Sioux City Police work to address growing speed issue

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Sioux City Police said traffic safety continues to be a top priority and a top concern for residents.

Sgt. Jeremy McClure with the Sioux City Police Department tells KCAU that speed is a frequent contributor to many accidents the department investigates.

He adds speed cameras have proven to be successful in areas that have a hight rate of accidents.

“We conducted a three year study between 2015 and 2018 looking at all the traffic accidents and where they occurred and which intersections had the highest rates of traffic accidents,” McClure said.

He adds that in 2018, three intersections accounted for 60% of the traffic accidents reported to the department. 19th & Hamilton made up 18% of traffic accidents.

In 2018, McClure said there were more than one thousand vehicle related accidents in Sioux City.

The department shared proposals to address the issue with city council members on Monday. They said they want to hear from residents before making any decisions.

“In my experience, I’ve seen them do more harm than good. You’ll see people kind of hesitate once the light turns yellow just knowing that that camera is there, they won’t start their stop immediately like they should. They’ll just kind of hesitate knowing they might get a ticket and I’ve seen people kind of blow through intersections, too, just kind of knowing they’re there they’ll kind of speed up when the light turns yellow,” resident Jacob Stiverson said.

“The plus is people will slow down. If they just have the lights that tell you how fast you’re going, I think a lot of people slow down just for those and if that makes a difference then I think that’s enough. As far as a lot of fines, I don’t know if that helps or not,” resident Randy Newlon said.

McClure said not only are there a significant amount of accidents, but many are injury accidents.

“Over the years, the use of these traffic cameras at these intersections have reduced accidents at these intersections and so we’d like to continue that success and look at other places we can employ them,” McClure added.

He said speeders caught on camera are issued a civil infraction and adds those fines relieve some of the tax burdens on the community and help improve roads and emergency services.

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