In an email to the Oregon State Board of Engineering an electronics engineer argued that yellow traffic lights in the state were too brief and thus put the public at risk. He supported his arguments with calculations and graphs which he prepared at his own cost in his free time.
The Oregon State Board of Engineering disregarded the substance of his email but attacked the author, Mats Jarlstrom, for referring to himself as an “electronics engineer” and “engineer” in his email. It is difficult to understand how the State Board of Examiners for Engineering or the public could be damaged or misled by an email written by an “electronics engineer” who wasn’t registered as an “engineer” with the state. Yet the State Board levied a civil penalty of $500.00 against Mr. Jarlstrom for saying he was an engineer twice in his email.
Oddly, just as the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering chose to punish Mr. Jarlstrom for his gratuitous and public spirited efforts to make traffic signals safer, the Institute of Transportation Engineers asked him to give a presentation of his work concerning the unsafe brevity of yellow lights.
Fortunately for Mr. Jarlstrom, his talk to the transportation engineers was given in Anaheim, California where, hopefully, there weren’t any agents from the Oregon Engineering Board to document and count any references to him as an “engineer” or as an “electronics engineer” at an apparent cost of $250.00 per application of the offending title to him.