Updated July 22, 2014 06:16 PM PST
Mats Järlström, Beaverton Oregon USA, 503-671-0312, email@example.com
Jarlstrom v. Beaverton Federal Lawsuit
The below reference material has all the information needed to show the facts that Oregon's vehicle code for the steady yellow light needs to include the time it takes a driver in a vehicle to drive through an intersection if a driver and its vehicle cannot stop in safety. This is NOT the case today and additionally the City of Beaverton is not including this important clearance time since they think it is "optional" and is therefore putting the public at risk including my selves.
To understand the above statements please see below reference document number 2. In this source document for the yellow traffic light's timing you will learn what the “critical distance” is for a stopping vehicle on page 114 (equation 4) and how the "critical distance" is used (top of page 115). Continuing on page 115 and 116 we learn the other option for the “critical distance” - a vehicle driving through the intersection. Finally we learn that the yellow traffic light “ITE” formula is derived from the “critical distance” equation as shown on page 118, equation 9. Please note the term (W+L)/V is included in the yellow light timing formula. Please check the City of Beaverton’s self-assessment Memo (Reference 4) if you can find this clearance term anywhere in their document - you will not since it is missing.
However, the City of Beaverton acknowledges that the Oregon ORS811.260(4) states (see page 8 of their Motion to Dismiss): “Only if a driver cannot safely stop, may the driver proceed through an intersection on a yellow light.” As learned above from reference document 2 we now understand if a driver faces a yellow light closer to the intersection than the “critical distance” (which is deemed unsafe stopping as learned above) he needs to be able to drive through the intersection during the yellow light phase per Oregon law. This is also what the City of Beaverton says that they understand - but they do not. Basically a driver needs the time to travel the "critical distance" and the intersections clearance width plus a vehicle length during the yellow phase. Currently the City of Beaverton is only allowing drivers to stop using the minimum "critical distance" for the yellow phase time and does not add the time it takes for a vehicle to travel through and clear an intersection during the yellow phase as seen in the City of Beaverton’s own documents. Beaverton's "traffic engineers" should know this information since it involves very basic math and physics and their lack of knowledge is putting the public at risk.
Additionally the City of Beaverton is also citing drivers running a yellow light since they do not understand the reason behind the Oregon vehicle code words "A driver facing the light shall stop". The words "shall stop" are specifically used to protect the intersection from drivers entering during the added yellow clearance time but since Beaverton is not adding this time and are only allowing a vehicle minimum time to stop they cannot cite a driver running a yellow light. Again, this illegal activity is due to lack of knowledge.
More information about the lawsuit and the problems that the City of Beaverton faces due to their lack of knowledge will be added. Please feel free to ask questions in the meantime.
Ref. 1 Oregon Vehicle Code ORS.811.260(4): http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/dmv/docs/vcb/vcb811.pdf
Ref. 2 Source Document for Oregon's Vehicle Code and the ITE Formula: http://jarlstrom.com/PDF/The_Problem_Of_The_Amber_Signal_Light_In_Traffic_Flow.pdf
Ref. 3 Important letter from one of the above ITE Formula authors: http://jarlstrom.com/PDF/Yellow_Change_Interval_Dos_And_Donts_Alexei_Maradudin.pdf
Ref. 4 The City of Beaverton's Self Assessment: http://jarlstrom.com/PDF/Photo%20Red%20Light%20Yellow%20Change%20Interval%20012713.pdf
Ref. 5 ODOT's incorrect policy: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/TRAFFIC-ROADWAY/docs/pdf/odot_yellow_red_clear_policy_a1.pdf
Ref. 6 Federal Traffic Signal Manual: http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop08024/fhwa_hop_08_024.pdf (Important pages: 119, 137 & 138, see also below)
(Page 119, City of Portland "Safe Stopping Distance": http://jarlstrom.com/PDF/fhwa_hop_08_024_page119.pdf )
(Page 137-138, "Permissive & Restrictive Yellow Laws" and "One Safe Stopping Distance": http://jarlstrom.com/PDF/fhwa_hop_08_024_page137_138.pdf)
Public Lawsuit Documents
May 13, 2014
Original Complaint: Jarlstrom v. City of Beaverton Complaint.pdf
(Better Resolution of Exhibit A: Final_Exhibit A_30 MPH VEHICLE Speed - Current Beaverton Yellow Change Interval - EB SW Allen Blvd Beaverton.pdf)
June 6, 2014
Plf's First Request for Production 6-6-14.pdf
June 16, 2014
Beaverton's Motion to Dismiss: 20140622073235.pdf
July 3, 2014
1. Pl's Memo in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.pdf
2. Dec. of Mats Jarlstrom Pl's Memo in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.pdf
3. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint.pdf
4. Exhibit A to Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint.pdf
(Better Resolution of Amended Exhibit A: Fig 1_30 MPH VEHICLE Speed Current Beaverton Yellow Change Interval EB SW Allen Blvd_R17.pdf)
July 17, 2014
City's Reply to Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.pdf
Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint.pdf
(Old but still valid information below)
Thanks to the City of Beaverton's Public Works Director Peter Arellano's formal email response dated Oct 8, 2013 with the included Excel Sept 07 2013.xlsx spreadsheet, I can now present the facts to the public that support this statement. The majority of these facts were presented to the City of Beaverton at the December 10th, 2013 City Council meeting, visitor comment period: http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/index.aspx?NID=268
Redflex Traffic System (Australia) and the City of Beaverton (Oregon) have never documented the actual visible yellow traffic light's phase time and any errors when issuing a red light camera citation since 2001. By ignoring the yellow traffic light's random timing errors leads to fact that drivers are allowed different yellow phase times as a warning to stop before a red light - therefore the drivers are not treated equally under the law and it is a violation of the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution.
My research show the reason why other jurisdictions use a grace period to compensate for errors in the traffic light and camera equipment to make the citation process legal. It is fundamentally wrong to issue a citation with a 0.12 seconds red light violation when the total documented yellow traffic light and camera system errors are 0.40 seconds or more. The presented facts are publicly available.
My name is Mats Järlström, I’m a Swedish electronics engineer with expertise in test and measurements. I have worked as an expert witness in Federal Court, designed optical timing devices and I work with calibration of high end test instrumentation systems for the US Navy. I’m a resident of Beaverton since 1995.
My wife got a red light camera citation from the intersection of SW Allen Blvd and SW Lombard Ave in Beaverton on May 20th, 2013 (4:26 PM) (see Wife_Citation.pdf). The citation shows that she triggered the red light camera system after the red light had been on for ONLY 0.12 seconds (see Citation Picture). The citation lacked information. No information of the yellow light’s on-time is provided in the citation. No information is provided when and if the red light camera system was last maintained or calibrated.
The yellow light’s timing importance
The Beaverton police department is NOT taking the yellow traffic light’s timing and any errors into account when they issue red light camera citations today (see updated current Beaverton Police website with "APPROXIMATELY" yellow times and it's "ALL about the RED not the yellow": http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/index.aspx?NID=1090) and this has not been addressed ever since the very first Redflex red light camera system first was installed in 2001. Peter Arellano also says in his email (RE Allen and Lombard Intersection.htm): “I do not think that the added cost associated with more accurately verifying the length of the visible yellow phase for every citation is a good expenditure of taxpayer resources”.
The Redflex camera system flaw
The Redflex camera system is designed to be active only AFTER the traffic light has turned RED - this is the fundamental system flaw Redflex Traffic System has with their red light camera system. Redflex is NOT documenting the yellow light and there are NO pictures showing if the yellow light was even working or timed properly at the time of a citation. Redflex system design relay on, in this case the City of Beaverton, to time and account for errors in the yellow traffic lights which they fail to do.
Traffic light documented equipment errors
If we take more traffic light components into account such as the
lamps, Mr. Arellano presents a worst case minimum timing of the visible
yellow light's on-time of 3.25 seconds when the traffic light controller is
programmed to 3.5 seconds. The maximum 3.6 seconds and the minimum 3.25 seconds
will give us an error range of 0.35 seconds just using Mr. Arellano's data.
Additionally, Mr. Arellano says that the City of
Mr. Arellano also emphasizes that these documented traffic light equipment errors apply to ALL traffic lights in the City of
, with or without cameras. Beaverton
The yellow light’s MINIMUM time and RANDOM errors
In Mr. Arellano's email you can also read that the visible yellow traffic light at the Allen and Lombard east/west directions SHOULD be 3.5 seconds for a 30 MPH approach speed which is ODOT's recommended MINIMUM time (see odot_yellow_red_clear_policy_a1.pdf) and also what the City of Beaverton themselves state on their website. NOT meeting the absolute MINIMUM recommended yellow light phase time is a safety hazard.
Mr. Arellano's Excel spreadsheet presents data showing the RANDOM
nature of the visible yellow light and also an error range of 0.16 seconds
(3.52 s - 3.36 s = 0.16 s) and that
ONLY ONE of the measured 104 cycles actually meet the specified 3.5 seconds yellow light on-time – THIS IS LESS THAN 1% (please see
Also, the measured and presented error range of 0.16 seconds is greater than my
wife's citation time stamp of 0.12 seconds. Please pay attention that this data is provided by the City of
I would also like to point out that this short 2 hour Redflex video was taken on September 7th, 2013 between 9:00 and 11:00 AM and I checked the weather conditions at this time. The temperature rose about 4 degrees Fahrenheit during this video recording. This temperature rise is not large enough to affect the equipment but I can guarantee that if we looked at timing data during a month's time, a full year’s time or even the whole time period since the camera's first were installed 2001, this would include cold winter days and hot summer days with a temperature differential of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit we will see much greater random errors. Other environmental factors such as varying humidity is also affecting the system timing and its components. The ageing of the system components is also an error factor as time passes.
Timing Resolution, Traffic Engineering Standards and MINIMUM equipment error
Redflex is presenting their citation timing data using one hundreds of a second resolution despite the common traffic engineering industry standard is a tenth of a second timing resolution. All Federal (FHWA), State (ODOT) and traffic engineering (ITE) documents present timing data and standards using a tenth of a second resolution. Since NO equipment can have zero error or tolerance we can see why ITE has specified the traffic light controllers to have a +/-0.1 seconds tolerance or error range as Director Peter Arellano presented in his formal email. This +/-0.1 seconds is the MINIMUM error ANY equipment can have using a tenth of a second resolution timing standard.
Based on the industry standard timing resolution the MINIMUM Redflex camera system error or tolerance is in fact at least +/-0.1 seconds in addition to the City of Beaverton's documented traffic light equipment errors.
The violation by the City of Beaverton and Redflex Traffic Systems
The presented information with data showing the yellow traffic light’s errors and tolerances is the proof that the yellow light’s actual on-time NEEDS to be addressed in a red light camera citation process:
By failing to address the visible yellow traffic light's RANDOM timing errors, it leads to that one driver will get a SHORT yellow light as a warning before the red light and another driver a LONG yellow light. If the two drivers are NOT getting the SAME warning before the light turns red the drivers are NOT treated EQUALLY UNDER THE LAW - therefore violating the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution.
The contract between Beaverton and Redflex
In the Beaverton/Redflex contract we find the below copied sections. Here we read that Redflex is responsible for the citation process. Redflex fails to include the yellow light in the red light camera citation which is the reason for the ongoing civil rights violation. We can also read that the yellow light is addressed in the contract which shows its importance. Beaverton is also required to meet the MINIMUM yellow light timing standards for these camera intersections which their own data show that they fail to do. The LED requirement shows that the traffic light lamps were upgraded due to the installation of these Redflex camera systems when they were first installed back in 2001.
Redflex Obligations. (DocFile-2.PDF, page 26)
1.13. Citation processing and citation issuance/re-issuance for an Authorized Violation; 1.14. Redflex shall provide training (i) for up to fifteen (15) personnel of the City, including but not limited to the persons whom City shall appoint as Authorized Employees and other persons involved in the administration of the Photo Speed and /or Red Light Enforcement Programs, (ii) for up to sixteen (16) hours in the aggregate, (iii) regarding the operation of the Redflex System and Photo Speed and /or Red Light Enforcement Programs, which training shall include training with respect to the Redflex System and its operations, strategies for presenting Violation Data in court and judicial proceedings and a review of the Enforcement Documentation; 1.15. Interact with court and judicial personnel to address issues regarding the implementation of the Redflex System, the development of the subpoena processing timeline that will permit the offering of Violation Data in court and judicial proceedings, and coordination between Redflex, the City and (where applicable, juvenile court personnel) and
CITY OBLIGATIONS. (DocFile-2.PDF, page 27)
Yellow Light Timing Review: The City is responsible to ensure that the yellow or amber light phase timing at all photo enforced intersections meets minimum standards according to Federal, State, and local laws, guidelines, and/or rules.
The City shall be responsible to provide and install LED traffic signal lights (yellow and red) at all enforced locations,
The word "MINIMUM"
The City of Beaverton fails to understand the word MINIMUM. The common traffic standard for our state is what the Oregon Department of Transportation is setting in their guidelines. As we can read above the Beaverton/Redflex contract is requiring the City of Beaverton to follow this MINIMUM standard. The City of Beaverton seems to think they can have a much shorter yellow light on-time than what ODOT has set as a MINIMUM. Let us compare this to what the State of Oregon has set for the MINIMUM wage for 2014 (see oregonminimumwage_eng_2014.pdf). Does the City of Beaverton think they can also pay any of their employees less than the MINIMUM wage set by the State of Oregon?
Police officer versus red light camera system
As we can read ALL traffic light intersections in Beaverton have the same timing errors and issues. So what about a non camera red light runner cited by a Beaverton police officer? When a police officer sees a red light runner all the documented traffic light random timing errors still apply but we have a SUBJECTIVE situation and information with no measured data. On the other hand when we use red light cameras and timing devices to cite red light runners we have an OBJECTIVE situation and we can study the measured details. Redflex and the City of Beaverton FAIL to fully understand the technology used and its proper implementation.
Danger of incompetence implementing technology
In the case of the police officer, we have a skilled individual competent to make correct decisions. However, when technological solutions are implemented by those who are not competent in the technology used, there is a real danger that people are falsely accused of violations caused by the system errors.
The solution to the Civil Rights Violations
The documented random yellow light’s error range of 0.4 seconds and NOT meeting the MINIMUM yellow light timing standards are the two main issues in Beaverton but there are also other yet unknown errors in the Redflex camera system that needs to be addressed. I have submitted a public request to investigate the Redflex system timing errors (PublicRecordRequestForm299_RedflexTraingAndTimingDocumentation.pdf) - Request received but NO timing specifications was provided (see Reference section below).
To solve the ongoing violations (please see also Visual Presentation Beaverton Allen Lombard Yellow Light Timing Rev C.pdf):
The traffic controllers needs to be reprogrammed or timed to take the error ranges into account so the yellow light's on-time ALWAYS will be AT LEAST the MINIMUM standard set by ODOT. This will allow ALL drivers to have enough time to stop before the red light. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT SAFETY FACTOR.
Use a grace period by, for example adding 0.5 seconds after the light has turned red before the police are allowed to issue a citation. The grace period should be the same length as all the combined traffic light's system and camera system errors or more. Adding this grace period would make the citation process legal and fair.
Beaverton's solution - "APPROXIMATELY" yellow times
Beaverton's solution to "fix" the documented random equipment errors is to change their website so all yellow phase times are now "APPROXIMATELY" times (see website versions in the Reference section below). This "fix" shows that the City of Beaverton is now aware of the variance error of the yellow light timings in all their traffic light intersections but they still issue red light camera citations with ZERO tolerance. It just does not make sense that drivers are getting different yellow light times as a warning before the RED light - the correct solution is a grace period in the citation process to compensate for the varying timing errors and to time the traffic lights phase times long enough for safety. Neither is done in Beaverton.
Presented errors and willingness to change
I presented timing and engineering errors made by the City of Beaverton for both the east/west directions and the northbound SW Lombard approach into the Allen and Lombard intersection during my October 8th, 2013 Beaverton city council meeting visitor comment period. Here is my presented documentation: Beaverton City Council Meeting Oct8 2013 RevA.pdf. The City of Beaverton CHANGED the northbound timing of the yellow phase right after I presented the errors at this meeting but they have not done anything to correct the east/west timing errors presented in this document: Yellow Change Interval Calculation EW Allen Lombard ITE Formula Rev C.pdf. Why? The answer is the east/west directions have the Redflex red light camera system and the northbound does not.
Beaverton are NOT calculating their traffic light phase times
I also submitted a public records request (see PublicRecordRequestForm299_TimingCalulation.pdf) to find out how the City of Beaverton is determining the traffic light timings in the four intersections having Redflex red light cameras. The only documents I received from the request was four scaled drawings of the intersections. I was informed by Mr. Arellano that there were NO documents available that showed any traffic light times or any calculations (see email from Mr. Arellano). To me this is an insult to the tax paying public that work is NOT done properly and it also shows that the City of Beaverton is a clear traffic SAFETY HAZARD. What is the Beaverton city traffic engineer doing to justify his salary?
Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach
I have recommended the City of Beaverton to follow the City of Virginia Beach's model (see signaltiming.pdf and TE-306_1_YellowChange_RedClearance_Intervals.pdf - see also (Texas) Determining the 85th Percentile Speed) which uses current yellow light phase timing standards and a grace period to be both safe and legal. NOTE: The grace period is not introduced by the City of Virginia to be nice but to be legal.
seem to be smart enough to understand their traffic light equipment, traffic safety and the legal aspects of a red light camera system with its traffic light timing standards and fair citation process. The State of Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach
Redflex Traffic System
Redflex Traffic Systems is pushing their camera systems onto cities
Obviously in Beaverton, it is not “ALL about the RED” or safety but it is “ALL about the MONEY”
Redflex and Beaverton are complicit is defrauding the public and simultaneously creating traffic safety hazards by a poorly implemented and inconsistent traffic signal system. Follow the money trail here and see who benefits.
Redflex, ODOT and other Cities
This presented information applies to ANY jurisdiction in the US and several other cities use Redflex and their citation process in our local area. Sherwood is one good example and here we have ODOT involved as well since 99W is a state highway. It seems that ODOT does not understand the legal implications of red light cameras either. There is NO information in any document discussing error and tolerances on ODOT's website and not even on the federal FHWA's website. I have had contact with ODOT and after I started to ask them about errors and tolerances in their traffic light equipment and how they account for them they stopped communicating with me.
The Municipal Court and Redflex
Redflex is highly involved with the Municipal Court and the judicial system as can be seen in the contract between the City of Beaverton and Redflex referenced above. Why is a private company like Redflex involved with our courts and our judges? Aren't our judicial system supposed to be impartial and fair? I firmly believe this is yet another ongoing civil right's violation that needs to be investigated. I have submitted a public request to investigate this (PublicRecordRequestForm299_RedflexTraingAndTimingDocumentation.pdf) - Request received but NO training material was provided (see Reference section below).
The Redflex video
As part of the citation process Redflex is incorporating a video
I have seen online references to the Redflex video used as a validation of a right turn on red citation if a vehicle come to a complete stop before the stop bar and completing the turn. We can read that this right turn on red enforcement began in January 1, 2011 in Beaverton so it is fairly new. Further investigations is needed to determine if this Redflex video can legally be used in the State of Oregon and if so how. Note, any video is a series of still photographs and there are times between each picture where events are not known. A Police officer is actually better than a video camera in regards to this since he can continually observe an event.
is now time to demand refunds for all the illegal red light camera citations the
The City of
Beaverton's Oath of Office, Code of Ethics and the DUTY to Act
This information can be found on the City of Beaverton's website: http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/990 (Exerts from page 4)
Oath of Office
"I, ________, do solemnly swear: that I will preserve and protect the laws and Constitution of the United States of America, the State of Oregon, and the City of Beaverton; that I will faithfully bring credit to the Department and myself as a police officer of the City of Beaverton; that I will strive to preserve life and to maintain all human rights; and that I will faithfully perform the duties of a police officer to the best of my ability, in accordance with the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, so help me God".
Code of Ethics
"As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve humanity; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional Rights of all people to liberty, equality and justice....".
Reading Beaverton's Oath of Office and the Code of Ethics, it is now the Mayor's, the City Council Member's and ALL Police Officer's DUTY to act.
ABC News report about erroneous camera citations:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2014/01/traffic-cameras-rife-with-bogus-violations-audit-shows/ - NEW
AOL Auto news, Secret Audit Finds Baltimore's Speed Cameras Unreliable:
http://autos.aol.com/article/secret-audit-finds-baltimores-speed-cameras-unreliable/?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl29|sec1_lnk3&pLid=433831 - NEW
NWwatchdog.org reports by Shelby Sebens:
Lawsuit by ATC/Xerox competitor of Redflex and Beaverton is mentioned:
http://www.toledoblade.com/State/2008/11/13/Photo-radar-company-sues-Redflex-in-Arizona-suit.html - NEW
Redflex YouTube video of accident at eastbound Allen Blvd in Beaverton:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vR2BNGALwuk - NEW
KGW Channel 8 news report by Chris Willis:
KXL 101 Jim Villanucci show (1-6-14 HOUR 1, 2 and 3. 1-7-14 Beaverton Police Responded):
Link to presentations at the Beaverton City Council Meetings (visitor comment period, Sept. 3, 10, 17, Oct. 8, 15, Nov. 5, Dec. 10, 2013 and Jan. 7 and 14 2014 - nine in total so far):
Two downloadable video versions of the Beaverton city council meeting visitor comment period from Jan. 7, 2014:
Public Access_PUAC023_2014_01_07_15_00_00 2.mp4 (230 MB, 640x480, Mpeg4)
Public Access_PUAC023_2014_01_07_15_00_00 2.avi (100 MB, 320x240, DivX)
Beaverton police FAQs website versions:
Old - Beaverton OR - Official Website - Photo Red Light Enforcement FAQs.mht (Saved 8/24/2013)
New - Beaverton OR - Official Website - Photo Red Light Enforcement FAQs.mht (Saved 12/5/2013)
Current website link: http://www.beavertonoregon.gov/index.aspx?NID=1090
Beaverton city council presentation material:
Beaverton City Council Meeting Sept3 2013_FullReportR3.pdf
Beaverton City Council Meeting Sept10 2013 R2.pdf
Beaverton City Council Meeting Sept17 2013 Rev A.pdf
Beaverton City Council Meeting Oct8 2013 RevA.pdf
Beaverton City Council Meeting Nov5 2013 R0.pdf
Beaverton City Council Meeting Jan 7, 2014: Beaverton Redflex Contract Findings.pdf and Visual Presentation Beaverton Allen Lombard Yellow Light Timing Rev C.pdf
Public records requests:
Date Request Form Submitted Information Received I paid 11/05/2013 PublicRecordRequestForm299_LombardSafety.pdf Records Request Crash Reports.msg (Information is useless since it is incomplete, Outlook format) $141.84 11/06/2013 PublicRecordRequestForm299_ALLOvideos.pdf Available upon request. The three videos fit on a DVD. $137.00 11/12/2013 PublicRecordRequestForm299_TimingCalulation.pdf AB013410.pdf, AB11479.pdf, 20131118112251390.pdf and 20131118112036824.pdf (NOTE: NO calculations provided) $46.00 12/10/2013 PublicRecordRequestForm299_BeavertonRedflexContracts.pdf DocFile-1.PDF, DocFile-2.PDF, DocFile-3.PDF and FRM PAYMENT FORM.pdf $7.50 12/16/2013 PublicRecordRequestForm299_RedflexTraingAndTimingDocumentation.pdf Redflex Camera Specifications.pdf Note: NO training material provided. Free 01/09/2014 PublicRecordRequestForm299_FinacialRecordsPaymentsToRedflex.pdf Redflex Traffic Invoices 2013.pdf and Phot Red Light Payments to Red Flex.pdf Free