Mats Jarlstrom is an engineer living in Oregon. Jarlstrom noticed that something seemed wrong with the city’s red light cameras.
The cameras did not allow enough time for cars to slow down when the traffic lights were yellow. This ticketed people who were obeying the speed limits and red light laws, while making all drivers more likely to slam on their brakes and cause accidents.
In 2014, Jarlstrom sent a letter to the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying, explaining his excellent qualifications and asking for the opportunity to present his findings to the board.
Did the government accept Jarlstrom’s help in improving traffic cameras to keep people safe? Not quite. Instead, they served him with a $500 fine. See, Jarlstrom called himself an engineer in the letter – which he is, with an electrical engineering degree from a prestigious Swedish university. In the eyes of the state government, that amounts to “practicing engineering” without a state license.