INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Jobs

Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach
37

Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

(OP)
This article popped up in my google feed. I thought it was interesting, a little funny and a little ridiculous.


http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/...

Being familiar with licensing laws, and being an engineer, I agree with the city. I can see how easily a lay person could buy the spin, though.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I find it funny that the article describes him as a "Swedish-born electronics engineer". This is all dumb and is the result of the public not being informed or knowing what a PE or being chartered is. Everyone who is chartered or a professional engineer should be compelled to identify themselves as such to avoid confusion. Everyone knows a doctor has a medical certificate and every lawyer has a license to practice law. Engineering does a terrible job in educating the public as to what being licensed means by trying to bogard the term "engineer".

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I did find this interesting and have had numerous discussions regarding use of the term engineer throughout my career. I became an "engineer" when I got my BSCE in 1972. I became a PE when I passed the exam in 1977 or 78.

Late in my career one supervisor would not let the new engineers use the term "Engineer" on their cards or emails because of his strict interpretation of the State's position. I felt the restriction should be on PE not engineer in its generic definition.

Where I did get upset was throughout my career in the paper industry where people without engineering degrees where given titles such as Process or Production Engineers, Safety Engineer, or even Mechanical or Electrical Engineer. The first three may have had degrees in Paper Science or other "technical" disciplines, while the last two often had no degrees at all; having worked up though technical trades.

gjc

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

He lost out because Oregon has no industrial exemption: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/672.060.

Seemed to me that he was blatantly pushing the envelope. Had he keep to something like "BSEE 1982 Uppsala University" he could have gotten away with it. He's pi$$ing into the wind, since it's Oregon law, and the board is probably indemnified for following the law.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

#5 in the link is Oregon's industrial exemption.

I find it interesting that an attorney, presumably a member of the Oregon Bar, is arguing the matter this way.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

sorry, I missed that, but it's still very restrictive and open to interpretation. Based on #5, he still shot himself in the foot, since the industrial exemption is negated when public safety is involved, which was the subject of his original letter.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

The other examples in the article sound even worse. One guy just mentions his past work as an engineer in a political add, which he was, albeit in an exempt industry, and they opened an investigation. This sounds overly restrictive to me.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

5
He /said/ he's an engineer, but was he "practicing" engineering without State registration? Where's the danger to the public? He /commented/ on what should be done, and showed his research. He didn't /enact/ any policy or provide any designs. He told the resident engineers that they should change things, in detail.

Seems to me like they're pretty far out of line.

There are gobs of engineers who never even sat for a P.E. exam, whom are in no way deceitful in having 'engineer' on their business card.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

This is so extremely stupid.

The guy's attorney says this:
""The government does not have the power to take speech that is objectively true, declare it false and then punish speakers who -- wittingly or unwittingly – deviate from the government's idiosyncratic definition,'' wrote attorney William Ohle in the suit."

1. The government (state of Oregon) did not take his speech and declare it false.

2. The guy's argument that the traffic signal timing was off is not the issue. He is and always was free to criticize the government for that.

3. The state simply fined him for claiming to be an engineer when, in the state of Oregon, he was not. He was simply trying to bolster his argument by laying claim to a regulated profession.

4. "wittingly or unwittingly"..... in all areas of the US and all states - the law generally denies the defense of ignorance of the law makes you innocent.

5. No one took away any free speech rights...unless you want to argue, as the attorney seems to arguing, that you could run into NORAD, claim you are president of the USA, and push the red button whenever you want.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

The free speech angle is interesting. The California statute states that just calling oneself "electrical engineer" means that they "practice" electrical engineering, and are in violation of the law, presumably aside from the industrial exemption. Presumably, since "sanitation engineer" is not specifically referenced in section 6732 of the California code, one could claim to be a sanitation engineer without getting into trouble.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

This article - https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/man-fin... - provides more detailed information, including links to relevant documents, making clear that the engineering board in Oregon says he should not be free to publish or present his ideas.

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

So there were two examples from politicians, one published by the government in the form of the Voters Pamphlet. (I guess they don't vet) To alter JAE's answer #3 above to apply to the politicians: The state simply investigated/warned him for claiming to be an engineer when, in the state of Oregon, he was not. He was simply trying to bolster his political credibility by laying claim to a regulated profession that operates under a code of ethics.

What's the danger to the public? Might get some braggart in office that's way under-qualified. A remote possibility, of course.smile

IRstuff, I can vaguely recall an Oregon case where the term "domestic engineer" (for a maid service) was determined not to be confusing to the public, and therefore not subject to a fine.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Unfortunately, over the ages, the term "engineer" has been genetically modified as it were to the point that the term has become very generalized - colloquialized as it were.

This generalized use is very different than the term "Attorney", where the perception is automatically one of a person who is licensed to practice law. A law school graduate is not considered to be an Attorney until after passing the bar. This is not true for engineers, some of whom do not need to be licensed to "practice" engineering, specifically in the industrial arena.

Although the case seems to be ridiculous, even if it is thrown out for lack of substance, which I doubt here, the public's perception and use of the term "engineer" will not change.

In my mind, the use of the term "engineer" without specifying the discipline or license qualification, is acceptable so long as there is no monetary interest or claim to fame as it were involved. Not all will agree with this...

There are undoubtedly additional qualifications to this too...

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote:

sorry, I missed that, but it's still very restrictive and open to interpretation. Based on #5, he still shot himself in the foot, since the industrial exemption is negated when public safety is involved, which was the subject of his original letter.

So non-licensed colleagues should be prosecuted if they share any concern for public safety? Sounds like a great way to stop whistleblowing!

Quote:

The state simply fined him for claiming to be an engineer when, in the state of Oregon, he was not. He was simply trying to bolster his argument by laying claim to a regulated profession.

No one took away any free speech rights...unless you want to argue, as the attorney seems to arguing, that you could run into NORAD, claim you are president of the USA, and push the red button whenever you want.

The problem with your argument is that there is no room for ambiguity, sadly there are many rulings that support this and contradict the many that do not. Depending on the judge, you could walk into NORAD claiming to be president and there may/may not be impersonation/fraud/other such charges used bc you didn't state what you were president of. OTOH had you claimed to be POTUS there's little doubt of such a charge sticking. Personally I don't see as engineers why we cannot make distinctions between the two given that other professions and our own professional societies (including NSPE) very commonly and clearly do. From what I have read he never claimed to be a PE so I believe the Oregon board greatly overstepped their ethical bounds.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

9
I feel that as long as someone has a degree in engineering and is not otherwise misrepresenting their credentials, they should be able to call themselves an "Engineer"

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I agree that the perceived "overreaching" by the Oregon State Board of lawfully stipulated regulations and terminology will be an issue here, with the courts setting some limits, limits that will not benefit the reputation and public perception of registered and licensed practicing engineers. That will still be our endeavor as professionals.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

CWB1 - the guy could easily, and legally, criticized the traffic signals without claiming to be an engineer. No speech would have been denied him - and from what I read, no speech was EVER denied him even after his spurious "engineer" claim - they just fined him for his credential enhancement actions - not his speech about the signals.

XR250 - I sort of feel that way too - but this simply shows that there are two realms of argument here:
1. If it is illegal on the books - then it is simply illegal to claim "engineer" status in some states. You can't claim that he didn't violate the law.
2. Should the state have laws that prohibit the use of engineer? Or Professional Engineer? Valid question but doesn't change the law unless you can get legislatures to change the law.

One is a legal realm and one is a "what-ought-to-be" realm.


Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

If the law is deemed unconstitutional, then the phrasing of the law is very important.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Here is the article in the regular newsletter to engineers in Oregon

http://www.oregon.gov/Osbeels/docs/Newsletters/201...

Page 6

I concur that the board is going a bit overboard,
when I read the newsletter, it looked to me like he was HIRED to tune traffic lights
and lacked qualifications to do so, hence I was surprised by the low fine.

Now it looks like the the guy was out there with a stop watch and a tape measure looking to get out of a traffic ticket, and the calculation is taught in any physics class.
Of course the real situation it is probably someplace between the two extremes.

In the past few decades the intersections in the Beaverton area have grown from the 2 lane country paths they were when I was learning to drive. And I can see where yellow light duration's may not have changed to accommodate a larger intersections, the book says the yellow light is X seconds long so they make it that way. Now the City has a revenue source with red light cameras. There is a real lottery revenue stream, if you are the unlucky one you get a ticket in the mail. (The State has the monopoly on the normal lottery.)
But I also see car after car going through even though the light is red, especially on a left turn signal.

I too also recall the domestic engineer case by the Oregon Engineering Board several decades ago.

Got all the above typed up then read the Motherboard article
from the Motherboard article, it looks like City (in the full color chart) is not following ORS 811.260(4) a state law.

but then you look up 811.260(4) it has no such calcs or chart

And that chart was drawn up by Jarlstrom, and that chart looks like a very detailed engineering calculation and now that chart is published.

Humff
Again the real situation is between

Hydrae

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

5
I think the state of Oregon is being too precious. If the guy were practicing as an engineer, or offering his services as an engineer, fair enough. But he was merely calling himself an engineer. By Oregon's definition, I am not an engineer, since I am retired and no longer registered to practice anywhere. But by their definition, I was never an engineer, because I was never licensed in that state.

As far as I am concerned, once an engineer, always an engineer. And I will continue to call myself an engineer, and Oregon be damned.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Operating Engineers Local 701 out of Gladstone, OR can expect a similar 'cease and desist' letter any time now:

Quote (IUOE 701 Local)

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701 represents heavy equipment operators, heavy duty repairers, technical engineers and stationary engineers throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Technical and stationary engineers?

Link

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Ingenuity,
That will not happen it "The Peoples Republic of Oregon".

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

It all started with the concept of locomotive "engineers" way back when.

Here the term is a euphemism for an "operator".

So, by that logic, Al Capone was an engineer too. He was a real operator!

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I don't know how Oregon defines and regulates "engineer", "Engineer", and their derivatives, but I think—from a philosophical point of view—they are on the wrong side of the issues raised in the article.

IMHO, a graduate engineer is a little "e" engineer. Period. Then, professional licensure makes one a big "E" Engineer of whatever type the license is for. As I understand the article, it appears that Mr. Järlström only called himself a little "e" engineer, which he is. My dad has a BS in petroleum engineering, but never worked in that field. Instead, he worked as a general engineer at Dow Chemical for a while after getting out of the Air Force, so he would have come under the industrial exemption here in California. He later became a high school chemistry teacher. He still correctly refers to himself as a little "e" engineer.

IMHO, Mr. Järlström was NOT practicing engineering. Hokie66 said it well: "If the guy were practicing as an engineer, or offering his services as an engineer, fair enough. But he was merely calling himself an engineer."

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

JAE,
While it may not be important or even relevant, many folks appreciate knowing a bit about the person they are interacting with as the first part of open and honest communication, introductory small talk if you will. Sure, he could have omitted his engineering experience however omitting even vaguely relevant details often quickly turns folks mistrustful when they're discovered, people always look for personal agendas in govt/politics. Regardless, he disclosed this info protecting the public's welfare to the board appointed with interpreting and enforcing these laws as necessary, the board did have a choice and made one of questionable ethics. Personally I have never understood how these boards can repeatedly denigrate senior engineers in this manner while promoting junior engineers with almost no experience.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"Personally I have never understood how these boards can repeatedly...."

Because they are the arm of the state, it is the law, and no one in the legislature is moved (by their constituencies) to change that law.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

The board made it pretty clear that they had no dog in the hunt with respect to his subject material. They objected to his describing himself as an "engineer" and as an "excellent engineer." He seemed to go out of his way to push the legal envelope that's already established case law. He was neither registered nor covered by the Oregon industrial exemption, since this was a personal project and his occupation wasn't even as an exempted engineer.

I think his lawsuit will crash and spectacularly burn. He reads like Don Quixote.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (IRstuff)

The board made it pretty clear that they had no dog in the hunt with respect to his subject material

Actually they do.

Look into document titled "NOTICE OF INTENT TO ASSESS CIVIL PENALTY". It says just so:

"By reviewing, critiquing, and altering an engineering ITE formula, and submitting the critique and calculations for his modified version of the ITE formula to members of the public for consideration and modification of Beaverton, Oregon’s and “worldwide” traffic signals, which signals are public equipment, processes and works, Jarlstrom applied special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such creative work as investigation, evaluation and design in connection with public equipment and works. Jarlstrom thereby engaged in the practice of engineering…

By engaging the practice of engineering (specifically, traffic engineering) without registration, Jarlstrom violated ORS 672.020(1), 672.045(1) AND oar 820-010-07370(3)(c) on a second occasion.

So his crime was not just in calling himself "engineer", but "reviewing, critiquing, and submitting the critique to members of the public".

Not to mention he attempted to "advise members of the public on the treatment of the functional characteristics of traffic signal timing" (from the same document)

It's more like you see bridge that is about to collapse but are gagged by local authority to prevent making your knowledge public without proper licence.

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"No good deed goes unpunished", does it, CheckerHater? Sometimes the law is an ass.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

hokie66...you need to be more assertive in your opinions. You're getting too mellow in retirement!lol

On one hand, I can see the point of the board....to prevent the erosion of the profession. Most state boards in the US have similar prohibitions, though perhaps not as aggressively pursued.

Actually, the guy was practicing engineering. He was opining on the timing of traffic lights....a purview of traffic engineering as a subset of civil engineering.....and he was doing so in a public forum.....even if you set aside the term "engineer", he was "practicing" outside his area of expertise....he's not a civil engineer with traffic engineering expertise. While he might be correct, he usurped the term "engineer" in an effort to add credibility to his argument. That is precisely what the law seeks to prevent.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Most of the articles I've seen about this claim the Board is responsible for the what is referred to as the "title act" in Oregon and is trying to use it to suppress his speech. This is simply wrong. The "title act" is in the Oregon Revised Statutes (laws), meaning the state legislature made it a law that a person cannot refer to themselves as an engineer unless registered as a professional engineer.

If I understand things correctly, the Board has responsibility for directly creating and amending the Oregon Administrative Rules (rules) related to engineering, but cannot directly change the Oregon Revised Statutes. They sometimes propose legislation changes, but anyone can do that - the legislature still has to enact the changes they propose.

They do, however, have responsibility for enforcing both the laws and the rules. They do so without interpretation. I can't believe he found an attorney to take his case - oh wait, yes I can - he found an attorney to take his case money. I doubt that he'll win.

xnuke
"Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life." Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.
Please see FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

(OP)
Hypothetical:

Maybe there is an unwritten part of the story that includes the guy pestering and being a nuisance to the city employees while trying to get out of paying for his wife's ticket. They finally got fed up and and used his engineer proclamation as an opportunity to slap him on the wrist.

Could you believe that a guy who spends his spare time trying to prove or disprove engineering behind a yellow light time could have irritated some people along his journey towards a bunch of news story?

Naw!

On a side note; how legitimate is his claim about yellow light times? I thought traffic engineers (real ones) accounted for light timing and a lot of other statistical data to time lights for traffic flow. Is the timing of the light color itself not even considered as this guy purports?

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

If the State of Oregon is going to focus on the public voicing of criticism of the engineering ITE formulas, then I do believe it's a LEGITIMATE objection on the basis of free speech. If the focus is on that paragraph of the complaint/charge, the State is saying that only registered (by the State) engineers have permission to even criticize State-implemented practices of law.

I find that particularly applicable to the purpose of Free Speech, protected so very, very, very specifically for reasons of petitioning the government. To require a State issued license before one may address the State in complaint, making arguments of technical content, is to me, pretty illustrative of suppression of Free Speech with an intent to suppress critique.


I, at first, thought it appropriate to merely focus on the difference between /practicing engineering/ and merely /claiming/ one is an engineer, and whether or not he /was/ practicing engineering. If we accept the State's assessment that he /was/ practicing engineering, then it certainly becomes a matter of Constitutional violations, imo.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Agree with JNieman.

This IS Free Speech issue.

One should be able to make public statement regarding what he or she believes is wrong.

Such public statement is expected to be made "to the best of person's knowledge and understanding", and "knowledge and understanding" may include Engineering degree, no matter where and when received.

And about legitimacy of the claim. From the article:

"Järlström, understandably, wanted to get feedback on his findings. And so he reached out to the engineering board, his local sheriff, and 60 Minutes. He was even invited to give a talk about his research in front of the Institute of Transportation Engineers in Anaheim, California. He also spoke to Alexei Maradudin, the last surviving author of that 1959 paper: "He wants me to continue with this, it's amazing that I have his support," Järlström said."

So, he submitted his findings to peer review no less.

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (Terratek)

I thought traffic engineers (real ones) accounted for light timing and a lot of other statistical data to time lights for traffic flow

Think again: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/10/16/...

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

@Terratek,

The amount of thought that goes into the timing of lights varies by municipality and as lawsuits have shown, some are very intentionally and maliciously reduced for purposes of revenue. Those, being the outliers, are grouped in with those who merely don't put much thought into their lights and make it up as they go along. Some municipalities may lump 'traffic lights' responsibilities onto an engineer already overburdened by civil engineering tasks, and, unable to prioritize the lights, just sort of throws a canned response at it that may not fit the situation. Regardless, the police have equal authority to enforce compliance with bad designs.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach


Quote (the police have equal authority to enforce compliance with bad designs.)


But the police can also ignore enforcement by their own judgement, whereas a photo ticket just generates revenue without the review of the situation. If it was the last car in the line and the line of cars suddenly slows down forcing the last car to violate, the Police may let that one go, but the photo ticket sends out the ticket anyway.

The short yellows and photo tickets become a cash cow for the city without much cost. It also becomes a cash cow for the company that put up the photo ticket generator who is a contract company.
There is a quick review by an officer before sending out the ticket, but in order to properly fight these tickets it takes legal help.

Hydrae

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Everywhere I've lived (small sample size) the camera-ticketing systems had to have real traffic officers review each and every one to ensure validity. One major city in Louisiana I lived in had 'x' seconds of video recorded with the photograph of the offense, so there was additional context included. I don't know how universal that is. Seems reasonable to me if you're going to use the camera systems. They're far from my ideal law enforcement tool, but that's just my opinion.

But like @Terratek suggested about the 'offender' in the story... the law can also be abused to "punish" someone for being annoying if they just don't like him and want to retaliate with police/court power.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I read through the State Board of Examiners Final Order By Default.

The board took exception to the use of the word engineer. OK, the law says you can't.

But they also took exception to him reviewing, critiquing, and altering an engineered ITE formula. They claimed that by doing so it constitutes "purporting to be able to perform engineering services or work". In simple terms, the board said he was claiming to be a PE or offering engineering services simply by critiquing and alternating a formula written by a PE. This is wrong no matter how you try to spin it, and would be the basis of his case.

I wish I could find a direct link. I found it here, but you have to click on the explore case in depth link and then go to the bottom to find the report.

http://ij.org.ln.is/yE0uE?ref=patrick.net

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Not sure how I should feel, seeing Lionel Hutz agree with my opinions on the law. bigsmile

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I think the distinction needs to be made between engineer and Professional Engineer and not over who is and who is not an engineer. Engineer is a very loose term that can mean anyone who is a problem solver (typically with an engineering degree). There are many engineers out there in industries that don't require a PE but they perform the same analytical tasks as a PE. The fact that they do not possess a PE license does not make them any more or less of an engineer. I have worked with several non licensed engineers that were more technically capable and more well versed in codes than engineers with a PE. In my opinion, the term "engineer" should not be regulated but rather the term "Professional Engineer" which implies that you generally have 4 years of experience and passed a test.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I always thought the only prohibition to the general use of the term engineer was in the naming of a business or hiring yourself out as a professional engineer. I've got a BSME, took the EIT but never saw any reason to take the PE exam. Every job title at every company I've worked for says I'm some kind of engineer. This gut was not misrepresenting himself as a professional engineer and was not soliciting money from the populace for his engineering skills. I don't see the Oregon state board as having any standing and wish the guy well in his campaign against red light cameras.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Should someone be a doctor before completing residency, or a lawyer before passing the bar? I think we should hold the title of engineer to a similar standard. Granted, I'm in Canada, where this is the case.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (canwesteng)

Should someone be a doctor before completing residency?

Yes, PhD. You don't have to be a Doctor of Medicine to call yourself a "doctor"

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Sorry for the little offtopic here, I am just curious...
I am an engineer (because of degree / experience / professional registration) but I am not "practicing" engineering as such due to the fact that I am unemployed (on long leave or whatsoever). Am I still allowed to call myself an engineer ? say my question applies to the US context / regulatory for the practice of engineering.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

By everything you have stated, of course. No worries. Current Employment status matters not...

If that were true, then every time you were laid off, you could not say that you were an engineer to a potential employer - ridiculous thought.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (rotw)

Am I still allowed to call myself an engineer ?

In Oregon you better not.

Here is the screenshot from the site that is a bit difficult to navigate (but you can go and try: http://ij.org/case/oregon-engineering-speech/ )

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"I am an engineer (because of degree / experience / professional registration) but I am not "practicing" engineering as such due to the fact that I am unemployed (on long leave or whatsoever). Am I still allowed to call myself an engineer ? say my question applies to the US context / regulatory for the practice of engineering."

If the /s above are ORs, no. But there is no requirement to be employed as an engineer to use the title. Keep your PDHs and Oregon registration up to date and you are good.

Did anyone notice that he called himself an engineer to the very board that regulates the profession in Oregon? And after being warned the first time he continued to do so? The man was looking for a fight, got what he wanted, and even paid the fine. While the board claimed that providing the calculations constituted engineering without a license, I don't believe they would have fined him or anyone else for doing math as long as they don't refer to themselves as engineers while unregistered.

I concur that the yellows are too short. If I happen to blink at the wrong moment, I've missed the change and compensate by either over hard braking or by pushing the yellow.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I suppose if he had called himself a mathematician or a physicist, he would have been fine. Makes no sense. I hope he wins the free speech claim. How wide is this protection of the word "engineer" in the lower case? In Australia, you have to be licensed to practice the profession, but "ABC Engineering" can be a welding shop. In my experience, there is no damage done to the Profession of Engineering by the use of the word in this manner. Conversely, here the folks who drive trains are not called "engineers", but rather "train drivers".

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

And "ABC Engineering" does have to be licensed as a business, where, on the application for licensing, the nature of the business is identified. The critical word here is "licensed" to be legal.

When I was a young child my first perception of the word "Engineer" pertainied to my train set locomotives, and the fact that my grandfather was a locomotive engineer for Southern Pacific on a run from Plains to Savannah.

It was only in the late fifties that I assigned another meaning to the word.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Oregon's law makes it very clear that anything that relates to public safety requires licensed engineers.

> calling himself an engineer, when unlicensed, is a violation of the law
> performing AND publishing an analysis of a safety-related issue, when unlicensed, is a violation of the law.

His suit should be more about the safety imperative that's inherent in the law; there should an obligation to report hazards to public safety, regardless of whether he's licensed or not. If the board is truly intended to protect public safety, then they are shirking their public responsibility as protectors of the public by punishing someone who potentially has pointed out a valid issue with the timing of the lights. The board, at no time, has claimed that his argument has no merit, therefore, they simply punishing him for being ethical and safety-conscious.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

How long ago (or do they still) prevent motorists from putting gasoline in their own cars?

I only visited Oregon with a car once and the guy definitely filled far above the fill-no-more level.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

IRstuff,

I had similar thought as you have summarized. I felt I needed to "hold my horses" when I realized that the board (to their credit) has given a first warning. I guess a "smart" engineer who is genuinely concerned by public safety would have heard the message (their was a traffic signaling light saying "be careful") and corrected their attitude accordingly - I'd say as bare minimum - in order not to jeopardize by himself the process and the claim at once. In this case tI suppose it was just a matter of tweaking a bit his title, "technical expert, auto-claimed specialist, etc." all of these are example of non controlled titles which can provide alternative, if I am correct.
PS: I am not working in US, so I took the latitude to share a philosophical opinion on the subject, hope its OK ;)

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

If you respect your profession and want to continue to make a living at it, it is important to keep standards at the highest level possible. It is as much a marketing concern as anything else. Engineering today, in spite of board efforts, which have been extremely poor, has become little more than a commodity. If this trend continues, things will degrade to levels seen in England, where anyone that can pick up a screwdriver is an engineer. If you think that's good for your pay grade, you've got a real surprise coming. If you want to know how to do this right, aspire to duplicate the AMA. They've got the cat in the bag. Would you even think to go to just any doctor in training for your bypass surgury? Even at 25% of the cost? No you want insurance, lots of it, so you can afford to go to a real doctor. One with plenty of experience.

Technology is stealing American jobs. Stop H1-Bs for robots.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote:

If this trend continues, things will degrade to levels seen in England, where anyone that can pick up a screwdriver is an engineer.

I mostly agree with your point as I firmly believe that in the US we have made it far too easy to become a PE, however having started on the shop floor I also need to point out that many overseas including the British have commonly used "engineer" to mean a machinist for centuries.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

5
@BigInch

I wouldn't ever sacrifice the ability to criticize the government. Some repeat that the board is /only/ against him for using the title 'engineer' but that is simply not true. Their writing has been directly linked to multiple times in this thread. I suggest reading them in their entirety. Especially this gem:

Quote (http://ij.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/OR-Math-J...)


18 By reviewing, critiquing, and altering an engineered ITE formula, and submitting the
19 critique and calculations for his modified version of the ITE formula to members of the public
20 for consideration and modification of Beaverton, Oregon's and "worldwide" traffic signals,
21 which signals are public equipment, processes and works, Jarlstrom applied special knowledge
22 of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such creative work as investigation,
23 evaluation, and design in connection with public equipment, processes, and works. J arlstrom
Page 6 - FINAL ORDER BY DEFAULT
1 thereby engaged in the practice of engineering under ORS 672.005(1)(b). By doing so through
2 the use of algorithms for the operation of traffic control systems, and through the use of the
3 science of analysis, review, and application of traffic data systems to advise members of the
4 public on the treatment of the functional characteristics of traffic signal timing, Jarlstrom
5 engaged, specifically, in traffic engineering under OAR 820-040-0030(1 )(b) and (2)(a). By
6 engaging the practice of engineering (specifically, traffic engineering) without registration,
7 J arlstrom violated ORS 672.020(1 ), 672.045(1) and OAR 820-010-0730(3 )( c) on a second
8 occas10n.

To rephrase the verbiage:

By applying knowledge of mathematics and logic, Jarlstrom was engaging in unlicensed engineering.

If this does not get challenged and overturned, this is a dangerous precedent. If upheld, this supports a State employing a monopoly on the practice of mathematics, physics, or logic and prevents anyone not licensed by the same State from legally being able to criticize or evaluate the engineering of the State.

Their suit goes far beyond someone simply professing themselves as an engineer without appropriate licensing.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

This isn't about free speech. It’s about an egomaniac and a couple of ambulance chasers who agree with him to turn this into a media spectacle.

If this guy were half an “engineer”, he would have filled out the paperwork and paid the nominal fee to get licensed in Oregon. Then he could have engaged in this argument in a professional, respectable manner.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I think we decided, long ago, with poll taxes, that you can't impose "nominal fees" on Constitutionally protected rights, including free speech. Redressing Government practices is one of the basic tenets of free speech.

He might be an egomaniac - that's completely moot. His lawyers might be ambulance chasers. That's completely moot. All that matters are the facts and whether or not they're right. Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. In fact, this isn't even about /him/ anymore but rather about all Oregonians and possibly Americans.

To say that anyone mailing in some mathematical proofs and illustrations is "performing engineering" in a manner requiring registration and license with the State Board is ludicrous. The requirements are not "nominal" seeing as how you must have a degree, years of work under a P.E., and then sit for a test (in most States) so I don't see how that's something to so easily brush off.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"If this does not get challenged and overturned, this is a dangerous precedent. If upheld, this supports a State employing a monopoly on the practice of mathematics, physics, or logic and prevents anyone not licensed by the same State from legally being able to criticize or evaluate the engineering of the State."

This is hardly a precedent. I would guess that the basic wording is from the national board.

Quote (California PE Act)

“Professional engineer,” within the meaning and intent of this act, refers to a person engaged in the professional practice of rendering service or creative work requiring education, training and experience in engineering sciences and the application of special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences in such professional or creative work as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning or design of public or private utilities, structures, machines, processes, circuits, buildings, equipment or projects, and supervision of construction for the purpose of securing compliance with specifications and design for any such work.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

If he's suing on the grounds of civil rights, and is heard, and a ruling is made, that's exactly what a precedent is, and exactly what future cases can base judgment upon.

Again - the Oregon board made it into more than simply an issue of whether or not he's a licensed engineer. They made it into an issue of what constitutes performing engineering work which requires a license, and quite broadly overstated their case, imo.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

JNieman - I am in the general view that the guy was fined for only claiming to be an engineer when he was not licensed.

But in reading your posted quote there it sets up an important question.

I can see on one hand that the state could come in and fine the guy for his claim as an engineer. Whether it SHOULD be "engineer" or "Professional Engineer" can be debated.

However, most states that I am licensed in (and I used to be in Oregon) limit the PRACTICE of engineering to cases where the person is trying to get employed and make money as a consultant of some sort....i.e. holding oneself out to the public for hire.

In this case, the guy doesn't appear to have been hoping to get paid for anything - just expressing an opinion on an engineering issue.

I would then agree that a state denying someone's ability to state an opinion is wrong, engineering or otherwise, where the person is just talking, vs. promoting for hire.
So is the "Practice of Engineering" only truly a regulated activity if there is paid compensation or the hope of paid compensation as an engineer?

So in summary, if you are not licensed:
Holding yourself out to be an engineer to the public - illegal
Holding yourself out to be an engineer for hire - illegal
Expressing an engineering opinion in an effort to secure engineering work - illegal
Expressing an engineering opinion with no hiring or monetary compensation anticipated - legal...free speech




Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

It appears Oregon law is very aggressive on the matter, allowing fewer exceptions to the use of "engineer" and "the practice of engineering" than found in other states. One key exception I wish he took advantage of is 672.060(9)(b).

Quote (https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/o...)


672.060 Exceptions to application of ORS 672.002 to 672.325. ORS 672.002 to 672.325 do not apply to the following:
. . .
(9) An individual, firm, partnership or corporation offering to practice engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping if:
. . .
(b) The offer includes a written statement that the offeror is not registered to practice engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping in the State of Oregon, but will comply with ORS 672.002 to 672.325 by having an individual holding a valid certificate of registration in this state in responsible charge of the work prior to performing any engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping work within this state.

If it were me, after the first warning from the board, I would have researched the law and responded with an apology and asked for guidance in selecting a valid certificate holder, or taken the position that my correspondence was in an effort to secure responsible charge services. It sounds like he had garnered significant support from the engineering community, "hiring" a professional to work his numbers and take responsible charge seems to be the path of least resistance.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I not disagreeing with the notion that the state should not create a monopoly on engineering calculations, but that is what's in probably any state's PE law, and is therefore going to be protected by the NCEES and other organizations with vested interest in maintaining the status quo. The Board, however, has overstepped its authority in one regard, because the acts in question don't violate the law, as written

672.005 Additional definitions. As used in ORS 672.002 to 672.325, unless the context requires otherwise:
(1) “Practice of engineering” or “practice of professional engineering” means doing any of the following:
(a) Performing any professional service or creative work requiring engineering education, training and experience.
(b) Applying special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such professional services or creative work as consultation, investigation, testimony, evaluation, planning, design and services during construction, manufacture or fabrication for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works or projects.

Since the lights already are past "construction, manufacture or fabrication" his analysis does not violate subparagraph b. His claim that he is an "excellent engineer" and that he's qualified to do the analysis does violate other parts of the law.

Obviously, no one has really probed the wording, since it implies that even stating that he has a degree in (electrical) engineering violates subparagraph c in this section. There's plenty of bad grammar in the law, and should have a complete re-write to clarify the scope of "or" used in various parts of the law.

672.007 Acts constituting practice of engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping. For purposes of ORS 672.002 to 672.325:
(1) A person is practicing or offering to practice engineering if the person:
(a) By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card or in any other way implies that the person is or purports to be a registered professional engineer;
(b) Through the use of some other title implies that the person is an engineer or a registered professional engineer; or
(c) Purports to be able to perform, or who does perform, any service or work that is defined by ORS 672.005 as the practice of engineering.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I hope all the Oregon high school physics teachers are registered engineers :)

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

JNieman...good one!

IRstuff...I think you missed the word "any" in 672.005(1) and "or" in (1)(b).
It doesn't have to be during construction so if it is after construction you would still be violating the Oregon statute.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I agree the definition of the practice of engineering is a bit grey and seems to cross into some other professions. Note however, that Jarlstrom is not arguing that he was not engaged in the practice. By referring to himself as an engineer, he admitted to practicing while unlicensed.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

The "any" refers to a) or b) or the others I didn't include, and not to parsing below the subparagraphs.

which "or" in b) are you referring to? 1st, 2nd, or 3rd?

My parse:
Applying [blah] to such professional services or creative work as [blah] during [construction, manufacture or fabrication] for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any [blah].

So any professional services or creative work that's NOT during [construction, manufacture or fabrication] seems fair game.

professional service or creative work is problematic
Does "professional" apply to [service or creative work] or is it [professional service] or [creative work]. I take it to be the former

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

IRstuff...I think I take it to be the latter. I've never heard of the term "professional creative work" in an engineering law context.

Me trying to boil it down visually:

“Practice of engineering” means doing any of the following:
Then it lists (a) and (b) so any of either (a) or (b) so I agree with you there.

(b)Applying special knowledge of the ... (various) ... engineering sciences to such professional services or creative work as
consultation
investigation
testimony
evaluation
planning
design
and
services during construction, manufacture or fabrication for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design

Note that this whole last line makes sense as one unit.

in connection with any public or private
utilities
structures
buildings
machines
equipment
processes
works
or
projects.


So the "services during construction" doesn't apply to this particular case since the traffic system was already in place.
But the investigation and evaluation part does.

And in the second part this is definitely a public utility/equipment so that applies as well.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

As much as bed yellow light timing irritates me, I'd just put infrared LED's around my license plates so the camera can't see them, and move on.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

(OP)
All of this interesting debate and I just realized I miss-spelled speech in the title.

I'm an:

Enginere
Ingineer
Enginer

I'm good at math.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Let's just be careful about how insistent we are about interpretation of the law; the Oregon State Bar may be monitoring this thread.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

The most effective way to get a bad law overturned is to start enforcing it.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"...the Oregon State Bar may be monitoring this thread."

I heard they have their own SWAT team.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Politicians are always looking for new ways to raise money.

I wonder what would happen if one of the pinheads who fined Järlström had a medical emergency in a restaurant, would people yell "is there a doctor in the house" or "is there an Oregon licensed doctor in the house"? If only a non-Oregon doctor were present, would he refuse the service?

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

BB:

In that is the conundrum: Both medical doctors and structural engineers deal with life safety issues. Go figure... banghead

Actually, service would not be refused due to the Good Samaritan law... unless there are no Good Samaritans in Oregon. noevil

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

While "services during construction, manufacture or fabrication for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design" may make sense as a unit, it's absurdly unbalanced in the context of the paragraph. Particularly since the items before this are also needed "for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design."

Moreover, the entirety of PE law is "for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design," since that's what ensures public safety, which is the ostensible goal of the law.

Otherwise, even ignoring what we do here, every student in college doing engineering is in violation of the law, as parsed that way, as are the professors.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I think a lot of us would be violating the Oregon state law by our participation in Eng-Tips. If I ever visit, I will try to keep my mouth shut.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

But Eng-Tips Isn't in Oregon. It's a place in Cyber Heaven!!

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (hokie66)

If I ever visit, I will try to keep my mouth shut.

Muzzle hokie66?? Say it ain't so......lol

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Reason are listed in the Law

Quote (480.315 Policy. The Legislative Assembly declares that, except as provided in ORS 480.345 to 480.385, it is in the public interest to maintain a prohibition on the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail. The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:
(1) The dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by dispensers properly trained in appropriate safety procedures reduces fire hazards directly associated with the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids;
(2) Appropriate safety standards often are unenforceable at retail self-service stations in other states because cashiers are often unable to maintain a clear view of and give undivided attention to the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by customers;
(3) Higher liability insurance rates charged to retail self-service stations reflect the dangers posed to customers when they leave their vehicles to dispense Class 1 flammable liquids, such as the increased risk of crime and the increased risk of personal injury resulting from slipping on slick surfaces;
(4) The dangers of crime and slick surfaces described in subsection (3) of this section are enhanced because Oregon’s weather is uniquely adverse, causing wet pavement and reduced visibility;
(5) The dangers described in subsection (3) of this section are heightened when the customer is a senior citizen or has a disability, especially if the customer uses a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches;
(6) Attempts by other states to require the providing of aid to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail have failed, and therefore, senior citizens and persons with disabilities must pay the higher costs of full service;
(7) Exposure to toxic fumes represents a health hazard to customers dispensing Class 1 flammable liquids;
(8) The hazard described in subsection (7) of this section is heightened when the customer is pregnant;
(9) The exposure to Class 1 flammable liquids through dispensing should, in general, be limited to as few individuals as possible, such as gasoline station owners and their employees or other trained and certified dispensers;
(10) The typical practice of charging significantly higher prices for full-service fuel dispensing in states where self-service is permitted at retail: (a) Discriminates against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of self-service; (b) Discriminates against customers who are elderly or have disabilities who are unable to serve themselves and so must pay the significantly higher prices; and (c) Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance, endangering both the customer and other motorists and resulting in unnecessary and costly repairs;
(11) The increased use of self-service at retail in other states has contributed to diminishing the availability of automotive repair facilities at gasoline stations;
(12) Self-service dispensing at retail in other states does not provide a sustained reduction in fuel prices charged to customers;
(13) A general prohibition of self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by the general public promotes public welfare by providing increased safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in general;
(14) Self-service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment, particularly among young people;
(15) Self-service dispensing at retail presents a health hazard and unreasonable discomfort to persons with disabilities, elderly persons, small children and those susceptible to respiratory diseases;
(16) The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, requires that equal access be provided to persons with disabilities at retail gasoline stations; and
(17) Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at retail self-service stations creates a dangerous situation. [1991 c.863 §49a; 1999 c.59 §160; 2007 c.70 §276)

]

I do not know of a fuel pump union, Pumping gas typically pays minimum wage ($9.75) but some stores have store unions such as the big department stores (Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer (Kroger)) which I assume also covers the pump jockeys

I particularly like reason 12 and 13 in the law

The rural areas which allow self service at night are not in the wet area of the state (which is 9 months of the year) hence the justification for reason 4 being not applicable

As for it being voted down it happens at both the referendum level and in legislature

That is also a $500 fine to the Station for a violation.


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

All that verbiage about potential hazards, and not a word about the dangers of dispensing fuel when under the influence of a drug.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

hydrae, this is a joke right? This can't be serious?

(1) The dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by dispensers properly trained in appropriate safety procedures reduces fire hazards directly associated with the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids;
I've never heard of a self-service crisis of exploding cars in other states.

(2) Appropriate safety standards often are unenforceable at retail self-service stations in other states because cashiers are often unable to maintain a clear view of and give undivided attention to the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by customers;
Yes my local quick-shop cashier would be able to ensure safety by having a clear view of me filling my tanks...lol. And they are typically soooo much more intelligent than I am.

(3) Higher liability insurance rates charged to retail self-service stations reflect the dangers posed to customers when they leave their vehicles to dispense Class 1 flammable liquids, such as the increased risk of crime and the increased risk of personal injury resulting from slipping on slick surfaces;
Properly broom finished concrete is rarely slick - even with oils on it. And I'm sure those "highly" trained quick-shop employees are much better than I am at keeping my balance on slick surfaces. And finally - those damn high insurance rates are driving all those self-serve stations out of business all over the country....NOT.

(4) The dangers of crime and slick surfaces described in subsection (3) of this section are enhanced because Oregon’s weather is uniquely adverse, causing wet pavement and reduced visibility; Hey Oregon – try northern Minnesota in the winter. Pansies

(5) The dangers described in subsection (3) of this section are heightened when the customer is a senior citizen or has a disability, especially if the customer uses a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches;
(6) Attempts by other states to require the providing of aid to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail have failed, and therefore, senior citizens and persons with disabilities must pay the higher costs of full service;
Wait…I thought that self-service caused all sorts of higher costs (see (3) above). And those that need help – seem to be fine in the 49 other states.

(7) Exposure to toxic fumes represents a health hazard to customers dispensing Class 1 flammable liquids; So let’s have the quick-shop cashiers do this over and over again all day since they aren’t as important.

(8) The hazard described in subsection (7) of this section is heightened when the customer is pregnant; So any cashier getting pregnant – tough luck to you.

(9) The exposure to Class 1 flammable liquids through dispensing should, in general, be limited to as few individuals as possible, such as gasoline station owners and their employees or other trained and certified dispensers; Again – they aren’t as important so let them breathe the fumes as much as possible – they can be easily replaced without much cost to society.

(10) The typical practice of charging significantly higher prices for full-service fuel dispensing in states where self-service is permitted at retail: (a) Discriminates against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of self-service; So many are dying across the country from filling their own tanks that somebody, anybody…please do something!!!

(b) Discriminates against customers who are elderly or have disabilities who are unable to serve themselves and so must pay the significantly higher prices; and Full service isn’t a significantly higher price where I am located. But in order to keep all things in this country level and equal, let’s force everyone to pay more.

(c) Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance, endangering both the customer and other motorists and resulting in unnecessary and costly repairs; So charging those who are not handicapped more is not discriminating against them? And when does a full service gas filling ever result in “maintenance checks by attendants”? What utter stupidity.

(11) The increased use of self-service at retail in other states has contributed to diminishing the availability of automotive repair facilities at gasoline stations; …but has increased the number of automotive repair facilities with much higher specialized mechanics…. If there’s adequate repair facilities at non-gasoline stations what is the problem?

(12) Self-service dispensing at retail in other states does not provide a sustained reduction in fuel prices charged to customers; Wait a minute…just wait a minute. The points made above keep stating that there’s a HUGE increase in costs associated with full service that discriminates against those who must use full service. You can’t have it both ways.

(13) A general prohibition of self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by the general public promotes public welfare by providing increased safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in general; It’s only economic harm if you are elderly or disabled and have to pay more. But if everyone has to pay more then it’s not economically harmful.

(14) Self-service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment, particularly among young people; …except during school hours. But if they can skip school and work, I’m sure they will be way more qualified to pump gas than I am and just don’t worry about all the fumes those young people will breathe in each day….just don’t worry.

(15) Self-service dispensing at retail presents a health hazard and unreasonable discomfort to persons with disabilities, elderly persons, small children and those susceptible to respiratory diseases; But young people need the work so if they get sick from the fumes that’s OK.

(16) The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, requires that equal access be provided to persons with disabilities at retail gasoline stations; and So let’s have everyone pay more for full service instead of providing for identified full service islands.

(17) Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at retail self-service stations creates a dangerous situation. [1991 c.863 §49a; 1999 c.59 §160; 2007 c.70 §276)
There’s things called credit cards, that get inserted into the pump for payment. Customers rarely leave the car like that…and if they do there’s other laws on the books that govern that. Making everyone pay for full service won’t fix stupidity.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

It will be interesting then, the intersection between PE engineers and attendant manned electric car charging stations.

Most of the parts of the attendant-based service apply to electrical vehicles. They also apply to buying groceries and other shopping, so it's not clear why any of that is allowed.

I had better be careful. I wouldn't want censure from the Oregon PE board.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Back to the issue at hand....

I've given this some thought and cannot conceive that this is even remotely a "free speech" issue. When professional licensure is involved, that licensure should be respected....including the laws that govern it. The "engineer" involved here gave an opinion, which he has a right to do; however, he gave it in a public forum without appropriate experience and education; thus violating provisions of the engineering law. Further, he held himself out as an engineer in the public realm....infringing upon one of the disciplines of engineering that requires licensing.

Nowhere in the article is there any provenance of his opinion. Did he compare to established AASHTO traffic standards? There are actually criteria available for signal timing. Did the municipality violate those? If so, why? Was the City Engineer or Public Works Director informed prior to his public outcry?

I cannot support the premise of a violation of his free speech when he clearly violated several aspects of engineering laws within his state. I am also of the opinion that the state law does not inhibit free speech....it just protects the public from potentially invalid public statements with respect to learned, validated engineering opinion.

I happen to enjoy being an engineer. I also believe in the laws to which engineers must comply with respect to licensure and protection of the health, safety and welfare of the public. I get extremely concerned that our profession is being eroded to the point that anyone can practice "engineering" in any form they want.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"And when does a full service gas filling ever result in “maintenance checks by attendants”? What utter stupidity."?

Perhaps Oregon is a throwback to the 1955 segment of Back to the Future. There once was a time that the service station would check your fluid levels and check your tire pressure.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance..."

This is a primary example of nitwit nanny state laws that think they are doing something good and valid. If the quick-shop hire checks your oil (if they know how) then voila! Your car is maintained and thank-the-state we have avoided "endangering both the customer and other motorists" Yay!

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Ron,

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LAWYER.

I think large sections of this law, if this case is appealed to a high enough court, will be thrown out for being vague in what actions are prohibited.

"Applying special knowledge of the mathematical, physical and engineering sciences to such professional services or creative work as consultation, investigation, testimony, evaluation, planning, design and services during construction, manufacture or fabrication for the purpose of ensuring compliance with specifications and design, in connection with any public or private utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works or projects."

If nothing else there are multiple interpretations of which actions are interdependent based on the poor sentence structure and punctuation. It's possible there is some legal means to parse that word salad, but it seems written to create confusion.

Whether it is gasoline pumps or engineering services, it certainly looks like Oregon is protectionist in excess of actual public need and leans more toward special interests in these areas. Even making a sandbox falls under prohibited activities.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (Ron)


I've given this some thought and cannot conceive that this is even remotely a "free speech" issue. When professional licensure is involved, that licensure should be respected....including the laws that govern it. The "engineer" involved here gave an opinion, which he has a right to do; however, he gave it in a public forum without appropriate experience and education; thus violating provisions of the engineering law. Further, he held himself out as an engineer in the public realm....infringing upon one of the disciplines of engineering that requires licensing.

You seem to think "engineering law" trumps constitutionally protected rights, but it is (and should be) the opposite. You say he has the right to voice his opinion and criticize government procedure, however you add an "EXCEPT" in regards to engineering law, however the debate is whether or not such a law can trump one of the basic tenets of our constitutional framework. That is the source of disagreement, I believe, and what really comes down to a difference of opinion, as none of us are Supreme Court Justices and likely not Constitutional Scholars. I know I'm just a Monday Morning Quarterback on the topic, at best. I have a particular outcome I'd like to see win out, but I understand the opposing viewpoint as well. I simply think it would do society greater harm to stifle the ability to criticize anyone applying mathematics principles to criticize the government publicly.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (JNieman)

I simply think it would do society greater harm to stifle the ability to criticize anyone applying mathematics principles to criticize the government publicly

I think there is more potential for harm by letting just anyone spout off in public that they are an engineer and start making design recommendations. And no, a degree is simply not enough to qualify one as an engineer! This guy might have gotten an A in calculus, but does he know all the subtleties of traffic engineering? Is the actual traffic light timing even something controlled by licensed engineers? Or could a city employee with nothing more than a GED read this “engineers” analysis and start changing the timing?

This guy’s criticism of the traffic lights is not what is in question here. It is his repeated attempts to add credential to his analysis by claiming he is an engineer that earned him a fine. He was warned several times, and pointed to the specific statues he was violating. He could have chosen to take the professional route and either get licensed himself, or engage a licensed engineer that agreed with him to interface with the public/government.

For the record, I am a big proponent of smaller government. There are far too many things our government sticks their nose into. Oregon and the entire Left Coast are some of the worst offenders. However this is one case where I think the state is correct.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

@PMR06, I feel like I'm repeating myself, however, did you see the post from 28 Apr 17 13:18?

They took it far beyond "he called himself engineer" which I honestly wouldn't have cared about them fining him over.

They purported that anyone using math or attempting technical analysis is engaging in engineering, as a completely separate accusation from him claiming an allegedly-false title.

To reiterate: I wouldn't disagree with Oregon fining him for claiming 'engineer' status even though I don't think it should only apply to those registered. (There are simply too many legitimate engineering professions that do not require or benefit from State licensing) I only disagree with the dangerous idea that only a licensed P.E. shall submit mathematics-based ideas for public discussion. The guy even consulted a progenitor of the formula he critiqued, who SUPPORTED his efforts. He sought peer review. He was supported by the actual professionals. Yes, it would have behooved him to have someone sign off on his analysis to avoid conflict, however, I see no danger to the public.

When you start criminalizing ideas spoken publicly, it's dangerous. They should stick to controlling the use of 'engineer' as a title. They should avoid attempts to lump general applied mathematics into their control.

ETA, I couldn't refrain from commenting on this:

Quote (PMR05)

Is the actual traffic light timing even something controlled by licensed engineers? Or could a city employee with nothing more than a GED read this “engineers” analysis and start changing the timing?
So it's ok for any person with a GED to be in control of a city's traffic control devices but the danger is in someone proposing peer-reviewed ideas for discussion regarding yellow light timing? I think your prioritization of dangers is a bit upside down.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

The whole mess started because the OR PE board didn't like that he called himself an engineer so it should have ended with the OR PE board fining him for calling himself an engineer.

Trying to drum-up extra violations to seemingly just make the claim longer and better justified is wrong. They chose to completely ignore the intent of the word practice in the laws. Despite how anyone argues it, the intent of the word practice is to mean that you're getting paid or compensated in some manner for doing the work by others who believe you're licensed to perform that work.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (JNieman)

did you see the post from 28 Apr 17 13:18?

Yes, I've read it several times, along with all the documents presented here: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/man-fin...

"submitting the critique and calculations for his modified version of the ITE formula to members of the public for consideration and modification"

He wasn't holding up a banner in front of city hall saying he doesn't like the traffic lights. Had he received a fine for that action, I'd be right there with you fighting for his 1st amendment rights. In this case he apparently analyzed the current system, critiqued it, came up with what he thinks was a better way to do it, and presented it to the city with the end goal that they change the timing.

Quote (JNieman)

I see no danger to the public

Quote (JNieman)

So it's ok for any person with a GED to be in control of a city's traffic control devices but the danger is in someone proposing peer-reviewed ideas for discussion regarding yellow light timing?

My example is a plausible event that could result from this. Some city worker reads this and starts tweaking the light timing because an engineer said it was a better way. I'm not justifying who has keys to the timing controls, I'm just presenting a real life scenario of how someone in the public could place faith in the recommendations of an "engineer" and start making changes to a system directly linked to life safety.

Quote (JNieman)

Yes, it would have behooved him to have someone sign off on his analysis to avoid conflict

Thank you.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"Some city worker reads this and starts tweaking the light timing because an engineer said it was a better way. I'm not justifying who has keys to the timing controls, I'm just presenting a real life scenario of how someone in the public could place faith in the recommendations of an "engineer" and start making changes to a system directly linked to life safety."

Two issues here.
> Tweaking traffic light timing is a non-trivial exercise, as changing a single light can have ripple effects all over the city which the traffic light workers know.
> While we may presume that these traffic light workers are idiots, swayed by alt-engineering, they're smart enough to know that CYA demands approval and direction from higher-ups. And those, in turn, require blessing from a validated traffic engineer.

There's no doubt in my mind that the laws, as written, overstep PE boards' legal mandate to protect the public. However, there are entrenched interests who think the laws don't go far enough. Unless there's a rogue judge, it's unlikely that much will change.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote:

I think there is more potential for harm by letting just anyone spout off in public that they are an engineer and start making design recommendations. And no, a degree is simply not enough to qualify one as an engineer!

Realistically there is no danger in anyone making design recommendations. Danger only exists in the final design approvers being unqualified, therefore there is exactly no danger in anyone calling themselves an engineer doing exactly as this man did. If you look to the medical and other professions there are many instances such as "doctors (Phd) of holistic XYZ" that the public and professional boards have little issue with.

I do agree with you however that a degree alone should not be qualification enough to sell engineering services to the public, there needs to be enough experience to have good judgment and know one's own limitations. Sadly, our modern licensing process is a joke and many seem hell bent on protecting the system. Four years and a test gives us many 25 year old junior engineers who can legally sell services with virtually no experience, scary thought that is preferable to someone like Mr Jarlstrom openly telling his unrelated degree and experience in other fields, and giving a research-based opinion. I have worked with many titled "engineers" with physics, math, business, and engineering degrees outside their working niche, also been responsible many times for PE consultants and design contractors. The former are much like interns in that they tend to stay within the limitations of their own experience. The later OTOH often are CAD jockeys with a fancy title.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

What does someone call themselves if they have an engineering degree and engineer but don't have a license? What do others call them?

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Trained but not certified

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"What does someone call themselves if they have an engineering degree and engineer but don't have a license? What do others call them?"

Probably something that starts off with, "BS" winky smile

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

JAE
No Joke, that is quoted directly from the Oregon Revised Status
https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/o...

As for other states, I think New Jersey also does not allow self service
In other states you have self service and full service with a significant price difference
In Oregon a similar price difference at AM/PM Arco as mini service and Chevron as full service

Again back to issue at hand

How can anybody fight the City and red light camera contractors in their attempts to generate revenue via the red light cameras without spending more money on consultants and lawyers than the fines?

Has the city tweaked the yellow duration to a shorter time to increase this revenue? they might have by default when the intersection size increased, and if they did so, did they consult an engineer with specifics to the durations?

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

So, if I attempt self-service AND also attempt to calculate how much fuel I need, that's probably GULAG?

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

In my professional opinion, as a former licensee in the State of Oregon, the State Board of the State of Oregon has over-reached its authority, and needs some firm limits set by the courts. I believe this censuring will also be found to be unethical.

Pumping gas is another issue, but has nothing to do with first amendment rights. Censuring free speech does.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)


RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

hydrae…

Every time I travel to Oregon, I am frustrated by the law prohibiting self-service gasoline pumping. In my 42 years of driving--mostly in California, but also in more about 35 other states--I have never once set myself on fire performing self-service gasoline pumping. Nor have I set myself on fire when I poured gasoline into the tank of my lawnmower or my edger.

So, if I may translate:

§480.315 "The State of Oregon hereby make a bunch of false and unsubstantiated claims about the hazards of self-service gasoline pumping, discrimination, etc. If we make the list long enough and we whine enough about the fools in other states, maybe someone will believe us."

§480.341 "If you live in a low population county, we don't care about you. You are free to personally tackle the extremely hazardous task of self-pumping your own gasoline. If you set yourself on fire, good luck. Low population counties have limited emergency services."

§480.349 "We care a little more about motorcyclists than residents of low population counties, but not a whole lot more. You can self pump your own gasoline, but only after the 14 IQ attendant hands you the pump handle."

Fred

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I wasn't aware that you could get full service at a gas station anywhere in the lower 48. do they wash your windows too? with the extremely adverse weather in Oregon, dirty windows are a serious safety risk and self service clerks cannot be held responsible for maintaining a squeegee in working condition especially with the slick pavement and when they get stolen all the time.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Gasoline, bureaucratic red tape, ethical dilemmas in engineering... Reminds me of a story. This is the mamby-pamby side of the story:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Plus+station+o...

What the article does not tell you is that the operator of the gas station tried to respond immediately to the leak as soon as the leak was detected, but they were blocked by city of Calgary administration, who would not issue a permit to dig. The excavation required a road to be dug up, hazardous waste management, and the gas station operator got wound up in red tape, forbidden from digging out the leaking fuel tank. Months later, the tank was still underground, the leak was still spreading, and neighboring houses were starting to smell it in their basements. They had the equipment on site ready and waiting to go all that time.

STF

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Wow, just wow.

The scariest words in English language: "I am from the government and I am here to help"

"For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert"
Arthur C. Clarke Profiles of the future

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

So, no police, fire, military, or even water, sewage, or road repair, then?

You know what's even scarier, it's when an airline tells you they're committed to a "great passenger experience."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"You know what's even scarier, it's when an airline tells you they're committed to a "great passenger experience.""

Yeah, they will throw you off the plane if you don't like it.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

It sometimes works both ways.

A very interesting guy in Saint Louis built a museum called the City Museum. It started out as a collection of building details from demolished buildings but soon became an increasingly wide collection of those things people develop a nostalgia for plus recycling of industrial discards in a most interesting fashion. The most impressive part is that it is all very much hands-on and containing many items no committee would approve.

He eventually got himself a Ferris wheel which he assembled on the roof (former heavy industrial building). The Saint Louis city hand-wringers didn't like it much, mostly I think because the City Museum had become a huge attraction that, unlike the Zoo and other such facilities, had no city control. Anyway, the city issued an order to tear it down. His lawyers looked at the order and found the city required a permit to tear it down, so the city issued a permit. Then his lawyers found that the permit was not issued properly because the demolition permit required (IIRC) a reference to the original building permit. So the city was forced to issue a building permit to complete the demolition permit. Ooops. Now that he had a building permit the city had no authority to force him to take it down.

The Ferris wheel is still there.

Sadly the guy who started it is dead, most likely murdered, but crudely staged to look to the incurious as an accident. Interesting people get interesting enemies.

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I'm a practicing engineer in Ontario for 30 years and I take absolutely no offense at this guy's actions. I heard a radio interview with the man himself. (Full disclosure: I own a vehicle, which I drive on public roadways, frequently encountering red lights.)

Common sense: this guy was acting in the public interest; he was not offering engineering services to the public nor passing himself off as one.

Reality check: if Oregon Engineers are really so concerned about this problem they should go after the many thousands of computer code writers tacking the word 'engineer' onto whatever it is they do. Call up the architects association while you're at it. There are plenty of non-engineers stealing my bread every day practicing welding engineering. Charging this guy just reeks of bureaucratic vindictiveness. They should instead thank him for drawing attention to an ongoing deficiency.

That said, I'm not sure a free speech angle was the best approach for his defense. (The 'free speech' argument has been used to excuse almost anything, from superpacs to hate radio to unlimited access to porn for children.)

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"he was not offering engineering services to the public nor passing himself off as one"
>> He did that at least twice in written communications with the board. Moreover, as the law is written, he was clearly doing both. That is the crux of the lawsuit.

Quote (https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/672.007)

2015 ORS 672.007¹
Acts constituting practice of engineering, land surveying or photogrammetric mapping

(1) A person is practicing or offering to practice engineering if the person:
(a) By verbal claim, sign, advertisement, letterhead, card or in any other way implies that the person is or purports to be a registered professional engineer;
(b) Through the use of some other title implies that the person is an engineer or a registered professional engineer; or
(c) Purports to be able to perform, or who does perform, any service or work that is defined by ORS 672.005 (Additional definitions) as the practice of engineering.


" they should go after the many thousands of computer code writers tacking the word 'engineer' onto whatever it is they do"
>> They are most likely covered by the industrial exemption

Quote (https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/672.060)

(6) The performance of engineering work by a person, or by full-time employees of the person, provided:
(a) The work is in connection with or incidental to the operations of the person; and
(b) The engineering work is not offered directly to the public.


According to below, if he did the work at home, then his fine was illegal.

Quote (https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/672.060#annotations)

Individual who sends letter containing professional engineering advice does not practice engineering on prop­erty owned or leased by individual. Topaz v. Board of Examiners for Engineering, 255 Or App 138, 297 P3d 498 (2013), Sup Ct review denied

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

I think he should have been warned to not use the name, but his claims should not be dismissed.

the fact is bad design of lights costs many lives. putting cameras in place gives this city revenue but actually discourages fixing the problem, costing more lives. the city and its engineering department are basically now on notice for wrongful death suits, and even if they win the suit I personally hold them accountable, and you should too.

1. light timings are often too short, more cycles is more likely hood of crash but more money (more cycles more red light tickets, conflict of interest).
2. there becomes much less incentive to promote traffic circles or flashing red solutions, which remove cameras.
3. lagging reds do not get promoted even though they are shown to save lives (and decrease tickets...)
4. green light cycle times do not increase during snow events, which improves efficiency (and again reduces tickets)
5. cameras are too seldom used to improve traffic flow by adjusting cycle times based on actual conditions. (somewhat decrease in tickets)

the crux of the issue is the ticket on red +0.00 seconds and you have to have cleared the intersection, other countries use red +0.5 seconds(or other times) with no requirement to clear. to me usa law is crazy because it seems inefficient(though likely intended to be more safe).

to stop discussion on lights is wrong, maybe this guy should not lead the discussion but neither should the city (conflict of interest) or the media. the NHS or some body should set the rules and the cities follow them.

disclaimer i have never gotten a red light ticket or a speeding ticket.

here is all my comment karma
https://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/67jqj...

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Well with that many reddit internet points, he can't be wrong.
/s

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

As a sometimes motorcycle rider, red light cameras are problematic to safe riding practices (better to be "wrong" and alive). Disclosure: I'm an "engineer" but not an "Engineer".

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"the crux of the issue is the ticket on red +0.00 seconds and you have to have cleared the intersection, other countries use red +0.5 seconds(or other times) with no requirement to clear. to me usa law is crazy because it seems inefficient(though likely intended to be more safe)"

Or, it's intended to generate revenue. Note that the "LAW" is actually a bunch of "laws," none of which specify details like "red +0.00 s." Prior to red-light cameras, it was solely at the discretion of the officer(s), resulting in total variability in ticketing. Red-light camera timing is primarily a revenue generation tool in most cities, particularly when it's offered for free by the camera suppliers, with a revenue-sharing arrangement. Setting the timing to "red +0.00s" simply ensures that the camera supplier gets their return on investment faster.

On the other side of the coin, yellow lights, today, tend to be ignored, as red-light enforcement is quite rare.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

"IRstuff (Aerospace)26 Apr 17 14:30
He lost out because Oregon has no industrial exemption: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/672.060.

Seemed to me that he was blatantly pushing the envelope. Had he keep to something like "BSEE 1982 Uppsala University" he could have gotten away with it. He's pi$$ing into the wind, since it's Oregon law, and the board is probably indemnified for following the law."

Both #5 and #6 are industrial exemption of a sort. Actually, #6 is the big one that is. "Person" in the exemption has the meaning as in ORS 670 which refers to the state standard definition in ORS 174.100 which basically means an individual or organizational entity such as a corporation, partnership, etc.

#6 is the main industrial exemption like the computer electronics engineers at Tektronix or the semiconductor engineers at Intel. This is because Oregon doesn't have a proper licensing program for these professions because licensing programs involves the wrong kinds of education and testing and pools of questions for engineering in these professions. No one needs to know how about plumbing engineering to design a semiconductor. Engineers working on the plumbing systems in an Intel plant would need to be an MEP engineer that is licensed but not the semiconductor engineer designing a microprocessor. If we are going to license these other 'engineering' disciplines as well as software engineering, then the training needs to be the correct form of education, experience background, and correct testing and NO.... the NCEES exam for software engineering is not the right kind of exam because the exam isn't for software engineering but what is actually a very narrow form of systems engineering. If anything, software engineering or software systems engineering shouldn't require an P.E. license except if the system involves a life-safety or critical system where there maybe an elevated risk of physical harm of the public if incompetently performed. The software engineers working on the next version of Microsoft Excel or Word or a video game platform as you may find in an online video game involving a server-client model, or even those in the video game industry should not require a Professional Engineer license. All that does is draws attorneys to sue the individuals which are working under direction of their corporate superiors including the venture capitalists financing the software projects who would be the ones ordinarily responsible as they usually have ownership stake in the business. The purpose of the architect & engineers law was about life, safety, welfare, and general health of the public.... you know.... prevent another Great Chicago fire by improved construction standards designed to prevent spread of fires, and minimize risk of bridges and dams collapsing and causing physical harm to persons and persons' properties. This is the legislative intent. Licensing was intended for those reasons not to be a vehicle of a group of people to establish an oligopoly or regulate like a guild or union club. There has to be justification for licensing. In fact, over-broad restriction of common words is technically a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. No state shall adopt or enforce any law abridge (any law or regulation that to effect restricts or lessens...) the privileges and rights of the United States Constitution. By overzealous controlling of generic terms like engineering and general overly generic word uses is in itself a violation and to some extent is illegal.

Generally, if anyone in certain fields are deem to be such where there is serious potential for serious harm of people or properties of people that can not be addressed by alternative means such as product testing requirements, standards and codes, etc. should be sufficient ground for licensing based regulations to be in place but only when there is.

Regulating beyond that scope on a person is overreach. All that it does is drive industries out the state and causes unemployment and there simply isn't the general resources to police those industries. The licensing board can not investigate every tom, dick, and harry of every single occupational field that can be interpreted to fit into such broad definition like that used to describe practice of engineering in Oregon. If you read that, it can be interpreted to apply to any occupation including manufacturing. These laws have to be constrained to reasonable levels by general scope of original legislative intent. There is many 'engineering' fields that are not a significant risk to HSW that needs to be regulated by licensing programs. Considering we have these cookie cutter and somewhat arbitrary licensing requirements for certain fields that may not appropriately apply to other fields. For example, that F.E. exam is inappropriate for 90% of software engineers because 90% of software engineers works on software projects for general consumer markets not life-critical or safety critical systems. I can see a P.E. license for software engineering for software engineering of safety critical systems but there is a point where that has to be NARROWLY defined and appropriate testing applied. Exemption for software engineers not involved in software engineering of safety critical or life-safety systems. Safety critical software engineering.... yes. General software engineering on such non-critical systems where failure would not likely result in harm to persons' or persons' property or natural environment abroad.

When we look at industrial exemption, these are intended to exempt professions of some level of 'engineering' (which by state definition basically means any form of applied science and math) that isn't within the intended scope of engineering licensing on basis of HSW of the public. Engineering such as semiconductor engineering of consumer electronics or software engineering, without a Professional Engineer license, for consumer software products usually do not arise to a sufficient nexus of potential harm to public health, safety, and welfare to constitute the need for occupational licensing. Even consumer electronics needs to pass some certifications like FCC regulations, CE certification, etc. to meet general standards and in itself would not arise to requiring licensure to design and engineer and manufacture consumer electronics.

I had written comments to OSBEELS when they tried to put software engineering under professional engineering licensing. I opposed an blanket approach to the issue. I can support very focused areas of software engineering and focus licensure as a practice matter. Lighten up on the general title of 'software engineering' and focus on what point in software engineering rises to a level that needs to have a P.E. license. In my opinion, software engineering of safety-critical systems, life-critical systems ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety-critical_syst... ) would be what I think would constitute licensing requirements being reasonable.

Outside of that, I don't think it constitutes a need for licensing. What is important to keep the eye on the ball is the point of licensing is to protect the public from unqualified people designing/engineering whatever..... where if there is a failure.... there is a significant risk of death or injury, environmental harm, and/or severe damage or loss of equipment & property. Most important are the risk of death or injury of people, environmental harm, or damage/loss of property beyond the item or object itself. I rather a computer destroy itself, not the rest of the house/building or city block or city as a whole if it failed. Where damage risk upon failure has significant probability to go beyond the self-destruction of the item itself where it would likely cause severe damage or loss to other equipment, building at large, environmental harm, or death/injury of people, then I can see engineering license.

You know.... basic common level prudence... (common sense). I oppose over-regulating because that's basically police state full of you can't do this and that. You have to go through a process that would cost an arm, a leg and testicle to go through just to be poorly paid, sued left and right by every attorney every day just because they all think you have a bottom-less supply of professional liability insurance... all jacking up your insurance premium. No thank you.

BUILDING DESIGNER - NOT A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

So the "correct" way to go about this would be for the dude to say, "I'm a physicist, and I caught you guys dorking with the stoplight timing to fleece the public with your stoplight cameras. Here's the math." And then Oregon probably would have said, "your math doesn't count because you're not a traffic engineer."

At that point, what's the guy to do? He caught the government red handed extorting the public. Nobody is even questioning that. But the state's response is simply to poison the well. If he claimed "physicist" instead of "engineer" on his business card, the state still has the option of poisoning the well, just in a different way.

In my mind, being critical of engineering, using sound science, absolutely should be free speech.



Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

But to play Devil's advocate, using the term engineer to describe yourself in a state where engineer is a protected term is asking for trouble. I don't think he's the silliest one in this sorry tale, but no one looks like a genius either.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Quote (GregLocock)

I don't think he's the silliest one in this sorry tale, but no one looks like a genius either.

So would you say he's like: "an RPN calculator with no Enter key"?

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Fined by the city for claiming to be an engineer - Suing on grounds of free speach

Or an RPN calculator with an Equals key?

STF

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close