Iowa judge: Case can proceed over traffic cameras

SIOUX CITY – A judge has ruled that Sioux City can proceed with a claim that state transportation officials should throw out new regulations on traffic cameras.

The ruling Wednesday by District Judge James Scott means city officials can move ahead on a claim that the state Department of Transportation violated its own rule-making procedures when it passed the regulations, the Sioux City Journal reported.

“Judge Scott’s ruling is kind of what we anticipated, and we do believe there is a claim that will go forward,” said assistant city attorney Justin Vondrak.

The agency has been pushing for the judge to dismiss the city’s petition over the guidelines, which require municipalities to submit traffic data to justify cameras along state roads. City officials say the rules, which went into effect in February, are unconstitutional.

Recently, Scott dismissed part of the city’s petition. He determined Sioux City had not exhausted all administrative remedies and that the guidelines had not harmed the city’s ability to enforce traffic laws.

“Probably our next step will be to file an answer to the remaining allegations in the petition,” said Richard Mull, assistant Iowa attorney general representing the agency.

The city said the agency violated its rule-making procedures by denying local officials the ability to speak at a transportation commission hearing in December. State officials argued the city is incorrectly labeling the meeting as a hearing. They added that a presentation from city officials when it wasn’t on the meeting agenda would have violated the state’s open meeting law.