When Matt Järlström got snagged by one of Oregon’s red light cams in 2013, he began researching the effectivness and side-effects of these red-light cameras – and the jiggering of yellow lights cycle times that allowed then to earn extra money for their jurisdictions.
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.
Math and logic are apparently so powerful, you need a state license to use them (emphasis added):
Apparently the threats weren’t enough, because the board follow-up in January of this year by officially fining Järlström $500 for the supposed crime of “practicing engineering without being registered.”
Järlström is now suing the state board over that fine, arguing that it’s unconstitutional to prevent someone from doing math without the government’s permission. He’s getting support from the Institute for Justice, a national libertarian law firm.
Don’t think there aren’t “journalists” who’d love to run with that whole “sue the competition out of exisence” schtick.
“Criticizing the government’s engineering isn’t a crime; it’s a constitutional right,” said Sam Gedge, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, in a statement.
Some would call it a duty.
Oh, wait – I just got a letter from the Minnesota Moral Philosophy Standards and Licensing Board…