If the court allows this, then the state won. They've sent their message: pay the fine, or we'll fight you in court for years, force you to pay thousands to lawyers, and maybe in the end we'll give you a refund of any fine you paid if it looks like you might win.
At some point people started reporting about how the state has basically used this licensing requirement as a way to gag people from publicly disclosing any kind of ‘technical’ information, and that’s where people started really jumping on board with his case.
Kudos to him for sticking it through. Hopefully it leads to a change in our traffic laws AND our laws regarding ‘technical’ information and engineering licensing.
A HUGE F you to the state/county/city beaureacrats and lawyers that just pissed away tens (or more) of thousands of dollars just because they could.
according to Oregon's own gov website the licensed profession is "Professional Engineer". Seems like a similar difference between Registered Nurse and just a nurse.
That is a distinction that was invented by the state.
Calling yourself an "engineer" is unspecific, and is not a claim to authority, but to knowledge. To claim that it is suddenly a specific claim to authority is to redefine the term.
When you redefine a common term, and punish someone for not knowing you did so, that is a real problem. In this case, that was simply done to delegitimize him, which is clearly malicious.
I also want then to stop focusing traffic tickets on speeding and instead fine people who cause traffic jams by not accelerating when entering the freeway or go unnecessary slow. But well that's of course never gonna happen and probably most native Oregonians would be fine constantly because they drive insanely slow...
When I left Seattle, the state of WA was really making a push to get slowpokes out of the left lane with a media campaign and instituting tickets for people who are slowing traffic down.
I LOVE the idea.
The idea I came up with awhile ago was to build a network of motorcyclists willing to attach a sign to the back of their bike, that reads (something like), "You're causing traffic by being in this lane at your speed - please move to right as soon as it's safe to do so." The motorcyclists would make their way in front of the slow left-laner - so that the sign is visible to the slow poke - with the hopes of persuading them to move to the right lane.
Meanwhile, also on the sign would be instructions for the other drivers out there, who witness the value the motorcyclist provided, to send a little micropayment electronically to the motorcyclist as a thank you.
Maybe this takes the form of a grassroots DIY movement where the motorcyclists handle all this themselves, or maybe there's an opportunity for a company to exist that creates the signs and facilitates the micropayments - and in return takes a cut of each micropayment (a la Patreon).
Obviously this assumes that all this can be achieved safely and legally. Thorough testing would have to be done on that front.
Let me know if anyone wants to kick around this idea further - even if just for fun.
get more people to ride motorcycles. an oft-cited study  shows that a 10% increase in motorcycle ridership would cut time lost to traffic by 63%
Motorcycle fatalities already make up a hugely disproportional number of the total highway fatalities in the USA. And half of those fatalities occur in single-vehicle accidents.
In TX, all highways have clear signs saying "LEFT LANE FOR PASSING ONLY", and guess how many people notice them?
I've also known people who think it's OK to be in the left lane if they're going the speed limit.
Do you think these people will be educated by waving a sign in front of them from a motorcycle? They'll just get angry.
I would think it's OK if there is traffic in the other lanes too (otherwise you should go back to the lanes on the right).
But why does it bother you? Do you think it's OK to go above the speed limit? Just curious.
Yes, that's common sense.
>But why does it bother you? Do you think it's OK to go above the speed limit? Just curious.
What I think about going than higher than the speed limit is irrelevant. If you aren't passing by going the speed limit, you should not be in the left lane too. Why shouldn't you? Well:
1. Because it's against what the law says!
2. Because it slows down the flow of traffic.
3. Because it creates a road hazard, as people who actually try to use the passing lane for passing will have to slow down if a vehicle merges at a slower speed.
4. Because this actually makes passing impossible, which kills the whole point of the passing lane.
5. Did I say it creates a road hazard already? https://lifehacker.com/help-your-kids-record-and-edit-a-fami...
Motorcyclists have enough trouble as it is.
Unless there is someone in that lane going the same speed, or slightly slower, which is very common in a two-lane road near where I live.
There are also people who drive rather dangerously out of frustration when they cannot pass, making the entire situation more dangerous. The problem is that the slow drivers have been taught that "driving slow = correct", and that everyone around them must be doing it wrong.
If we put half of the focus we do with speed to things like this, our roads would be much better for it.
They do not feel like they should do something, like drive faster or slower to allow traffic to flow around them.
This causes much more dangerous traffic situations, because traffic gets bottled up, and there are always a few cars that want to go significantly faster, and aren't afraid to drive more dangerously out of frustration.
Those drivers who drive more dangerously are seen by the slow drivers in the front to be the real problem. The drivers in the front then feel more vindicated in their "correct" driving style.
Now imagine that you grew up somewhere where only senile old ladies park in the left lane (preferably with left blinker on). “Blood boiling seething rage” is about right when I moved to Seattle. I’ve since become at peace with shitty driving, else I was going to have an aneurism.
That “push” you refer to to get folks out of the left lane? From my POV they made a bunch of noise on TV, but haven’t done shit. The left lane sure isn’t any better than it ever was. Nope, made some noise for a week, back to business as usual.
It's just so insanely bad whenever I go back up there to visit. You'll spend 10 minutes going 59mph in the left of 5 lanes and never be able to change lanes, make an exit, make it past the person in front of you.
And to add insult to injury, the WSP sits there with laser speed traps every 10 miles just in case you dare go 61mph.
Since the port shut down in Portland I see so much stupid stuff on I-5 as the increased semi traffic + left-lane campers can turn the 2-3 lanes into a gridlock and cause all sorts of dangerous situations.
Given the choice between what you describe---an orderly set of traffic at near the speed limit---or a free-for-all in which inevitably an aggressive lane-changer clips someone at 85mph spreading blood and metal all over the highway and stopping traffic for miles? Maybe I should move to Oregon :P
The assumption that a set maximum speed is the safest for all drivers is erroneous. There are many factors at play and a proper safe speed depends in part on the driver, the driving conditions, and the car they are driving (and much more).
Unless you are in very heavy traffic, forcing people to go slow or worse to pass you on the right is causing a much larger safety issue.
If we are interested in improving safety imo we should be focused on things like vastly improving driver education and requiring any driver to show knowledge, understanding and skills related to driving - including and especially on high speed highways. In California, you can get a license without ever actually driving on a highway (or "freeway") - which is absurd.
Please compare death rates from countries around the world (including Germany):
It's much harder to get a license in Germany than it is here in the US!
The motorway death rate in Germany is almost half what it is in the US.
I urge you to think about this and question your assumptions.
I don't understand the desire for people to want to exceed the speed limit, even if as you maintain, they are capable drivers in suitable conditions with a suitable vehicle. The speed limit should just not be exceeded, except when needed to expedite an overtake. Whether you believe you are capable of safely driving 85 is irrelevant if the speed limit is 65.
> forcing people to go slow or worse to pass you on the right is causing a much larger safety issue
You are pinning an argument that I never made. I was never defending left-lane bandits. If someone is driving 10 under in the left lane, yes that's bad they should stop that. But if all 3 lanes are moving steadily at the speed limit, you have no right to insist that people move to accomodate your desire to exceed the limit.
You are bringing up Germany to suggest that it's safe to have faster speed limits, but then mention that licensing requirements are much more stringent in Germany. I wish the US had such requirements, we might then have a safer culture of driving! You can't take Autobahn rules and try to make them work in the US because the level of driving ability is so poor.
> Unless you are in very heavy traffic, forcing people to go slow or worse to pass you on the right is causing a much larger safety issue
If traffic is heavy in all lanes, I think most people would agree you just need to relax and go with the flow on a highway. That applies just as much here as it does on the Autobahn in Germany.
However, if traffic is not heavy - Oregon like California is a "keep right" state - so if you are in the left lane and someone is coming up behind you, you need to yield - regardless of the speed limit.
It's not just the law, it's also the safer thing to do.
I would definitely be in support of higher posted speed limits if, as in Germany, it also came with stricter driver training. Sadly I don't see that happening in the US.
Still I don't think it was fair to call me a troll.
I think it's clear now you weren't "trolling". Your original response seemed to me so against the tide here that I thought you might be intentionally antagonizing. My apologies.
It also takes many hours of driving with a trained driving instructor and a full hour practical test plus a genuinely hard theoretical test to get a license.
Edit: I grew up in Germany and when I moved to southern California traffic terrified me. It was much slower than traffic on the Autobahn but the chaos was just terrifying. Oregon traffic is super slow but still pure chaos compared to what I've experienced anywhere in Europe.
Driving slow as shit and obliviously or passive-aggressively blocking traffic impedes traffic flow, causes tailgating, incites road rage, and does nothing pleasant whatsoever.
Both reasonably slow and fast drivers can coexist if they follow some basic rules. Always be aware of vehicles around you. Don't cut people off. Let people in. Don't abruptly unless there's an emergency. Keep the passing lane open unless traffic is very heavy.
Its incredibly infuriating; I can totally relate to your sentiment. But there's a special place in hell for those dummies who won't even listen when I blink my headlights, signalling politely to them to please leave the left lane. About 80% Texans do so, and I'm happy. But the 20% that don't, I flip them off every time, since they fucking deserve it.
Man, that's harsh! If these victims of yours are doing 45 on the interstate then a flash and a honk is certainly in order, but I sincerely hope you're not acting this way to people doing 75 when you want to be doing 90. In any case, if someone's going a little slower than you, as long as it's not jeapordizing your safety (i.e. backing up aggressive drivers behind you), then ask yourself why do you have to be in such a hurry?
I see far too much aggressive driving that seems needless, given the very real risk of serious injury or death. While I agree that slow driving can be just as dangerous as fast driving, all I ask is that you try to keep to the speed limit and only exceed it reasonably when safe to do so, keep a safe distance around other vehicles, and keep the bird on the steering wheel :)
A little civility and due regard for the fact that everyone wants to get home in one piece!
Rate of speed is irrelevant. If you are not actively passing a vehicle, you have zero reason to be in the left lane. This assumes something resembling fairly open roads - stop and go traffic of course is wildly different.
What is a safe speed is a different discussion. So many folks have the attitude of "I'm doing 8 over already! They shouldn't be going faster than me! I'm not moving over! I'll show them!" while acting like a petty highway vigilante. Nevermind they are the most dangerous person on the road as people blow by them in the right lane rightfully pissed off.
> A little civility and due regard
And I would say the same. Left lane hugging may be one of the most unsafe behaviours on the road aside from not moving over when someone is stopped on the shoulder - and I've noticed a high correlation between the drivers who do neither.
Well, aside from left lane exits, upcoming forks, and that the left lane is where special limited-use lanes tends to be, and, most critically...
> This assumes something resembling fairly open road
If someone has bothered to build a multiplane highway in the US, it tends to only rarely be so underutilized as to resemble fairly open road. Even if it's not “stop and go”, much of the time it is continuous traffic at some speed in all lanes, not sparse traffic in the right lane (or even the lane just to the right of the leftmost) and no significant traffic in the lane to the left allowing one to use the right for all regular travel and only move left to pass and then return to the right.
And the induced traffic effect means that adding additional capacity doesn't actually change this meaningfully.
Rate of speed is relevant for two reasons. First, there is a posted speed limit. Second, kinetic energy is proportional to the square of velocity. All else being equal, an accident at 90mph is going to be far more dangerous than one at 60mph.
> If you are not actively passing a vehicle, you have zero reason to be in the left lane.
The scenario under discussion was all lanes of traffic driving steadily at the limit. In such a scenario, you have zero reason to need to pass anyone. Surely you must agree that all lanes driving the limit is better than forcing everyone in the left lane to move over so that a few people can drive in excess of the limit? Having all lanes utilized at the limit is clearly the most efficient way to generate the most traffic throughput.
> Nevermind they are the most dangerous person on the road as people blow by them in the right lane rightfully pissed off.
Wait, so you're saying it should be acceptable to blow past someone who's already doing 8 over the limit? What are you thinking of, 15 or 20 over the limit? That's ridiculous, you have no "right" to be be rightfully pissed off because you can't drive 20 over the limit!
You're a prime candidate for anger management classes. If you get so stressed over something that minor, better get good insurance for your cardio problems later on.
Left hand lane is for slow drivers, Right hand lane is those going faster. When many of you lot come to my country, you suddenly get a light on and realise that your road rules are those of a drongo and you appreciate that you are now driving in a sane world.
It's 2017. We have cameras, "repeated failure to move right for faster traffic" should not be a hard ticket to write to a high standard of proof.
My biggest gripe about drivers in Oregon is the people that zip in and out of lanes at high speeds without signaling and the amount of people in city traffic that simply don’t look where they’re going.
The second lane from the right is for people driving faster than people in the right lane.
The left lane is for people driving the maximum speed limit. People weaving in and out of the left lane so they can pass people who are driving at the maximum allowed speed are a problem.
Because instrumentation is imperfect, two drivers who believe they are driving at maximum allowed speed could be driving at different speeds. Ideally, there would be enough lanes for people to travel constantly in the second from the left lane at maximum speed limit, and to move into the left lane to pass somebody who's instruments have them traveling slightly slower. But traffic is never ideal, and extra lanes are very expensive. So people need to chill when the driver in front of them seems to be traveling 2mph below the max speed limit. On a 60 mile commute this won't make more than 2 minutes difference in your arrival time. Probably closer to 10 seconds.
Keep right except to pass. Period.
Everybody traveling the same "maximum speed limit" is a fantasy and rarely exists in reality. There are lots of good reasons for traveling over the speed limit (quickly passing to avoid prolonged travel in close proximity to another car, for example).
Left lane cruisers inevitably lead to long queues in the left lane with empty lanes to the right, which leads to people passing on the right, tailgating, and a host of unpredictable situations that increase the danger on the road much, much more than simple speed (duh, many speed limits are arbitrary and political, not based on some absolute "maximum safe speed", which is a ridiculous notion anyway for roads that carry both sports cars and heavy tractor trailers).
Your prescription creates situations in which it is literally impossible to drive safely (and frankly, I'm sick of finding myself in these dangerous and completely unnecessary situations because of Americans' insane (and sometimes illegal) driving practices...I don't want to race anybody, I just want to get to my destination safely and efficiently). Even choosing to waste your time being the slowest car on the road in the right lane, you end up being put in danger by cars trying to right-lane-pass with dangerous closing speeds up to dangerously close distances.
Keep right except to pass.
1. What you describe is actually illegal in many places: http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/right.html
I certainly never said that speed limit plays no part in the equation, but I believe that safe speed for a given combination of vehicle and road and traffic conditions is much more significant than the legislative limit.
Your question works just as well when the example is reversed: if someone is blatantly disregarding lane discipline, why should I expect them to drive safely in any other regard (and why wouldn't I try to put as much distance between me and them as possible)?
200mph vehicle in this case is an asshole if:
a) she doesn't slow down and leave a safe distance between you and her in order to let you finish passing
b) she otherwise creates a dangerous situation from excessive relative speed, which would probably be the case most of the time if she's going that speed around other traffic
Both alternatives are equally common, either you slow down to 60 and let the 200 car pass, or you stay in the overtaking (maybe speed up a bit of of courtesy) and let the 200 guy slow down. In my experience the faster usually has higher priority unless the traffic is very heavy, because by going faster they also disappear faster and don't hog the left lane for as long as someone overtaking at a slower speed.
I don't understand why people want to pick fights with other people while driving. A person traveling way too fast is clearly does care about acting dangerously, why the hell would you want to aggravate that person? The best outcome is nothing happens, the worst outcome is your death.
Plus, if you're blocking these people, you're also preventing them from getting a speeding ticket.
Back before speed cameras, it was useful to aggravate such folk, just a little, so they would speed up. If you gamed it right, you could set up a little convoy, and sit in the middle. At night, you would watch for brake lights ahead, and flashing lights behind.
That is ridiculous. If the vehicle in front of you is traveling 75mph and you want to travel 80mph, it is not impossible for you to drive safely. If the vehicle in front of you seems especially dangerous to be behind, it is still not impossible to drive safely.
I recently got run out of my lane by a semi who swerved in from the left right on top of me in the far right lane. The semi then kept swerving from the right shoulder to the left shoulder erratically. The driver was obviously extremely impaired and re-passing was risky. But it did not make it impossible for me to drive safely.
I drive a two-lane highway everyday that has no reasonable alternate route. The posted speed limit is 55mph. It has double yellow lines along much of its length. I frequently get stuck behind somebody poking along at 45mph or slower. I fully understand how frustrating it is. But that doesn't mean I can't drive safely.
I'm not talking about situations with two vehicles on the road. What happens with regular traffic is that you get someone driving 75mph in the right lane and another driving 75mph in the left lane, and it's game over for the whole highway. Once a few more vehicles accumulate, there's no safe driving stance. If you stay in the left, a gap develops on the right and people coming up to the jam pass to the right and then unsafely merge in. If you stay on the right, people passing others on the right are closing on you at ridiculous speed, or you're stuck driving a couple of feet away from another vehicle (on your left) that's tailgating and being tailgated and jockeying for position.
Taking the stance of "I'm traveling the speed limit, so I can stay in the left lane as long as I want" ignores the reality that there are other drivers that don't necessarily agree with you. Staying right except to pass minimizes the risk to everyone involved, accommodating both conservative drivers and aggressive or unsafe drivers, and lets everybody coexist. Staying left increases the danger and promotes road rage and other unsafe driving behaviors such as tailgating and right-lane passing.
Too many people take the attitude that such a situation would force them to pass on the shoulder, or to cross the median and drive the wrong way on the other side of the freeway. They have no other option. They were forced to take drastic measure because there was no other choice.
Of course there's another choice. Slow down. Yes, it is frustrating. Yes, it is inconvenient. Yes, yes, it is many undesirable things. But it is an option and it is safer.
What I described is what actually happens in that scenario, and unfortunately I only have control over my own actions, not those of "everyone behind them".
If you're deliberately ignoring reality and blocking a line of traffic, telling yourself, "these people don't have to be dangerous", the only things you're accomplishing are self-delusion and making the road more dangerous.
Stay to the right except to pass. It's really not that difficult.
You must live somewhere there aren't left exits.
The "I'm following the law, screw moving over for anyone " attitude when applied in the left lane is exactly the problem that's causing this discussion.
>So people need to chill when the driver in front of them seems to be traveling 2mph below the max speed limit.
This attitude is exactly the problem.
No, that person needs to stop making a rolling road block and move over. Even if I'm going 10+ faster than the next lane to my right I'll move into the next open spot and slow down if there's someone who comes up behind me. It's just basic manners. It's the exact same at 55mph as it is at 85mph.
Does this sound like a utopia to you, or a nightmare? Do you think this would make traffic more optimal, or would it cause untold safety issues?
If somebody in the left lane is traveling at the legal maximum speed and it causes traffic to stack up behind them, does this create the optimal traffic pattern or a safety hazard?
You might point out that most accidents are caused by speed differentials and involve somebody traveling much slower than the rest of traffic. I am still unclear why that would be blamed on the slower driver if everyone else is breaking the law.
The result is the guy in the back is going to be speeding up and slowing down around the speed limit. That is extremely annoying. If you haven't been this guy, I can only assume your always the guy in the front cruising in the fast lane causing 19+ people behind you to get angry and want to kill you.
Basically, travel in the right lane, unless your going to put the effort in and pass the person in the right lane within a reasonable time-frame (say in under a minute). Otherwise your just creating more problems. Wishing that isn't true doesn't make the problem go away, its just creating unsafe conditions for other people, who are frequently just trying to drive as safe as possible too.
Why do we always leave off 3 and 4? The angry posters here are so focused on 1 and 2, but don't seem to acknowledge 3 and 4.
A typical family sedan in the late 70s had a double-digit top speed. And those "recommended" speed signs that say you should do 35mph around a corner, were actually accurate. If you dared to take a 35mph recommended speed corner at 36mph, your tires would be yelping.
In a modern car, you can take those casually take those corners at 55mph; aggressive cornering starts at double the posted speeds.
It's the same thing with the freeway. Going 80mph in a modern car is probably safer than a 1980s car was doing 65. Today's Civic has the cornering, acceleration and braking performance of a 80s Ferrari.
The slow drivers are no different than the fast drivers. Both of you are outliers and aren't easy to calculate in the timing algorithms.
imo, people are selfish when it comes to driving.
The parent never said that.
When you merge on onto the freeway to need to merge at the fucking speed of traffic.
I've been in so many cases stuck behind a clueless oregon driver merging onto I-5(70mph) at 35-40mph while there's a fucking semi bearing down on us 1/4-1/8th of a mile away.
It's goddamn dangerous and putting people in situations where someone is going to get killed.
Which doesn’t help traffic one iota.
So, no, one is not obligated to yield, but at some point you’ll do it anyway if you value your passenger side door panels.
In Seattle, often times you can't move out of the lane, traffic's too thick. Which is why the person in the right lane needs to make accomodations to those merging, and the person merging needs to do their part by accelerating to speed of traffic. It's a cooperation, and when the mergers don't do their part it fucks it up for everyone else. I have to disrupt traffic flow because your Mustang can't accelerate to 60mph in a reasonable amount of time. Or I don't let you in, now everyone behind you on the exit ramp gets to slam on their brakes. Given the choice, I'll screw up the exit ramp by not yielding to a slow-poke rather than screw up multiple lanes on I-405 by slamming on my brakes or making a questionable lane change.
On the flip side, if I've accelerated to the speed of traffic flow and you don't want to let me in, I'll remind you that in the Chicago-style school of driving where I got my black belt, the turn signal is a warning and not a request.
EDIT: refuse to adjust their speed to accommodate drivers merging onto a 3+ lane highway/freeway
Wait a minute, what? The general traffic lanes have absolutely no obligation to adjust their speed to accommodate anything coming down the entrance ramp except an emergency vehicle. It is the responsibility of those merging from the entrance ramp to adjust their speed to the flow of traffic. It's in the driver's manual of three states I've lived in, and I'd be surprised if it weren't universal.
Consider if you were driving a 80klb GVWR semi. If the law required you to yield that could make for an incredibly dangerous situation.
If I am out accelerating you in a goddamn ford fiesta which does 0-60 in 11 seconds... well you're probably not driving correctly.
FYI, mid-michigan also sucks for this sort of thing.
All it takes is one stupid/wrong move and you have a massive pileup.
Most of the speeding accidents I've seen along I-5 tend to be single car unless they cross the divider.
Whenever I see it happen I usually double my following distance and let all the idiots sort it out but most people just tend to put themselves in a position where they don't have an exit if something goes wrong.
I don't mind speeding in the left lane if they're at a reasonable speed above their immediate right lane. If they're going 30 over what the one-right lane is going it's quite hazardous. Yet so many people feel justified. Selfish.
Bingo. You should be pissed at people who don't drive the speed limit.
There should be some allowance for ensuring that the median speeds of adjacent lanes have a good range separation. I can't even count how many times I have seen a tractor-trailer in the left lane at 70 mph passing a tractor-trailer in the right lane at 69 mph, as passenger cars stack up behind them. It creates a dangerous situation that I can only avoid by slowing down or exiting the roadway.
Speed limits should apply only to the rightmost lane, and additional lanes should be between 5 and 15 mph faster than the current speed of traffic in the lane to their right, regardless of their absolute speed. It makes sense, and it would improve traffic flow, but it can't become law because it would be too complicated for cops to enforce.
Presuming the max speed was 70mph, your post epitomizes the real danger. Traffic should not stack up behind vehicles traveling at the maximum allowed speed. Or at least, it should not stack up in a dangerous way. Twenty vehicles stacked up at proper following distances, all traveling 70mph, is actually optimal. Yet you seem to disparage it. You will never achieve optimal traffic flow if the general attitude toward actual optimal patterns is disdain.
If the max speed limit was above 70mph, ignore the preceding paragraph.
Hi. Welcome to Earth. It looks like you missed orientation.
Humans drive at different speeds, and usually follow too closely. We have recognized this species-wide problem, and are currently trying to build driving robots that will reduce the impact. Until they are ready, every collision you may see on the road was likely caused by a human driving non-optimally.
Therefore, rational drivers must presume that the other vehicles on the road may possibly behave irrationally, and therefore must introduce a safety margin for the incorrect behavior of other drivers in addition to the margin defined by their own capabilities.
Show me a train of 20 cars moving at 70 mph with less than 1 second of separation between them, and I'm just going to ease off the accelerator, and maybe look for my next rest stop, until those lunatics are far enough ahead that I'll possibly learn about their 6-vehicle pile-up early enough to detour around it. The only way that is optimal is if there are zero humans in it.
In fact, the most well known system made an adjustment some time ago that it would no longer exceed the legal speed limit.
> rational drivers must presume that the other vehicles on the road may possibly behave irrationally, and therefore must introduce a safety margin for the incorrect behavior of other drivers in addition to the margin defined by their own capabilities.
Exactly. So slow down. Join the train of cars instead of trying to pass them. Maintain a safe distance and don't worry that you will be late. You won't. 20 cars driving 70mph is better than 10 cars driving 80, one driving 85, five driving 75, two driving 90, and two driving 70. It is better for all of those cars, not just the two driving 70. They will all be safer, and they will all arrive at their destinations within 60 seconds of when they would have.
Humans are not machines, of course. But they can work on one important attribute with which every automated vehicle should be programmed: patience. In a world where human drivers increasingly share the road with robots, human patience must adapt.
"Proper following distances" means "you can react and stop in time to prevent a collision if the car in front of you brakes very hard".
Ripped from a wiki article on the topic:
The United States National Safety Council suggests that a three-second rule—with increases of one second per factor of driving difficulty—is more appropriate. Factors that make driving more difficult include poor lighting conditions (dawn and dusk are the most common); inclement weather (ice, rain, snow, fog, etc.), adverse traffic mix (heavy vehicles, slow vehicles, impaired drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.), and personal condition (fatigue, sleepiness, drug-related loss of response time, distracting thoughts, etc.). For example, a fatigued driver piloting a car in rainy weather at dusk would do well to observe a six-second following distance, rather than the basic three-second gap."
The only reason speed limits get so much focus is that they are so easy to enforce.
Because of that, they have essentially become a direct-to-police tax, rather than something useful.
Traffic = Flow Rate (How many cars pass per minute pass a specific point)
Traffic Solution is maintain proper distance. 2 seconds in good weather and 4 seconds when hazardous or 10 seconds when extremely unsafe weather/conditions.
When people increase the distance between cars during traffic causes the traffic behind to eventually come to a stop.
Obviously safety gets triaged with need to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time, but at a certain point you hit a maximum and since we can't drive in unison, there will be a rubber banding effect.
There will always be trucks going slower, and always people who feel comfortable at much higher speeds.
Going different speeds is what multiple lanes are for.
The problem is that multiple lanes lose their value when two cars are driving side-by-side at the same speed. If the left car speeds up for a short period, then moves to the right, traffic will be able to circulate, creating more distance between cars, and fewer instances of significant speed difference in a close range over a period of time.
The problem is that speed itself is quantifiable, so police focus on it way more than is helpful. To legitimize speed tickets, there have been years of propaganda teaching people that slower = better, so those who want to drive slow feel vindicated, and those who understand traffic flow are frustrated.
And this is why they do not want you to drive slow. The difference of speed between cars is what causes accidents. This is why speed limits are raised based on 90th percentile speeds. And this is why everyone in California drives 80 in 65, and CHP are apparently OK with that.
Absolutely untrue. My wife was ticketed by the CHP for driving at 80 on an empty I5 early in the morning. There was no traffic and she was the only other car on that stretch of the I5 at that time.
We seriously considered figting the ticket but I was unable to collect any data to prove that 90 percentile of the traffic drives at 80 although that's my own observation.
The ticket was cited using PACING and the officer did not have a recently calibrated odometer which gave us an upperhand but that would not be enough to dismiss the case.
We also researched and found out that the AAA lobbies to keep statutory speed limits down at 65 wherever a higher speed is proposed.
We then considered the pros of paying $500 for a ticket and traffic school vs paying thousands in insurance premiums for the next few years.
We ended up paying $500.
65 is the statutory speed limit barring higher prima facie limits. Any higher speed is illegal. Not getting a ticket
while driving at 80 does not mean the CHP is OK with it, just that there are far more drivers than CHP officers.
PS: If anyone knows how to strike a deal with the prosecutor/DA's office without getting an attorney involved for trivial traffic tickets like this, I am all ears.
For future reference, that would have been enough to get the ticket dismissed. Tickets must be based on calibrated range speedometers, not the officer's odometer.
Also, the DA generally doesn't negotiate traffic tickets. It's not worth their time. Simply contest the ticket, since the worst case scenario is you get the same punishment you would have gotten if you hadn't fought the ticket.
That is incorrect. PACING (officer's odometer) is accepted by the court. If you can provide any case/regulation that refutes this, I will pay you money for the lead.
> since the worst case scenario is you get the same punishment you would have gotten if you hadn't fought the ticket.
Again, that is incorrect. Traffic school can be refused by the judge if defendant contests the ticket
If you can provide any case/regulation that refutes this, I will pay you money for the lead.
Here is a case that even with citing Wozniak (http://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/19...), it clearly states that the court has discretion to allow or deny traffic school and is under no obligation to disclose the reasons why
People v. Schindler, 20 Cal. App. 4th 431 - Cal: Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate Dist., 4th Div (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1770113.html, http://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/4th/2...)
Under section 42005, the court may order traffic school. Although the court may not arbitrarily refuse to entertain a request for traffic school merely because a defendant elects to plead not guilty (People v. Wozniak (1987) 197 Cal. App.3d Supp. 43 [243 Cal. Rptr. 686]; People v. Enochs (1976) 62 Cal. App.3d Supp. 42 [133 Cal. Rptr. 363]), the court otherwise has discretion to grant or not grant traffic school for a traffic violation. (People v. Levinson (1984) 155 Cal. App.3d Supp. 13, 21 [203 Cal. Rptr. 426].)
Nothing in section 42005 requires the court to state its reasons for granting or rejecting traffic school.
When I turn up at court, I am informed. I don't believe in crossing fingers, working off "intuition" or "hoping that the officer does not show up"
All the good traffic-ticket lawyers will know all the tricks for your state, and some of them are kind enough to give away those tactics for free, essentially as stealth advertising for those who would rather pay the money to ensure a professional will do it correctly. But I'm not a lawyer and don't get tickets, so...
Wrong; actual penalties for traffic offenses can be greater (both in monetary value and may add license suspension) than the fine assigned with a ticket (which is a mixture of bail applied for certain modes of contest and a plea bargain offer if you choose to plead guilty.)
Plus, whether or not the base fine is higher, you can also be assessed court costs.
I think the cops are fine with it, since it provides a perfect pretext for a traffic stop if they want you for some other reason.
A cause, but most definitely not the cause. There's the not-so-trivial factors of reaction time (separation / speed) and breaking distance (proportional to the square of the speed) too. And many other factors too, of course.
From the article:
> but Järlström and his attorneys from the Institute for Justice
IFJ is a non-profit (that has received Charity Navigator's 4-star rating for 16 years in a row). That's not to say that what Oregon has done here is right (not by any means) but Järlström surely hasn't paid IFJ anything.
The better question is why are there not more judges?
Everything is also bound by time.Unfortunately in the legal system there is just no incentive to go fast.
Also, plaintiffs have huge incentives to move cases along quickly, because very often some or all of their compensation is tied to the outcome. But cases with contingency lawyers who aren't getting paid until the client gets paid don't move any more quickly than other kinds of cases.
As for why there are not more judges: what do you think of this proposal to create a whole bunch of new judgeships? https://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/calabre....
I wanted to ask you about this and why it is not more known to the common person
>In addition to the problem of unpublished opinions sketched above, another scandal plagues the administration of justice litigants in America face today – the problem of administrative law judges (ALJs).
The only thing hourly billing does is shift the risk to the client.
Lawyers in tort cases bill on a contingency basis, so working more does not change their payout--success is all that matters.
Lawyers in transactional cases usually bill hourly, because when you're talking about multi-million or multi-billion dollar transactions, the few thousand you spend on the lawyers and accountants is a rounding error compared to what you spend on the airfare for the executives negotiating the deal.
If you understand the nuances of a subject, you likely want to explain why you do, so that your thoughts aren't totally disregarded.
The problem is that the state wanted to disregard his (or anyone's) thoughts, so they defined "engineer" to carry authority, and levied a fine for anyone who sought to use the word.
This is a reasonable thing to do for professions like Medical Doctor, or EMT, where your title demands specific education. It is not reasonable for ambiguous words like "engineer".
For contrast, here is a job opening for the State of Oregon for a PE: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/oregon/jobs/1891379/s...
The government here may have refused to back down out of fear of setting a precedent that would be used in other cases where they were actually in the right
Does someone who knows more about professional engineering know if this law in Oregon is uncommon?
Beyond a free speech argument, it seems like the law is a bit flawed considering other related fields like science, math, and software may not have licensing.
Also, it goes as far as saying someone can't put "engineer" on their resume with solely a degree. Seems very far off the norm.
IMO, the primary difference between the licensed engineer and the unlicensed engineer is responsibility. The person who signs off on the safety of a project does not get to pass the buck. They have to be willing to say 'no' to their client or their employer, even if it comes at a personal financial cost.
The rewards for taking on that additional responsibility are fairly minor. You have a little more job security than those without it and you might enjoy a small pay bump. I guess in Oregon you also used to get a somewhat exclusive job title.
You're right that if you have the license but don't have the responsibility, it's a little pointless.
Most every state in the USA has some sort of Professional Engineering law.
But I think there are only one or two states in the US where generic Engineer is a protected title (as opposed to e.g. "Civil Engineer"). So in most of the USA, you can call yourself a "Sales Engineer" and not worry about anyone coming after you.
But it's definitely a much more wide-spread practice in other parts of the world. And even applies to software.
E.g., Microsoft was sued in Canada for referring to holders of one of their technician certifications ("Microsoft Certified (TM)(R)") as engineers.
One difference is that the profession is 'Self Regulating', meaning Professional Engineers Ontario is a non-governmental body made up of Professional Engineers that is trusted by the government to manage the profession. The Quebec version of this organization, Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, was put under "trusteeship of the provincial government" when the government lost that trust after some infrastructure accidents .
The question of what constitutes "engineering work" is well defined in the Professional Engineers Act (Ontario) and would probably cover a lot of what you mentioned as 'science, math, software' not having licensing. So according to Professional Engineers Ontario, some of the types of work that those types of people could produce could require the sign-off of a Professional Engineer if it falls under the definition of "engineering work" by the PEO:
 Under the Professional Engineers Act, the “practice of professional engineering” means “any act of planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising that requires the application of engineering principles and concerns the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment, or the managing of any such act”.
To determine whether you are practising professional engineering, ask yourself three questions:
Are you planning, designing, composing, evaluating, advising, reporting, directing or supervising, or managing any of these acts?
Are engineering principles required to carry out the act?
Does the act concern the safeguarding of life, health, property, economic interests, the public welfare or the environment?
As a licensed engineer in Ontario, I'm to display my licence at my place of work. I also keep another image close by to make sure we all remember not to take ourselves too seriously.
"The practice of professional engineering means... any act of evaluating that requires application of engineering principles... and concerns economic interests."
It's not quite a bullet-proof concept. I doubt the U.S. Supreme Court is going to take this issue on at the time. But if I had a background in engineering and law and considered these laws in context, they seem a bit stupid. Most B.S. engineering graduates aren't professionally licensed but obviously are qualified to work and designate themselves as some type of engineer, at least on LinkedIn.
In any case, it seems the term to be protected is "Professional Engineer" or "Licensed Engineer" and not the generic title itself, and the scope should be limited by specifying what jobs require that license instead of a blanket statement. For example, "all bridges on public roads require work to be certified by a professional licensed engineer."
In the earlier discussion, there was some debate about whether measuring the hypotenuse of a triangle is legal in public in Oregon.
In plain language, doesn't this pretty much cover everything? A CFO, or even just an accountant or bookkeeper is probably using things (accounting software) that "requires the application of engineering principles" and "concerns the safeguarding of ... property, economic interests".
I guess it's all moot until a lawyer argues, and a court accepts, reasoning along these lines.
Yes, because before regulation buying and selling real estate was rife with scams, ripoffs, blatantly false advertising, and misapropriation.
These regulations don't come out of nowhere. I know that there is some residual teenage rebellion against rules, and there is without a doubt some downside and friction associated with imperfect regulation and enforcement. The alternative, though, is not better than the present.
We really do not want to live in the completely unregulated society that many tech-lad libertarians think would be Nirvana. It would be, instead, the hell we got rid of.
Out of curiosity, what would a typical set of transaction fees be for buying and selling a property? In my area (US/TX) it is nominally a 3% fee to the agent plus no more than 2% of the transaction for all other costs including financing, title insurance, etc.
Plus stamp duty You can claim a discount (relief) so you don’t pay any tax up to £300,000 and 5% on the portion from £300,001 to £500,000.
seems high but property taxes are tiny when compared to the USA
OTOH a perfectly libertarian system is ripe for the exploitation of fallible humans. Anyway there's a case for moderation here. I don't think shrinking the government to some ineffectual, microscopic or nonexistent size will accomplish what libertarians would hope for. Likewise having an omnipresent behemoth that controls every aspect of life isn't good either.
Looking at it simply, is there a possible set of rules that reduces waste, increases efficiency of constrained resources, and reduce exploitation from within the system? Libertarian ideologues suggest that there exists such a set of such rules, and it's a dramatically smaller set than we currently have. In order to move towards that smaller ideal set, we need a ideological shift in America -- we need to admit we suck. We suck at things, and some things that we think are okay now will suck soon. American culture sells the opposite: you're great, and it's poisonous. We need to acknowledge when others are doing better than us. I think we currently suck at it because the system is working as intended: corruption for sale. I don't think that's a sustainable system for the American people. It's about time we upgraded our "infrastructure."
We need to realign our government, giving it back to those that they are supposed to be serving in the first place: the citizens. Let's start by acknowledging that Libertarians are trying to free us from that which the government has no business being involved, thus reducing waste, increasing the efficiency of constraints, and reducing opportunity for exploitation. It is not about trying to create loop holes for exploitation. It's about shifting the meta away from corruption.
That's why I've yet to meet a poor libertarian.
* must pay applicable fees to be licensed for practicing freedom
Järlström is and was allowed to discuss his analysis all he wanted, however, he is not allowed to call himself an engineer in such a was as to imply that he is a traffic or transportation engineer.
Full disclosure, I am a registered professional traffic engineer. As such, I feel that registration is very important and serves to protect the public at large from people producing work with little to no relevant experience.
Here is an article that was previously posted on HN which includes many of the documents involved in this case.
He never claimed to be a traffic or transportation engineer, in fact the fine cited him for use of the phrase "electronics engineer." He is an EE: He has an electrical engineering degree from his home country (Sweden) and he has worked as an electrical engineer for decades.
>I am a registered professional traffic engineer. As such, I feel that registration is very important and serves to protect the public at large from people producing work with little to no relevant experience.
"PE" (professional engineer) does have a legal distinction in the jurisdiction of Oregon, but he never claimed to be a registered PE in the state of Oregon. "Engineer" is not a legal distinction. He never made any false declarations about his credentials.
>the State Board did not censor what he was saying, they asked him to stop representing himself as an engineer.
They "asked him" by issuing a $500 fine in response to his letter for committing the apparent crime of sending a letter in which he (factually) stated that he is an engineer. Telling citizens "you are not allowed to write a letter to the government in which you use the word 'engineer' (a term with no legal distinctions) when describing yourself" sounds like censorship to me.
2> The practice of engineering is defined in ORS 672.005(1) 
3> In the initial communications the board advised him that he should not use the title engineer or refer to himself as an engineer. To which he agreed. Later, he again referred to himself as an engineer.
I would also like to point out that engineering is not a regulated profession in Sweden. No licensure, registration, or certification is offered or required to practice engineering in Sweden. He may very well be qualified and have the knowledge, that doesn't mean he can practice in the US without proper registration.
Please read through the documents that are included with the Motherboard article that I linked in my parent post. All of these points are clearly stated along with copies of the conversations.
In the initial September 3, 2014 email where Järlström says he is doing related work, he specifies that his engineering degree is Swedish and that his expertise is in motional feedback of powered speakers. He is anything but misleading.
Järlström did not misrepresent himself.
An Engineer designs functional things.
No reasonable person is going to think that him calling himself an "Electrical Engineer", which he is, construes that he had specific training in designing traffic infrastructure that doesn't accidentally harm people.
Traffic infrastructure is not a nuanced topic full of dangerous pitfalls.
He was claiming that he had a background in engineering that is applicable to the subject, so that his viewpoint would not be cast aside. The state wanted to ignore his viewpoint, so they fined him.
Another more extreme, yet more common, example is structural engineering. While the basics of structural engineering are relatively simple the consequences of failure are very high. If a multi-story structure collapses, a lot of people will be injured or killed. That is why it is important to know more than just the basics of what goes into structural engineering.
I am not trying to down play the importance of training for medical doctors. I am trying to highlight that engineers need to have training and a regulatory board that is used to track and prove that the training has been completed to an acceptable level. If any yahoo is able to say, "I am an engineer, trust me," how do you prove his credentials? Just like with a medical doctor, you would look up his certification.
We aren't even talking about structural engineering here. We are talking about an electrical engineer submitting comments regarding traffic.
The only reason these are related is the word "engineer", which is ambiguous.
The contents of this man's letter are not physically acting upon traffic. They were submitted to be considered by a group of "licensed" traffic engineers.
The subject does not require the decade of specific education that is required by a medical doctor, or even months of training that is required by an EMT.
It's about a traffic light camera, which an electrical engineer would be able to understand significantly better than a layman, making the fact that he is an electrical engineer important to the subject.
The state fined him for his claim of being an engineer, defining the word by its context (traffic lights) instead of by its adjective (electrical).
The state abused this notion to delegitimize his words, and to disincentivize him commenting in the first place.
I would go further and say that as a EE working in the field he would understand this issue better than a traffic engineer would.
I am very critical of the idea that a license should be required to discuss the traffic system that we all interact with.
The issue I take to this is that you must have a recognized title to claim knowledge.
This has two problems:
1. People outside of a group of recognition have unnecessary difficulty giving input. This degrades the "public" aspect of the forum.
2. Common words like "engineer" are redefined to have more authority than they do outside the forum. This means that those with broad engineering expertise and knowledge that is applicable to the subject are considered to not have any applicable knowledge or expertise.
It may be reasonable to require credentials from someone who is doing the engineering, or someone who makes final decisions.
It is not reasonable to require credentials from everyone who uses a noun to describe him or herself.
If you want credentials from someone who claims to be an engineer, then you can ask for them. Credentials need not be assumed.
There are positions like MD, EMT, Police Officer, etc. that do imply credentials. These titles inherently require trust and respect, so claiming one without credentials is fraudulent. "Engineer" does not fit into that category.
You don't want someone to wire your house improperly, because non-trivial things like kinked cables can end up starting fires later on.
To say that you are an electrical engineer does not carry weight.
To say you can do electrical work because you are an electrical engineer implies that you have credentials. This is because "can" changes the context of the statement. "can" implies authority.
There is such thing as an unlicensed electrical engineer. That is because "electrical engineer" alone does not imply authority.
There are positions that do imply authority, like MD, EMT, Police Officer, and electrical engineer is not one of them.
I'm done here, this is not going anywhere productive or enlightening.
"Engineer" is not broadly considered a claim of authority. It is a claim of knowledge.
If I am required to provide credentials whenever I say "engineer", then how, as someone without credentials, am I supposed to express my background?
I'll simply choose another word, which will have the exact meaning that "engineer" currently does. Why? Because you redefined the word.
The word "engineer" is perfectly adequate in its current state.
If you really want to know whether you can trust an engineer in his or her capacity, you will then ask for some credentials, like a degree or state-sponsored license. The fact that anyone can use the word "engineer" to describe him or herself does not in any way detract from that.
The reason that MD, EMT, or police officer are different is that every individual who claims that title is treated with authority.
Can you explain what you mean by that?
The reason why I ask is this - before the process was simplified in Canada, you were required to have your passport application signed by an accredited professional guarantor like a medical doctor, accountant, police officer, engineer (PEng), etc who had known you for a minimum period of time.
So in this specific context, an engineer is a special class of person in society (because of the professional body he/she is a member of).
In this scenario, the state has redefined the meaning of "engineer" in a way that is very detrimental.
A Medical Doctor or physician implies with his or her title, authority to practice.
The word "engineer" does not carry this implication, nor should it.
When I tell people that I am a "Software Engineer", I am expressing years of self-education, nuanced understanding, etc. This title is not misconstrued as having a degree or license, of which I have neither. If I want to claim to have a degree, I will be explicit about it.
Calling myself an "engineer" is a very useful way to express the complicated body of knowledge that I possess. If the word suddenly implies credentials, of which I do not possess, I am suddenly considered a fraud.
TL;DR You can consider me a fraud by redefining what an "engineer" is, but that doesn't make me one, so please don't redefine engineer. That does not help discourse.
This is backwards from my perspective. Engineering has long been a licensed profession. It is only recently that a group of people have chosen, for some reason beyond me, to call themselves "software engineers" and avail themselves of the industrial exemption. I'm not a fan but the ship has sailed on that one.
> A Medical Doctor or physician implies with his or her title, authority to practice.
There are many MDs and DOs that are not licensed by their state boards and they too have to take care with misrepresenting themselves as physicians licensed to practice. The same is true of people using the industrial exemption to practice engineering, one cannot use the industrial exemption to practice before the public.
TL;DR from my perspective (PhD in engineering but not an engineer) there is a newer group people who are attempting to redefine what "engineer" means as a profession, and that redefinition relaxes education, experience, and professional conduct standards by quite a bit. I realize that like the Browncoats of Firefly I am on the losing side, and also like the Browncoats I don't like it.
Titles like "Medical Doctor" or "EMT" carry authority, because they require specific training, so that you know how not to kill someone while you are trying to help them. For these professions, it is necessary for the state to demand a set of requirements from those who carry those titles.
Saying someone must be specific about what kind of engineer they purport to be is quite unreasonable, and unnecessary.
In this case, the state created the "title" so that they could ignore anyone who didn't pay for the title. Since it is totally normal to call oneself an "engineer" without worrying about that title carrying a dangerous authority, it was unexpected, and malicious for the state to redefine the term.
>Saying someone must be specific about what kind of engineer they purport to be is quite unreasonable, and unnecessary.
You are essentially saying that any discipline of engineering is the same as any other. This is simply untrue. Do you want me as a traffic engineer doing the job of a chemical engineer? Probably not.
Simply calling oneself an engineer does not make it so. Just as I can't call myself a race car driver because I can drive a car fast by pressing the gas peddle further down. There must be enforcement of titles that effect public health and safety. Traffic engineering is one of those protected titles.
No, but they are related, and any type of engineer will be trained to think like an engineer, which is really the only prerequisite for contributing to discussion about traffic design.
This man is not walking up to traffic lights and changing the timing, he sent a letter with his comments, and pointed out that he is an electrical engineer, which is how he is capable of understanding the nuances of traffic lights.
The problem is not that his idea was rejected, but that it was ignored. When we require licenses for broad things like "engineering ability", we prevent discussion on engineering topics.
> Simply calling oneself an engineer does not make it so.
Simply calling oneself an engineer is not harmful. I am not suddenly gaining authority by saying that I am a software engineer. I am, however, bringing to light years of self-education as a context for my understanding.
> There must be enforcement of titles that effect public health and safety.
That is a broad statement.
I agree that titles like MD or EMT that involve direct action that are likely to cause harm without proper training should be regulated, so that people can trust an individual who claims to be an MD or EMT to do the things that an MD or EMT does.
I disagree with the idea that no one is allowed to contribute to a discussion on topics related to public safety without a license. That is absurd.
Those who do the engineering likely should have a license, so that we can trust them.
Those who discuss engineering should not be limited to the ones who have a license.
Everyone should be able to discuss a topic without fear. Otherwise, engineers would not be able to hear from those who use their designs.
A software engineer that does not hear his or her users writes awful software. An engineer that designs something used by the public that does not hear his or her users is an awful engineer.
It feels like in this case they were using registration (or lack thereof) to protect revenue and as a consequence they didn't protect people. I think the people that directed the case should be held accountable and perhaps the board should review their behavior.
And there is zero legal assurance that a Professional Engineer or a Medical Doctor can do their jobs competently.
Certifications are fine, if done by private organizations. Those certifications have to prove their value in the marketplace, to customers, or they'll become worthless.
When the boot heel of government is used to give certifications the force of law is when they run off the rails, and allow small groups to impose arbitrary rules to exclude valuable practitioners.
I don't need to be a chef to know when the meat is spoiled.
I'm not saying the board was right, but please see it from their perspective. A certified traffic engineer would also use the term "engineer" in his findings. The latter's analysis would be given much more weight, be trusted more, simply because that's what certification is meant for. We've created titles and institutions for a purpose, so that Average Joe Board Member doesn't need to go into the details of a technical analysis, but can trust the outcome proposed/suggested.
But we're talking about some simple math for counting the length of traffic lights. Everybody uses traffic lights, everybody knows simple math. It is ridiculous to assert that you need a technical qualification to know it's wrong that red light cameras flash at 100 seconds, but the light changes at 110 seconds.
And, in this case, the board members were all certified traffic engineers and were reviewing this other person's offered analysis (or, rather, deciding to go after the person for their affront in even offering the analysis at all without having a certification). As others have pointed out, Oregon is very selectively enforcing the law. It's pretty hard not to conclude that some asshole decided to go after someone for pointing out problems with work for which they were somewhat responsible.
Expert testimony is evidence, not argument.
Kiuper's sibling comment in this thread sums it up nicely as far as I can tell.
The court summons photo had the GPS co-ordinates of the vans location embedded in the corner. So I types them in to Google Maps and it supposedly showed that the van was 50 meters away from the road in a farmers field. I tried again with other mapping sources including Ordnance Survey Ireland - all produced the same result.
So our case was simple, if the GPS in the van was so inaccurate then that called in to question the accuracy of the rest of the attached equipment - including the speed detection gear.
So I built up a portfolio of documents from both government, commercial and academic sources stating that the GPS equipment in the van should have been more accurate - to at least 5m and ideally more than that. I was also able to call upon my experience having worked on various GIS systems and on the development of lone worker emergency beacons in the past.
When I spoke for my wife in court the prosecutor asked me if I was was a certified GPS engineer. I said that I didn't believe such a title existed and that I was offering evidence based on my professional experience. But that was enough to sway the judge who said that unless I had someone from "GPS" [sic] with me than my evidence counted for nothing.
Fair play to the guy in the article for putting up a fight.
> Since then, a federal lawsuit settlement awarded partial refunds to nearly 500,000 violators, and this year a computer glitch voided more than 10,000 violation notices.
> While the cameras in Newark have been turned off, Redflex continues to face a series of legal battles.
> The company’s former CEO was indicted in August on federal corruption charges, alleging she bribed a retired Chicago official in exchange for assistance with the company’s red light camera contracts in that city.
> In a federal lawsuit, a fired company executive has claimed Redflex provided lavish gifts and bribes to government officials in 13 states, including New Jersey, to secure new contracts.
> With the research conflicting, Fairfax County, Va., sought other ways to reduce red-light violations and related crashes. It found that lengthening an amber light by 1.5 seconds cut red-light violations by 96 percent - a greater reduction than red-light cameras produce. But that's a problem if what you're looking for is ticket revenue.
And I could not find it -- but I clearly remember a Newark/Trenton mayor accidentally saying "We really need the money" when trying to speak for re-instating the cameras.
And then there's the pesky Constitution, which municipalities get around by making the violations civil instead of criminal. Less burden of proof.
"Man Fined $500 for Crime of Writing 'I Am an Engineer' in an Email to the Gov't" (April 26, 2017 - 267 comments)
I am glad the results were the way they were, but without slapping someone's hand for this it will happen again next time.
All are basically violating the law? (except those who actually took the official PE exam, which apparently is available for computer science since 2013 - https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/3954... )
Basically in states like Oregon, the officials can just scan linkedin, anyone who lives in the state and has Software Engineer in their title and is not a licenced engineer, can be forced to pay a $500 fine?
Edit: I actually went and did the search, there are 18,101 software engineer titles in Oregon in LinkedIn, here's an easy $9 million for the state in fines.
My assumption that if this gets to court, since the colloquial term for a software programmer / developer is nowadays "Software Engineer" and since there was no official way to become a certified "computer science" engineer prior to 2013, this will be hopefully thrown out the window.
Colorado as well.
> We just throw them in the trash.
This worked once for me. The second time, an off duty Sheriff's Deputy came to my house and served me.
Having a camera constantly recording in a public area is not something that I find reasonable. Cameras do not announce their presence. Cameras do not get tired, or leave. Cameras made for law enforcement assume guilt.
It's more the ubiquity of surveillance that seems unreasonable, but, like a lot of things, there's no clear dividing line between what should be allowed and what should be prohibited. And it's even more complicated by the ability of, e.g. police, to pool multiple cameras owned by private individuals or groups.
When people do illegal things to other people or their property, that is when law enforcement should get involved.
We shouldn't just watch people waiting to see them do something that we have defined as "wrong". We should react to the things that people do wrong, and educate people about how to go about their lives without harming others.
> Surveillance by people is expensive, grueling, and hard to hide.
Laws are designed for a law enforcement body that has these inadequacies. If we start enforcing them in a different way that does not have these limitations, the aspects of those laws that were designed to make up for those inadequacies suddenly become harsh and constrictive.
Here you are talking about "warranted" surveillance.
Traffic cameras are warrantless.
I believe you lack the maturity to operate multi-ton vehicles on public streets.
2) Traffic cameras are used to issue more than just red light tickets, speed cameras being another example.
3) TFA is about flaws in those devices that can lead to incorrect accusations on the part of the state employing them.
And this is a thread about red light cameras. Is this confusing to you? What's the difference in "money grabbiness" between red light cameras and speed cameras?
Is someone who disregards the one but not the other qualified to drive?
And you seem to have missed it, but this article and the "engineer" isn't even claiming the devices are wrongfully ticketing.
There is no proof of your statement.
You assumed guilt because the state sent a ticket to someone. Just because a ticket showed up in the mail does not mean the person is guilty of anything. So what if driving is a privilege? Can the government stop us at its whim from doing anything that isn't explicitly listed in the Bill of Rights?
Red light cameras and speed cameras are both mindless automatons that are configured by fallible humans. They don't always work. I don't think a person's ability to drive should be judged by the findings of these machines.
You seem to have missed it, but
> Järlström was inspired by the $150 ticket his wife got in the mail in May after driving through an intersection with a red-light camera in Beaverton, Ore. His research showed that the mathematical formula used in the timing of yellow lights was outdated and unfair to drivers.
> Järlström’s interest in traffic cameras has grown into a passion. He says the original formula for calculating the duration of yellow lights dates back to the 1950s and only accounts for cars driving in straight lines. Cars in turning lanes need more time to slow down and make a legal right-hand turn, he says.
As an Electrical Engineer that has little interest in power systems and isn't looking to rewire other people's houses for money, I have very little use for a PE. I still have the basic right, along with everyone else (regardless of education), to make technical judgments of any situation. How these judgments are valued can (and should) be questioned, but our right to speak them cannot.
These laws you speak of are a mix of unenforced, unenforceable, unconstitutional, and unconscionable. Their actual effects are constrained between nothing (ie most people accept the concept of free speech) and the harmful thuggish behavior described in the article.
There are millions of examples of the law being broken in its literal form that would show its absurdity, ranging from computers to cars to banks to universities and classrooms.
Good on this man for fighting it in court.
Would you say the same thing about doctor licensing laws?
The proper test is fraud, not trademark or unauthorized subject matter.
The cameras were sold like opioids to cities promising revenues and 'safety'. I'd like to know who the elected officials who signed up for these were.
They're mostly gone in the Bay Area but they still exist up in Redding. So CA hasn't banned them statewide.
That is, Sally is doing 40mph in a 40mph zone, she sees the light turn yellow, and she's very close to the junction so she just keeps going, everything is fine. Bob is doing 25mph in a 55mph zone, he's some distance from the lights, they turn yellow, Bob stops normally as the lights turn red.
With red light cameras providing revenue there is an incentive to cut that time too short. Now Sally finds the light turned red earlier and she got a ticket. So next time Sally won't make that mistake, as soon as the light goes yellow she slams on the anchors, and somebody goes straight in the back of her - there's a traffic accident even though we invented these lights to reduce accidents. Oops.
Now a _good_ government would resist the temptation. They would set the formula to reduce crashes. But money is very tempting. Shaving a second off the time, getting $1M of extra revenue and oops smashing up a thousand people's cars, that's a good deal so long as you aren't paying for all those car repairs...
Having constantly vigilant eyes watching for anyone to do one exact thing wrong is totally unreasonable, because those eyes to not announce their presence, and the definition of "wrong" is not directly quantifiable.
Police focus too much on quantifiable things like speed, where there is a lot more nuance to the surrounding situation.
Is it "optimise for most money and fewest/no crashes"?
Or is it "optimise for fewest accidents"?
I can almost guarantee it will be the first option that is selected.
When I hear something is "for my safety", I take it to mean I'm about to lose some freedoms or some money.
It's not like you're doing anything useful with your first amendment rights anyway. I'm 100% serious btw, selectively enforced right to free speech is objectively worse. I still remember almost everybody LOUDLY and PROUDLY proclaiming "disagree with but will defend to the death" the right for a bunch of religious nuts to ruin gay people's fucking funeral, and all the fucking silence and shuffling of the feet on anything that actually matters.
Looking this up, this is phrased terribly. It's claiming some title or degree that you don't have, that's illegal. Not "practicing engineering" (which sounds to me like: you measured something and proposed an improvement, which you have to do a study for to be allowed to measure and suggest to improve it).
That "state-issued license to practice engineering" is just your degree which allows you to wear a title.
I don't think this is about attorney's fees anymore and Järlström won't be paying them.
IANAL, but it typically only happens if there is a specific statute, or pre-existing contractual arrangement specifying it. Some states, for example, designate that attorney fees should be awarded if a plaintiff pursued a lawsuit despite knowing there was no grounds for it. Also many anti-discrimination laws also have such rules.
That's the general rule, but I have zero knowledge of Oregon's laws.
How can this law exist inside of the United States?
At the moment this is the case.
Is he really though? He has an engineering education, but in Oregon he's not officially an engineer.
In a lot of jurisdictions, you can't call yourself an engineer unless you've been certified by the professional body. A Canadian politician had to apologize for calling himself an engineer because he was no longer certified .
I get that we in the tech industry like to be fast and loose with words like "architect" and "engineer", but those words can be protected by law. I assume the reasoning behind that is for consumer protection -- to ensure people are hiring people who meet a certain standard.
At some jobs I held, I used to have the word "architect" in my title, and everyone outside of tech would ask me if I designed buildings when I gave them my business card. I tend to think that if I had the word "engineer" in my title that a layperson would think I have an engineering education and certification.
Unfortunately, not liking an outdated law doesn't invalidate it or prevent it from being enforced. That's a separate issue.
Words can't be protected by law. It's called freedom of speech.
If you actually followed the thread, my point was a response to a response about changing the title to not call the person an engineer in the headline.
It had nothing to do with him being sanctioned for expressing his opinions about the red light cameras, which itself is a free speech issue.
If words are used to misrepresent, incite, defraud or defame, there can be legal consequences. If you had a slab of horse meat you were selling and someone asked you what it was, and you said only the word "beef", do you think there would be no legal recourse of action against you if the buyer found out it wasn't true?
Context is important. You can call non-kobe beef "kobe beef" in casual conversation, but IIRC you cannot in a conversation where you are selling said meat. IIRC "Kobe" is protected by treaty. If you are selling meat from a wagyu cow not originating from and raised in Kobe, you have to use the word "Wagyu" or another word instead of "Kobe".
(1) The right to self expression is so well protected in the Oregon Constitution that strippers have a right to perform with full nudity.
The average person doesn't know the difference between a "Professional Engineer" with a PEng and a "professional engineer". If someone like you were to say "I'm a professional engineer" and sign the passport application and it was caught, the person's passport would be invalidated and the signing small-e engineer would likely be fined for misrepresenting him/herself. You could actually say that in Canada at least, PEng engineers actually have an elevated status in society like doctors and lawyers.
Again, if someone wants to be a "Government certified professional engineer", that's fine. But taking claim over the entire english language to fine people for using the perfectly clear description "professional engineer" is a violation of US constitutional rights.
>At Least A Third Of All Women Murdered In The U.S. Are Killed By Male Partners
The older I get, the more I understand Turner's thesis on the frontier. Without a frontier, ambitious people turn into ever-more specialized rentiers, trying to squeeze the golden goose as hard as they can before it dies.
Seasteading, space, personal nanomachine universal constructors, or bust. Otherwise I'd welcome the destruction of, to paraphrase Nietzsche, the insane asylum of modern civilization.
Give us twenty thousand years. Maybe we'll be able to breed beings who have a high enough IQ to navigate a ”modern” world without various social status systems going completely insane.
That guy is a slap in the face to every engineer who had to work for their credentials instead of "name it and claim it" in the name of "free speech".
This is like shouting "fire in a theater" - it causes harm. Claiming to be an engineer, and driving public opinion based on that false credibility, is dangerous. Setting a precedent for it absolutely and without a single doubt has already cost many people their lives (look at Mexico deaths from earthquakes) and absolutely and without a doubt stages for more people to lose life and substantial property.
If one falsely claims to be a police officer, and extorts a fine, it is a crime. I see this as being on the same order of harm to the society.
It's not like this is a new use of the word, "software engineering " has been around for at least 70 years. So if you're trying to fight a battle against the misappropriate of the term "engineering", that battle was lost long ago.
+ he wasn't trying to commit a crime, he was trying to have a discussion with the state about their scummy practices.
the "is/is not engineer" was just a pretext to tell him to STFU.
Personally I don't think that being an engineer changes anything he said/did. If random Joe want to challenge the timing of the yellow light sure go ahead. If this guy who has worked in another country as an engineer does this... whoooaaaa... put the brakes on.
Having read some local news about the incident, it sounds like his wife blatantly ran a light according to the laws of Oregon and he attempted to get it thrown out using a dubious technical argument.
If laws are passed based only on the claims of any person (regardless of his engineering certifications) and without any independent validation that's not the fault of the person making the claim.
You're right that "they couldn't get work without certification" but that's because such certification is required for the work they do, it's not some way for them to get work that they are not qualified to do.
Do you have a better system of vetting that the engineer that's designing the building you work in is competent?
I'm totally against attempts at labor monopolies by using government to curtail other peoples right to work, and their free speech. Beyond those problems, there is an inherent bias in government certification programs. They are frequently captured by their participants and their standards change over time to focus on excluding outsiders over improving the value of certification. They often become insular and processes become dated.
Engineering is a field where if you mess up, people may die, so just as we license doctors, we license engineers.
Sorry for nitpicking, but the State did not get annoyed; a few bureaucrats did, probably because correcting the camera cycles deprives them of "extra revenue" in the form of fines.
That said, whoever at State got annoyed should get unannoyed. If an unlicensed engineer does the work that requires a license, state can intervene. Other than this everyone, licensed or not, should be able to argue that any state decision is inefficient / harmful / stupid and offer better alternatives. I suspect this is protected by the first amendment.
This has NOTHING to do with engineering credibility, calls to authority, or anything else. It's entirely to do with revenues being impacted and potentially having to pay out past revenues if it gets enough public attention. This is about politicians trying to find a way to silence someone.