could probably go up to 66 w/o getting caught.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:49 Chris Earl
11:49
[Comment From JessiJessi: ] 
I will admit the camera's have changed my speed habits but only near the cam sites. Once I am past them I speed up just like the majority of the people do. I do go much slower than I would have in the past not exceeding 60MPH through the curves.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:49 Jessi
11:50
Chris Earl: 
Hi Jessi - I actually think the PD wants this to be a "long term mentality" way of thinking. For now, keep it under 65 and you should be in the clear. Of course, the PD could change the tolerance at any time -- but I do not get the sense they will anytime soon.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:50 Chris Earl
11:50
[Comment From Lady BLady B: ] 
Hi, everyone. I use to hate driving in Cedar Rapids when I lived there. I no longer do. I felt like each time I drove, I was about to die! It was worse than a NASCAR race! It was dangerous all the weaving in and out of traffic, good drivers had no choice to speed when others were, and especially tailgating. Cedar Rapids was worse than Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock and other places I've driven! Since the cameras have been installed... I'm beyond impressed with how drivinng in Cedar Rapids has become less of a death race and more of an enjoyable drive.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:50 Lady B
11:52
Chris Earl: 
Hello Lady B - I will play a touch of advocate here on this. Last night, I was coming back from Coralville at about 5 pm, driving north on I-380 through Cedar Rapids. It was packed, with everyone driving 50-60 through the S. My concern would be for merging traffic with all of the exits -- but, the police have this to say as well: no deadly crashes on 380 in the S-Curve in 2010...
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:52 Chris Earl
11:52
[Comment From MattMatt: ] 
Is it possible at some point vehicles will be ticketed for going too slow? There have been many occassions on my way to work that I have not made it up to 45mph on I-380 in any of the 3 lanes and cars are so close together that you can't see the plate of the car behind you.
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:52 Matt
11:52
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
how many speeding tickets are the cops still writing? I'm hoping not so many that way they can handle other issues in CR
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:52 guest
11:52
[Comment From PaulPaul: ] 
I'm curious about individuals who may be driving a rental car. Who receives the citation, the rental company or the driver?
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:52 Paul
11:52
[Comment From MelissaMelissa: ] 
So were else are they going to be putting up the camera lights I think they need them in dubuque so that way people will slow down
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:52 Melissa
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