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IC Council Votes To Ban Red Light Cameras, Repealing Original Vote

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Red light cameras in Iowa City will just have to wait, but don’t tell that to bicyclist Jim Walters.

“All the city has to do is get somebody to bring them in, put them up. The city makes money. It costs us nothing. Traffic slows down. Streets are safer. Win. Win. Win,” Jim said.

After months of debate more than a year ago, the city voted in February 2012 to move forward with red light cameras.

But with the petitions surrounding it and uncertainty on the state level, Mayor Matt Hayek said it’s not worth the fight when the decision is best left to a future council.

“Why go through all of that when anything we might do, even if it prevailed before the public, would be subject to what the Department of Transportation says can and can’t happen?” Mayor Hayek said.

“You know, it just feels too much like big brother,” resident Bryson Dean said.

Folks like Bryson, who believe the cameras infringe on civil liberties, were more than pleased that the council was repealing its original decision.

“Hallelujah! I just am not for cameras,” she said.

Students like Eric Bailey said something needs to be done at the intersections.

“Oh, they’re incredibly dangerous,” Eric said.

But he said cameras weren’t the answer in the first place.

“I think there could be a better way to do it just with the stoplights and how they change from red to yellow and the timing of those two,” he said.

Still, Walters will keep fighting to bring the camera idea back, so he can ride easy through the city.

“Slowing people down, fewer accidents. What’s to lose?” he said.

The city council voted 7-0 to ban the cameras, along with drones and other similar technology. This was the first reading. They will make a final vote on June 18.

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