Omaha senior refuses to pay Sioux City speedcam ticket

Published: Jun. 23, 2020 at 10:25 PM CDT
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An Omaha senior citizen refuses to pay a speeding ticket in Iowa because he wasn’t clocked by an officer.

So how did Sioux City Police know he was going too fast?

Caught on camera allegedly speeding, 80-year-old Fred Lowry saw a blurred line between real and fake.

“I thought, ‘what the hell, why would Cleveland, Ohio send me a ticket when they run a radar on I-29?’” Lowry said.

Sioux City hired an Ohio contractor to collect 100 fines for speeders clocked by two cameras in an interstate construction zone.

But a ticket for going 11 over is not only legitimate -- there’s an extra $35 tacked on for the payment being late.

Lowry said he won’t be getting behind the wheel again to drive to Sioux City either to face a judge or pay the fine. As he puts it, he’ll let it ride.

The retired trucker said a ticket should be issued by an officer face-to-face, not through a camera he never saw.

“I want the damn thing repealed,” Lowry said.

The sergeant in charge of Sioux City’s camera speed enforcement said the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the photo citations.

He said paying the fine is cheaper than court costs and late fees can be waived if requested.

Lowry does not care.

“I’m not paying it. They can come get me and throw me in jail. As long as they won’t, I’m 80 years old and I don’t give a damn,” Lowry said.

Non-payment is a civil infraction. No criminal warrant issued and the DMV and insurance companies won’t be notified. A default judgment will be filed but it doesn’t go to collections.

For 57 years, Lowry drove more than a million miles. He said speeding on camera doesn’t give the whole picture of him as a safe driver.

More than a half-million cars a month go through the monitored construction zone in Sioux City and it averages only one speed-related crash a month.

After several years, the road construction project is almost done and within two weeks the cameras should be removed.