Saturday, 29 April 2017

Find a problem, report it: get prosecuted!


Last year, Mats Järlström was fined $500 for revealing troubling flaws in the mathematical formula used to govern the timing of US traffic lights.

Järlström, a Swedish electronics engineer who has lived in America for more than two decades, realized there was a design fault in traffic systems after his wife got a ticket from an automated traffic camera in Beaverton, Oregon.

However, for communicating his findings in five emails, the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying in March, 2015 opened an investigation. In August 2016, the rules body found that Järlström had engaged in unlicensed engineering and assessed a $500 fine.

Järlström paid the fine but fears his ongoing interest in traffic light timing will lead to further penalties. Violating the Act could subject him to $1,000 in civil penalties, $6,250 in criminal fines, and as much as a year in jail.

A spokesperson for Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying said, "At this time we are not providing comment on the current open litigation."