SIOUX CITY | A bill that would make it harder for Iowa law enforcement officials to collect fines from South Dakota residents ticketed by Iowa traffic cameras advanced another step Tuesday.
The bill moved from the state Senate to the House, one step closer to the desk of Gov. Dennis Daugaard. The House will soon take up the measure, which Daugaard supports, since it includes an amendment he sought.
The measure seeks to block the collection in South Dakota of civil fines arising from speeding or red light cameras in other states. Daugaard's change specifies that information about South Dakota drivers, which is available to Iowa law enforcement officials through mutual aid agreements, cannot be shared for the collection of civil fines that result from traffic camera tickets.
Many southeast South Dakota residents routinely travel into Sioux City for jobs and shopping. Sioux City has two speed cameras along Interstate 29 and nine red-light cameras at intersections.
Matt Konenkamp, the governor's policy adviser, last week told the Journal the governor has strong concerns about how Iowa issues tickets and collects fines.
State Sen. Dan Lederman, R-Dakota Dunes, the main sponsor of the Senate version of the bill and a Sioux City business owner, said a major problem with traffic camera tickets is that they are mailed to the owner of the vehicle captured by the camera, not necessarily the driver allegedly caught speeding.
"For over 200 years in America, a person was innocent until proven guilty, but today in Sioux City a citizen is guilty until they prove otherwise. That is abhorrent," Lederman said Tuesday.
Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young said South Dakota legislators don't need to get involved in fines issued to people who break traffic laws in Iowa.
"They are saying, 'Go into Iowa, go as fast as you want and we'll protect you,'" Young said last week.
The Legislature has also sent Daugaard a measure that prohibits cities and counties in the state from contracting with red-light camera companies. Cities would be allowed to use cameras if local law enforcement administers them.