Transportation Committee Report – week 4, 2017

SSB 1003 – Federal road funding swap
SSB 1019 –Automated traffic enforcement cameras


SSB 1003 would authorize the Iowa Transportation Commission to periodically allocate money from the Primary Road Fund for constructing, maintaining and establishing county and city roads in exchange for retaining all the federal dollars that would have been allocated to those projects. The Commission must consult with stakeholders, including regional planning affiliations, metropolitan planning organizations, Iowa State Association of Counties and League of Cities.

Annually, $150 million in federal aid flows to the Transportation Commission, which in turn allocates funds to cities and counties. Projects paid for with federal money have certain requirements that state and local money does, such as:

  • Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates
  • Buy American provisions mandating the use of American steel
  • Environmental impact studies

These requirements would no longer exist if this bill becomes law.
[2/1: 8-5 (party line)]


SSB 1019 prohibits the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) from placing, operating, maintaining or using an automated traffic law enforcement system. Under this proposal, a local authority may not operate an automatic traffic law enforcement system without the approval of the DOT, and the DOT must separately approve each request for a camera from a local authority. The DOT would only be able to  approve operation in a documented high-crash or high-risk location, and approval must be based on volume of traffic, history of motor vehicle accidents, frequency and types of accidents, risk to peace officers and “other safety criteria deemed appropriate by the department” set forth in rules.

The bill grandfathers in all automated traffic law enforcement systems operating prior to January 1, 2017. If a system discontinues operation, the local authority must comply with all new rules and DOT requirements. Permanent signs are required for a fixed system, and temporary or permanent signs are required for mobile systems. All signs must be posted in clear and present view of passing drivers.

A local authority or an entity on behalf of local authority must not issue a citation until a peace officer has reviewed the citation and relevant recorded images produced by the system, and fines must not exceed the amount of a scheduled violation in 805.8A, which is $80.

Under the bill, the system must be working correctly. A monthly log must detail a successful self-test and a weekly log must detail a calibration test. The bill also requires that money collected (minus installation, operation and maintenance) must be deposited in an account to be appropriated to the local authority’s secondary road fund or street construction fund.
[2/1: 12-1 (Danielson “no”)]