Man who was fined $500 for criticizing traffic light timing gets his idea adopted by Institute of Transportation Engineers

In 2013 Mats Järlström's wife got a red light camera ticket at an intersection in Oregon. Järlström, an electrical engineer by training, investigated the formula used to time yellow lights. Järlström found flaws with the formula and e-mailed the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying to let them know. Here's what happened next, according to the Institute for Justice:

The Board told Mats it had no interest in hearing about his ideas. Fair enough. But the Board didn't stop there. After a two-year investigation, it fined him $500 for publicly criticizing the timing of traffic lights without having a Professional Engineer license. The Board also forbid him from continuing to discuss his research.

With the aid of the Institute for Justice, Järlström sued the board. In late 2018, the federal court ruled in Järlström's favor. Järlström submitted his idea to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), which assembled a panel to consider it. In late February, the ITE panel "found that the current equation for yellow light timing should be reconsidered and as of today [Feb 28, 2020], the Institute has voted to recommend Mats's formula as a recommended practice."