One citizen in Oregon has mathematically beaten the traffic cameras,
but his local government has decided to fine him anyway
- “After his wife received a ticket for tripping a red-light camera,
- Oregon resident Mats Järlström openly criticized the Orwellian devices and
- the mathematical formulas used to time traffic lights
The traffic cameras, while concerning to motorists and privacy advocates alike
- have been an enormous revenue stream for local municipalities
- who are looking to pad their war chests with caught-you cash
- Better yet, it allows these small government money-mongers to create costly, enforceable citations
- without requiring a flesh and blood police officer to be paid
- It’s a win-win for corrupt governments everywhere that don’t mind trampling all over the 4th Amendment.
But Big Brother doesn’t take too kindly to dissenters
- as according to the Institute for Justice, Järlström was fined $500 for violating a law
- that prohibits him from offering mathematical criticism without a license.
- “The Institute for Justice says the actual fine from the state engineering board was
- for Järlström calling himself an "engineer".
- The thing is, Järlström does have a degree in electrical engineering and
- has worked in engineering jobs, but
- the problem is he doesn’t carry a state license as a "Professional Engineer"
- In Oregon’s eyes, even his use of the word ‘engineer’ lowercase,
- is appropriating a title, and he’s not a real engineer.
“Järlström’s initial issue was that the green-yellow-red progression was too short
- for lights with a left or right turn
- Using his engineering expertise, he researched the matter and
- began to criticize the math equation that governs this timing.
- In his view, he was doing research for free as a concerned citizen,
- with his background aiding the effort and lending credence to his findings.
“But the board construed this as ‘practicing engineering without being registered'
- saying he had no standing:
--- to do the work or
--- to publish or
--- to present his data"
- This example of governmental abuse is an all too necessary reminder
- that we are truly at the whim of our elected leaders.
By challenging the traffic lights’ efficiency, Järlström was merely doing his due diligence as a citizen
- keeping the powers that be honest in their use of these problematic devices.
- To be fined in such a petty, childish retaliation is a clear indicator of the maturity of the elected officials of Oregon.