Red Light Cameras

From the WaPo comes more red light camera nonsense:

Mats Järlström is, by all accounts, an engineer. He graduated from engineering school in Sweden, served as an airplane-camera mechanic in the Swedish Air Force and worked in research and development at an electronics manufacturer. For the past 20 years, he has earned a living designing and repairing audio equipment.

He is not, however, a “licensed professional” in the state of Oregon, where he put down roots in the early 1990s. So when Järlström did his own study of the timing mechanisms in the state’s red-light cameras and found them flawed, Oregon officials hit him with a $500 fine for “unlicensed practice of engineering.”

Järlström was inspired by the $150 ticket his wife got in the mail in May after driving through an intersection with a red-light camera in Beaverton, Ore. His research showed that the mathematical formula used in the timing of yellow lights was outdated and unfair to drivers.

When he presented his findings to state officials and local media, the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying tried to silence him. A nearly two-year investigation by the board found he had violated a state law that says only state-licensed engineers can speak publicly about technical matters. Järlström, in turn, filed a federal lawsuit alleging violations of his First Amendment rights.

This week, more than four years after his wife’s ticket, Järlström got some long-awaited relief. On Monday, Oregon’s attorney general conceded that the engineering board had trampled on his free speech rights, the Oregonian reported

…“Anyone should be able to talk about the traffic signals if they’re too long or too short or anything without being penalized,” Järlström said in an Institute for Justice video earlier this year.

Oregon bought into red light cameras last year at the state level. In additition to ticketing for running red lights, sensors were installed under the pavement at designated locations to capture the rate of speed a car is traveling when it runs a red light.

Baked into the Oregon law is how to protest if “someone else” was running a red light in your car.

And of course there are multiple site showing locations and types of traps. 1

Red Light Cameras

Show 1 footnote

  1. And this in a state where I swear the Thor I’ve witnessed drivers slowing down for a mild bend on the interstate. True fact – I’ve never once seen an Oregonian speed. Not once. In fact the typicl Oregon driver will error on the side of slowness, generally cruising 5 miles slower than wjatever limit is posted. It’s just the most bizarre thing…

Something to say...?