I have a long history of animosity towards speed cameras.

I've long felt that these cameras are unconstitutional, in that there's no way to determine who's driving. There's no accuser for you to face in court. These cameras have nothing to do with safety. They're only designed to generate cash.

Fast forward a little bit, I received one of these tickets from Cedar Rapids a couple years ago. My normal response is to crumple these notices up and not pay them. Well, the powers that be didn't like that and they took their money out of my taxes. I wasn't too happy with that.

The other day I came home and found this huge bundle in the mail. It's detailing a class action lawsuit against the city of Cedar Rapids and it's all about their speed camera on I-380.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Turns out the lawsuit is contesting 221,000 notices for unpaid camera tickets dating back as far as 2010. Cedar Rapids had approved a notice initiative this last fall as a way to collect the $17.3 MILLION in unpaid tickets.

In walks Simon Conway, who decided that it was wrong for the city to do this to drivers. He decided that it's by time to take them to court. His lawsuit says that the notices sent exceed the statute of limitations, which Iowa Code "states that actions to enforce the payment of a penalty or forfeiture arising under an ordinance must be brought within one year."

Conway and his co-plaintiffs also state about the late fee stating "Iowa law prohibits the retroactive imposition of any tax" and that this would be considered a "property tax which was not in effect at the time that alleged violation occurred."

His lawyer went on to say, “Our clients believe that the city’s Christmas Eve collection notices sent to more than 200,000 vehicle owners — most of them residents from other cities and states, none of them owners of semi-trucks — demonstrate too much interest in collecting revenues and too little interest in assuring the fair treatment of all citizens under our state’s laws and constitution."

The state decided to settle with Conway for over $3 Million. That means there are hundreds of thousands of people that will get at least $65 back.


Listen to our full interview with Simon here:


Read more at The Gazette.

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