Sioux City chief warns South Dakota drivers that their state's new law won't protect them


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SIOUX CITY, Iowa — An Iowa police chief said South Dakota's drivers won't get a break when they drive across the border despite a new South Dakota law designed to protect them from being ticketed by automated traffic cameras.

The law bars South Dakota officials from providing information about the state's registered drivers to companies such as Arizona-based Redflex, which operates traffic cameras in Sioux City, so it can collect civil fines. The law went into effect July 1.

Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young told the Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/1lNoSSY ) that police still have ways to get vehicle registration information for Redflex.

"People in South Dakota need to understand that this is not a free pass that you've gotten from your government," he said.

Young would not say how the vehicle registration information would be obtained. But without that information, Redflex can't send a bill to the owner of a car caught speeding or running a red light.

"We're looking at our options," he said.

South Dakota officials said they had concerns with how Sioux City operated its traffic camera system. Sen. Dan Lederman, a Republican from Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, was a prime sponsor of the bill. He said officials are monitoring law enforcement in Iowa to make sure they don't obtain vehicle registration information from a national database for the purpose of civil traffic fines.

"We know where the requests are coming from and if they're from law enforcement agencies regarding violations caught on traffic cameras," he said.

Young said he was confident the registration information could be obtained through another means that isn't the national database, which is also known as the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.

"We get the registrations, we find out who the drivers are, they get a ticket whether they live in South Dakota, North Dakota, or wherever," Young said. "It's business as usual."


Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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