Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JULY 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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I am greatly concerned that Clive and other Iowa cities are halting and eliminating a valuable highway-safety program. For families who have lost a loved one in auto accidents, and you are many, as governor, I will VETO any legislation to ban Red-Light-Runner Monitoring Cameras in Iowa.

The right to run red lights is not enumerated in the either the Constitution of Iowa or the United States, and running red lights ends and damages lives across the state. In fact, in 2008 the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that red-light-monitoring programs to protect the public were constitutional.

And running red lights results in nearly a THIRD of all fatal and major injury crashes in the state.

We as a people cannot walk away from a key tool to reduce this carnage. A recent study of Iowa highway accidents by Dr. Shauna Hallmark of Iowa State University and director of the Midwest Transportation Consortium had some startling findings. It indicated that 24.5 percent of Iowa’s crashes and 31.7 percent of fatal and major injury crashes at signalized intersections were due to red light running from 2001-2006.

Red light running can be particularly dangerous because many of this kind of accident are at right-angle. This leads to “T-Bone” auto crashes where the crash punches directly into the driver and passenger compartment. Both you and I do not want our spouses, children, or family members subject to such a tragedy.

When I was director of a national transportation think-tank, I spent nearly two years studying highway fatalities, how they are caused, and how to prevent them. I wrote a book on the topic, and part of the findings in the book is now incorporated into U.S. law.

During that time, I developed a real empathy for those that have been hurt and killed. When we take a valuable and constitutional tool such as red-light-monitoring cameras away from law enforcement, we in effect say, this area of law enforcement is not so important.

But life-for-life, the 120 Iowans killed in 2011 by red light runners is nearly three times the 46 murders that occurred in 2011.

I would say that red-light enforcement is pretty important; wouldn’t you?

Bob Krause
Krause for Iowa’s Future Exploratory Committee for Governor

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