Man to file federal lawsuit over Beaverton red light cameras

Man to file federal lawsuit over Beaverton red light cameras »Play Video

BEAVERTON, Ore. - A year ago this month, a red light camera caught the Mats Jarlstrom's wife's white car going through a red light.

Jarlstrom never dreamed it would set him on the road toward suing the city of Beaverton in federal court.

“It's gonna be a huge step,” Jarlstrom says. “Finally I will talk to some people, I hopefully a federal judge that's willing to listen.”

Last February, the KATU Investigators showed how measurements by this electronics engineer revealed a red light camera system that varies enough to give red light camera tickets to some drivers, but not others doing the very same thing.

Jarlstrom says, worse yet, Oregon's 'restrictive yellow light' standard should leave a lot more yellow light time at Beaverton intersections.

That's at the heart of Jarlstrom's federal civil rights lawsuit. He contends Beaverton's not following state law and endangering drivers in the process.

Jarlstrom believes any change might be a problem for Beaverton's Redflex red light camera contractor.

“We're talking over five seconds of yellow time,” Jarlstrom said. “And you could understand, when we're actually going to follow the law here in Oregon, Redflex, the camera system, is gonna have a hard time generating any revenue.”

Jarlstrom has taken his case to Beaverton's city council 13 times. They've said no all 13 times to any changes in the traffic light settings.

Jarlstrom says that's why he had to go to the federal courts; for a fair hearing and for a systems that treats every driver the same across Oregon.
“So we have a fair system and a safe system in place,” he said. “And today, when there's so many misunderstandings going on, it becomes unsafe.”

The city of Beaverton has 20 days to respond once Jarlstrom’s lawsuit is filed.