MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Friday marked three months since Marshalltown implemented speed cameras to combat excessive speeding in their communities, and their success is prompting them to add more.
After receiving a large amount of complaints from several Marshalltown neighborhoods, the City Council decided to experiment with an automated traffic enforcement system.
The Marshalltown Police Department picked two locations to place cameras where they received the most complaints and were also difficult places for police to patrol. One location is on Lincoln Way near Orchard Lane, and the other is at Governor Road near Benjamin Drive.
These cameras aid in the process of giving tickets to people who drive 11 miles or more over the speed limit.
Marshalltown Police Captain Christopher Jones said that over the last three months, they have seen a 40% decrease in excessive speeding as a result of having these cameras.
“Typically on patrol, we would go to areas where there were more speeding complaints. With the automated system, it helped become a force multiplier for us. Those officers who would generally hang around those areas where the automated system was installed, can now go into other areas where community members have had concerns about speeding. We’re driving our force to cover more area in town,” said Jones.
On top of helping the police focus on other assignments, community members are also providing positive feedback to having the cameras. One neighbor said that his house used to shake from how fast people drove on the road next to his property. Since the cameras were installed, he hasn’t had any issues.
Jones also said that while excessive speeding has decreased in the two areas where they installed cameras, there are still other neighborhoods in Marshalltown with speed remains an issue.
As a result, they are in the process of getting a mobile unit, which is a speed trailer that they can install in different neighborhoods to monitor excessive speeding.
There are around a dozen neighborhoods where they plan on using this system and they hope to have it active by the end of October, according to Jones.