In yet another stunning display of political awareness, the Republicans of the Iowa Senate have drafted a bill that would ban cameras monitoring traffic violations. Yet again, the Iowa GOP has decided to bypass all reason and relevant, factual information to strengthen and secure the Iowa community in a way they think best. The bill, known as SF 129, would prohibit “the use of automated traffic enforcement systems and requiring the removal of existing systems.”
Police Chief Greg Graham said that the bill was “ludicrous.” He added that 99% of people who drive through Cedar Rapids do so within the legal speed limit. “One percent of the driving population that drives through Cedar Rapids is up in arms because they are being held accountable.”
The crux of the issue seems to be one of responsibility. Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) said that he received a traffic violation ticket because his son was driving a car registered to him. Mr. Zaun is the lead sponsor of the bill, and a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. Chief Graham can relate, but did not share the Senator’s frustration with the bill: “I got a ticket. My son was driving that car. Who paid the ticket? My kid paid that ticket. I didn’t pay it. Whoever it is, is upset their kid got a ticket. They need to hold their kid accountable.”
The Republican Party used to be the party of self-reliance, personal (and fiscal) responsibility, and that ever-admired pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality. They are just not so in this case. Here the Republicans have unveiled their recently adopted political strategy: if it’s broken, repeal it, repeal it, repeal it. They would make terrible doctors.
Traffic safety is essential, especially in tempestuous climates such as Iowa has experienced last week. The safety of Iowa’s drivers and pedestrians is not a political issue. This isn’t even an issue of faulty equipment or unfair treatment. It isn’t an issue at all. If Senator Zaun has concerns with the way his children drive his vehicles, he ought to take it up with them and leave the government out of it. Isn’t that a Democrat stereotype?
The Iowa GOP has blown a few stop signs already this year, handing out gun permits like they’re candy and taking preschool away from children, and this is just another bullet point on their resume of madness. Before the Republicans drive the state of Iowa off the precipce of reason, someone ought to say: STOP. Just stop.