Beaverton sued over red light camera tickets

Beaverton sued over red light camera tickets

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 8:27 PM

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday, claiming that the City of Beaverton has been illegally writing tickets to drivers at intersections which use red-light cameras.

The civil suit, filed by Beaverton engineer Mats Jarlstrom, claims the yellow signals on traffic lights are too short to comply with the Oregon Vehicle Code. It also claims the city is "unlawfully generating revenue” and putting people at risk of injury or death.

The city has maintained that its red-light cameras improve safety and reduce accidents. But the lawsuit claims the traffic lights go from yellow to red too quickly for drivers to get safely through the intersections.

More: Beaverton red-light camera timing doesn't match city claim

“The City of Beaverton needs to time their intersections,” Jarlstrom said. “All intersections need to be timed according to the Oregon Vehicle Code. They need to follow the law.”

Jarlstrom has timed the yellow light at the intersection of Southwest Lombard Avenue and Allen Boulevard.

“I measured about 3.35 seconds, which is about 4 percent shorter [than what it should be],” he said.

The City of Beaverton’s website claimed the yellow lights are set to 3.5 seconds. While Jarlstrom’s claim of 4 percent short doesn’t seem like much, if your wristwatch was 4 percent off, it would lose 57 minutes every 24 hours, he explained.

The suit asked for an injunction to force the city to properly set the timing on their traffic lights.

Beaverton officials have told KGW that they follow Oregon law and ODOT recommendations at all photo red light intersections.

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