Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't practice engineering without a license

Getting involved sometimes has its consequences.

Here's a story out of Raleigh from last week that's worth reading.

A small snippet:
RALEIGH, N.C. -- A homeowner may face criminal charges in the fight over two traffic signals, after a DOT engineer reported the man practiced engineering without a license.


NCDOT said they would look at a second analysis if it came from an independent licensed engineer, but the neighborhood association produced a study of its own.


The study clearly shows it was submitted by the residents of North Raleigh. The group used guidelines from a 2009 Federal Highway Administration manual to help them write the study.

Instead of taking a second look at the situation, Kevin Lacy, a state traffic engineer, filed a complaint.
Read or watch the whole thing and let it serve as a cautionary tale -- sometimes those in government, be they politicians or bureaucrats, are not too excited when the rest of us try to get involved.

The News & Observer has a follow-up blog post after Rush Limbaugh apparently discussed the issue on his radio show on Monday. It contains support for both sides from professional engineers (one can only hope they are properly licensed). It's worth reading as well if the matter interests you. And for the information junkies in Waxhaw, here's an earlier post with more comments from Kevin Lacy, the state DOT engineer who filed the charges.

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