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Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka talks with Courier staff Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in Waterloo. (RICK TIBBOTT / Courier Staff Photographer)

WATERLOO — Some 233 motorists were caught speeding on camera during the city’s first two weeks of automated traffic enforcement.

The Waterloo Police Department began using its first hand-held lidar camera Nov. 15 to photograph vehicles driving over the posted limit.

Owners of vehicles caught during the trial period were mailed warnings. But those mailings changed to tickets and fines after Nov. 30.

“We are getting the one unit out two to six hours per day,” said Police Chief Dan Trelka. “Based upon my review, the average speed over the limit of the violators is about 15 mph over.”

The city is still waiting on two more hand-held cameras that will be used by police officers to catch speeders at various locations in the community and a mobile speed enforcement trailer.

Staff is still evaluating locations for permanent cameras to catch motorists running red lights.

City Council members voted in August to authorize the use of automated traffic enforcement and entered a three-year contract with Gatso USA to supply and operate the cameras in return for $36 from each ticket paid.

After a speeder is captured on the hand-held camera, the data is sent to Gatso to verify the plates match the vehicle description. Then it is sent back to Waterloo police for a second officer to verify and approve issuing the citation.

The mailed notice will include a still image of the vehicle with the date, time, speed, officer’s name and fine. It also will include a video link.

The fine schedule established by the City Council sets speeding citations at $50 for six to 10 mph over the posted limit; $75 for 11 to 15 mph over; $100 for 16 to 20 mph over; and $200 for those going more than 20 mph over the posted limit.

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Waterloo City Reporter

Waterloo city reporter for the Courier

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