1/7/2016South Dakota Slams The Door On Iowa Speed Cameras
Governor of South Dakota snubs Iowa town that ignored a law meant to protect South Dakotans from speed camera tickets.
Law enforcement officials in Sioux City, Iowa will no longer be allowed easy electronic access to the address information of South Dakota motorists. On Wednesday, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) took the extraordinary step of cutting the city off after learning it had abused access privileges to evade a South Dakota law meant to protect residents from out-of-state speed camera tickets.
"It's the administration's responsibility to implement the law that the legislature passed," Matt Konenkamp, a senior Daugaard aide, told TheNewspaper in an interview Wednesday. "We became aware of a loophole... We discovered a solution and implemented it this morning."
In 2014, Daugaard signed a bill prohibiting the state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from releasing South Dakota driver's license information to anyone that would issue an automated ticket (view law). The intent was to keep for-profit vendors like Redflex Traffic Systems from grabbing the information electronically through NLETS, the database system used to process red light and speed camera citations.
As first reported by TheNewspaper, Sioux City ignored this law. The city used its law enforcement credentials to obtain the information, which was then handed to Redflex so that the Australian firm could issue 2640 citations to residents of the Mount Rushmore State. That exchange will no longer be possible.
"When Sioux City attempts to electronically access our database, which is something they can do as law enforcement, the information that we automatically [provide in response] will be redacted," Konenkamp explained. "It will not have home town, and it will not have address."
Konenkamp emphasized that the new policy will not affect legitimate investigations. Sioux City officers will have to call dispatch to obtain address information on South Dakotans -- as long as the information is needed for a criminal matter. Konenkamp hopes the policy change will encourage Sioux City to fall in line with cities like Council Bluffs, which decided last year to respect South Dakota's wishes. If Sioux City attempts to find and exploit a new loophole, the governor's office says it is willing to respond appropriately.
"It's the administration's responsibility to implement the law that the legislature passed," Konenkamp said.
The South Dakota law only applies to South Dakota officials, but those officials are the ones who set the terms of access to their DMV database.