WATERLOO — A policy change would make city employees pay fines when they receive an automated traffic enforcement ticket while driving a city vehicle.
Waterloo City Council members are scheduled Monday to consider adopting an undated disciplinary policy for city workers.
A new provision states: “Any fines or moving violations received while driving a city vehicle will be paid by the employee operating the vehicle at the time of the violation. Any violations or citations may result in disciplinary action.”
Police Chief Dan Trelka said the action addresses concerns raised in recent weeks regarding city vehicles potentially caught by cameras set up to catch motorists running red lights and speeding.
It has been the police department’s practice to issue tickets when they pull over a city vehicle for a traffic violations.
But Trelka had previously indicated the city would not issue automated traffic enforcement citations to city vehicles, because the fine would go to the city. Instead, he indicated the department would report the incident to the appropriate department head for potential disciplinary action.
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Trelka noted the cameras have yet to catch any city vehicles committing a violation.
Some residents felt it was a double standard since the owner of a private vehicle can have a citation they receive assigned to an individual who was driving it at the time.
But some council members said the cameras are actually worse for municipal workers. On top of a fine, the employees face other disciplinary action, which could include losing their job for multiple or egregious offenses.
The city hired a company in 2017 to install the traffic cameras, which became active last year. Those include mobile speed cameras held by police officers and affixed to a Jeep. There are also cameras at 13 intersections with high accident rates set up to catch vehicles running red lights and speeding.
The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the second floor of City Hall.