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South Carolina businessman tries new approach

A South Carolina entrepreneur who once promised state leaders his system would help law enforcement to issue more traffic citations -- thereby increasing revenues -- has emerged again with a new invention promising much of the same.

Several years ago, the man's company sold leaders in South Carolina and another state on the idea of installing a camera at stop lights. The camera would snap a photo of cars when drivers had committed a traffic offense, then would generate citations to send to the vehicles' registered owners. Investors bought the idea, with stock once trading at $48 per share. But after municipalities pulled the plug on the cameras after they did not deliver the promised revenue, the share price dropped to 13 cents.

Now, the entrepreneur is selling a new system that he claims can help small towns boost their revenues on traditional speed traps by using advanced technology.

One town in a southeastern state has already agreed to purchase the man's program, which will equip patrol cars with laptops, radar and more to catch traffic offenders. The entrepreneur's company promised to city officials that its officers could write 3,000 tickets each month -- up from 100 -- and would increase its traffic revenue by thousands of dollars each month. The profit, the company promised, will come even after the company takes its 50 percent share.

Reports currently indicate that South Carolina cities that enter into an agreement with this company could run the risk of violating a restriction. In 2010, the man convinced the mayor of one small town to go against a state law that banned the use of speed enforcement by camera. In response, the legislature signed another law banning the use. Earlier this year, a legislative committee rejected the possibility of using automatic ticketing machines for speed enforcement in the state.

Whether the increased technology is brought to South Carolina or not, traffic citations are still being written, and approximately 95 percent of those on the receiving end are simply paying the fines. Fighting the charges can prevent further hits on your driving record that lead to increased insurance premiums.

Source: The Newspaper, "Company Promises to Boost Traffic Ticket Revenue for Small Towns," June 4, 2012

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