The New York Times reports:
Mats Jarlstrom acknowledges that he is unusually passionate about traffic signals — and that his zeal is not particularly appreciated by Oregon officials.-RW
His crusade to make traffic lights remain yellow longer — which began after his wife received a red-light camera ticket — has drawn some interest among transportation specialists and the media. But among the power brokers in his hometown, Beaverton, it has elicited ridicule and exasperation.
“They literally laughed at me at City Hall,” Mr. Jarlstrom recalled of a visit there in 2013, when he tried to share his ideas with city counselors and the police chief.
Worse still was getting hit recently with a $500 fine for engaging in the “practice of engineering” without a license while pressing his cause. So last week, Mr. Jarlstrom filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, charging the state’s licensing panel with violating his First Amendment rights.
“I was working with simple mathematics and applying it to the motion of a vehicle and explaining my research,” said Mr. Jarlstrom, 56. “By doing so, they declared I was illegal.”
The lawsuit is the latest and perhaps most novel shot in the continuing campaign against the proliferation of state licensing laws that can require costly training and fees before people can work. Mr. Jarlstrom is being represented by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian organization partly funded by the billionaire brothers and activists Charles G. and David H. Koch.
(ht Andrew Goddard)