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Traffic Ticket Challenge Reaches Iowa Supreme Court

Posted Friday, September 29, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

A dispute over a $75 speeding ticket has climbed through the levels of Iowa’s court system, reaching the lofty heights of the Iowa Supreme Court for oral arguments.

Ms Marla Leaf received a speeding ticket when a traffic camera allegedly caught her driving 68 mph in a 55-mph zone in Cedar Rapids. Although not the typical case for a state’s high court, Leaf argued that her constitutional rights and state law were violated because the City of Cedar Rapids delegated police powers to the private company that maintains the speed cameras.

Her attorney argued to justices that such cameras are “unduly intrusive, unfair and simply amounting to sophisticated speed traps designed to raise funds for cash-strapped municipalities by ensnaring unsuspected car owners in a municipal bureaucracy under the circumstances where most busy people find it preferable to shut up and pay rather than to scream and to fight.”

Leaf further argues that it is unlawful to give the authority to assess speeding — something it says is police work — to the private camera company, Gatso. Also, the cameras don’t issue tickets to semitrailers and government vehicles, calling the discrepancy arbitrary and a violation of equal protection.

The Court is expected to issue a decision in a couple of weeks.

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