8/14/2015Iowa Towns Ignore South Dakota Camera Law
Several Iowa towns ignore South Dakota law and use unofficial sources to issue speed camera tickets to South Dakotans.
Cities in Iowa are stretching the rules of evidence to issue tickets to residents of South Dakota. Last year, lawmakers in South Dakota prohibited the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from releasing driver's license information to any city looking to issue an automated ticket (view law). Cutting off access to this information has not stopped a few Iowa cities from issuing red light camera and speed camera tickets to South Dakotans.
Sioux City, Iowa police Lieutenant Kevin Heineman confirmed to TheNewspaper that Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia has issued 2640 photo tickets to South Dakota residents since the beginning of the year. Cedar Rapids says its camera vendor has issued two tickets to vehicles registered in South Dakota. Davenport's camera vendor issued nine citations. Muscatine refused to provide the number of tickets, claiming it would require an "in depth" search.
"We would still issue a violation notice," Muscatine assistant police chief Phil Sargent told TheNewspaper.
A top aide to South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) says the law he helped craft has protected South Dakota residents.
"It's clear from the data that the law has been effective," Matt Konenkamp told TheNewspaper. "Red light camera companies accessed our motor vehicle data more than 10,000 times the year before the law was enacted. Twenty four hours after the law became effective we blocked 100 percent of those companies' queries of our system, and reduced those queries to zero. We also feel that the passage of the law was a clear statement of the state's concerns about the cameras on Interstate 29."
While the law has blocked legitimate access to the registration information of South Dakota residents, some cities are willing to bend the rules to issue citations using alternate methods. Other cities have chosen to respect South Dakota's law and are taking a wait-and-see attitude. These jurisdictions are hesitant to issue citations without the cooperation of the South Dakota DMV, the official source for vehicle registration information, as it is uncertain whether such tickets would hold up in court or would be deemed inadmissible hearsay.
"We're not issuing South Dakota residents violations right now," Council Bluffs, Iowa police Sergeant Jason Bailey said. "We are waiting for Sioux City to see how things go with them."