After Challenging Red Light Cameras, Man Fined for Practicing Engineering Without a License

image: camera lensWhen Mats Järlström’s wife got snagged by one of Oregon’s red light cameras in 2013, he challenged the ticket by questioning the timing of the yellow lights at intersections where cameras had been installed.

Since then, his research into red light cameras has earned him attention in local and national media—in 2014, he presented his evidence on an episode of “60 Minutes”—and an invitation to present at last year’s annual meeting of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

It also got him a $500 fine from the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.

According to the board, Järlström’s research into red light cameras and their effectiveness amounts to practicing engineering without a license. No, really. Järlström had sent a letter to the board in 2014 asking for the opportunity to present his research on how too-short yellow lights were making money for the state by putting the public’s safety at risk. “I would like to present these fact for your review and comment,” he wrote.

Read the full story at Reason here.


  1. This email went to that Board and its executives.
    To All the OSBEELS Executives:

    The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying is desperately trying to protect the ability of their engineers to deliberately set too-short of yellow intervals on traffic lights so the cities that employ those engineers can rob safe drivers with red light camera fines that are very profitable. If Mr. Järlström can get a discussion of why the yellows are often set too short into the official records, then the money grab racketeering with too-short of yellow intervals might have to be shut down in Oregon.

    In reality, any engineer that sets too-short of yellow intervals on the lights at camera intersections should lose their license to practice.

    Putting camera revenue above safety is criminally wrong.

    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

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