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City Initiating New Camera Citation Collection Strategy

City Initiating New Camera Citation Collection Strategy
In an effort to increase adherence to traffic laws, improve driver safety, and recover unpaid fines, the City of Cedar Rapids has initiated a new collection strategy for delinquent camera citation fines.

The strategy calls for escalating consequences for those who have not paid their fines, including application of a 25% late payment penalty per Cedar Rapids Municipal Code §61.138 and submission of eligible debts to the Iowa Income Offset Program as authorized by Iowa Code §8A.504.

The City’s new collection agency, Municipal Collections of America, Inc. (MCOA) is mailing notices informing debtors of these changes. The letter will include payment options and MCOA contact information.

With the ongoing dispute between the City and the Iowa DOT, it is understandable that violators may be confused about whether they need to pay their citation(s). The City wants violators to know that citations issued to-date are valid and are expected to be paid.

As such, for citations issued prior to November 1, 2017, a 45-day grace period will be offered allowing violators to pay the original citation balance, thus avoiding the late payment penalty. The grace period deadline will be identified in the collection notice issued by MCOA.

Violators receiving these delinquent notices may no longer challenge the issuance of the Automated Traffic Enforcement citation on which the debt is based. At the time the citation was issued, violators were given the opportunity to appeal pursuant to Cedar Rapids Municipal Code §61.138, and the citation itself is no longer subject to appeal.

Driving at excessive speeds is proven to be unsafe for all Cedar Rapids residents and visitors on the roadway. Fines are in place to provide consequences in an effort to change this unsafe behavior. In order to ensure the integrity of the program, violators must be held accountable for unpaid fines. It is in the best interest of residents who follow the law and those who pay their fines on time for the City to pursue all avenues in order to recover from those who do not comply with Cedar Rapids Municipal Code.

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