6/4/2012Company Promises to Boost Traffic Ticket Revenue for Small Towns
After two failed photo enforcement ventures, company restarts promising to help small towns create speed traps.
The CEO of a series of failed photo enforcement ventures in Rhode Island and South Carolina has returned. This time around, William B. Danzell's firm, iTraffic, will dispense with the controversial practice of mailing citations to registered vehicle owners. Instead, he hopes to use taxpayer funds to help small towns set up conventional speed traps using the latest available technology.
"The iTraffic community safety program can help the community keep the jobs of these officers by paying the salaries and benefit packages for up to eight full-time officers to deliver roadside citations," Danzell's website explains. "Working with public and private grants, iTraffic Safety has developed the first program of its kind to provide everything needed to begin consistent traffic enforcement... iTraffic Safety grants include all the technology needed for the program including in car laptops and vehicle mounts, electronic ticketing solutions, NCIC access, commercial air cards and top of the line image capturing laser and multiple lane radar equipment."
Last month, Prichard, Alabama became the first town to buy into this latest for-profit venture. iTraffic promised the city of 22,000 located just outside of Mobile that it could boost the number of tickets issued each month from 100 to 3000 -- so long as the company received a fifty-percent cut of each fine levied. The city saw the potential to boost revenue by tens of thousands of dollars each month, even with iTraffic taking a cut, by setting up on Interstate 65 and Highway 45.
Danzell's former venture, Nestor Traffic Systems, was once successful enough to go public and be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Soon, however, the red light camera company's fortunes soon began to fade. Some cities dropped the use of red light cameras after Nestor's promises of profit failed to materialize. An internal battle for control of Nestor ended with Danzell being booted as CEO from the firm he founded. From a high of $48 a share, mismanagement sent the stock price down to a low of 13 cents, forcing Nasdaq officials to delist the firm. As the company went under, executives paid themselves handsomely while stiffing contractors who did work for the firm.
In 2010, Danzell moved to South Carolina and convinced the small town mayor of Ridgeland to defy a state law prohibiting the use of photo enforcement so he could run speed cameras on Interstate 95. The legislature unanimously repudiated iTraffic with the governor signing a second ban into law in June 2011. In January, a legislative commission issued a nine-page report rejecting any proposed return of automated ticketing machines to South Carolina, closing the issue for good (view report).