business executive at American Traffic
Solutions has been suspended after posing as a local resident
of Spokane on the company's website and newspaper websites, where he posted
comments supporting the red-light cameras that were placed in the Washington
American Traffic Solutions, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, specializes
in photo enforcement and
red-light camera contracting. The company has red-light cameras placed
throughout the United States, with one of the cities being Spokane, Washington.
Bill Kroske, the vice president of business development at American Traffic
Solutions, posed as a Spokane local on The
Spokesman-Review website. He posted comments encouraging the use of the
red-light cameras in Spokane provided by American Traffic Solutions.
From January through July of 2010, Kroske posted nine comments under the
username "Obie1" on the website. He would talk as if he was not
himself, but rather, a Spokane local that was happy with the red-light camera
issues. It was an attempt to promote business in that area for
American Traffic Solutions.
He would call red-light camera critics the "camera paranoia group"
and denounce those that didn't agree with their purpose.
"It is that same lack of common sense and emotional control that is found
in aggressive and dangerous driving," said Kroske in the forums when other
users disagreed with the use of red-light cameras.
Kroske also encouraged "safe drivers" to unite when a bill in the
legislature intended to cap red-light tickets, and even defended red-light
cameras when a user showed statistics that crashes increased at intersections with
red-light cameras in winter.
Kroske's last post was in July 2010 when another user blogged about Tim Eyman,
who sponsored a ballot measure to reduce the use of red-light cameras in
"I hope the safe drivers in Mukilteo will unite and support their police
department," said Kroske. "However, I would recommend we have an
initiative here too: one banning Eyman from ever moving to Spokane!"
But The Spokesman-Review isn't the
only website that Kroske was commenting on. A reporter for The Herald, of Everett, Washington, was covering the "Photo
Red" program. Kroske would comment on the articles under the username
"W Howard." According to The
Herald's editor, Neal Pattison, the username was linked to Kroske's company
e-mail, tracing the comments back to Kroske. Kroske never mentioned who he
According to American Traffic Solutions' Spokesman Charles Territo, Kroske was
very passionate about the company, but just went about it the wrong way by
posing as someone else for company promotion.
Kroske is now suspended for an uncertain amount of time.
quote: “Unfortunately, he did it the wrong way,” [company spokesman Charles] Territo said. “We believe that you should be authentic and honest when engaging.”
quote: He refers to critics as the “camera paranoia group”
quote: After several people posted comments criticizing the cameras, Kroske said their response “is just why we need the cameras.”“It is that same lack of common sense and emotional control that is found in aggressive and dangerous driving,” Kroske wrote.
quote: After an editorial in January 2010 questioned the cameras’ effectiveness after statistics showed crashes had increased at those intersections
quote: The red lights are not causing the accidents, the drivers are; the cameras are not stopping reckless drivers, so they are just a waste of taxpayers' money. And sometimes they give out erroneous tickets, too.
quote: Posing as someone else is deceitful and undermines your credibility.
quote: On top of that Kroske belittled and insulted people, which is not the way a company expects a representative to behave.