Hawaii Exhibits

H1 Hawaii DOT Letter Implying Engineering Malpractice

Hawaii DOT Letter Implying Engineering Malpractice

This is an email thread between me and Lee Nagano. Nagano is the Motor Vehicle Safety Administrator for the Hawaii DOT.

The following are all cases of engineering malpractice:

1. Nagano states that the Hawaii DOT uses the ITE practice of setting yellow lights. The ITE practice always shorts yellow lights. By getting the math wrong, the ITE practice always causes drivers to systematically and unavoidably run red lights. In some cases, the math is so bad that the practice makes drivers enter the intersection 4 to 5 seconds after the light turns red. It looks like the driver's fault, but it is the traffic engineer's. Red-light cameras do not solve the engineering problem; they expose it and exploit it for profit.

2. In order to force more people to run red lights, the Hawaii DOT explicitly violates the federal standard of care for yellow lights. HiDOT plugs in the speed limit, not the 85th percentile approach speed or speed limit + 7 mph, into the yellow interval math equation. Using the speed limit shorts the yellow light by about 0.5 more seconds. That half second will increase the number of red light runners by about 300%.

(Speed limits are supposed to set to the 85th percentile speed but city ordinances oppose the engineering. The 85th is the most natural and safest speed. Cities post speed limits rounded down to 15, 25, 35, 45 mph. Setting the yellow according to the 85th percentile, compensates for rounding down and helps keep people safe. )

HiDOT has set the red-light camera grace period to 0.1 seconds. This is 30 times shorter than the actual engineering slop in the yellow interval calculation. The ITE practice sets the yellow interval to the time required by the "average" passenger driver. Average means that HiDOT, by design, always condemns half the driving population. The values disproportionately target kapuna and commercial vehicle drivers; that is, drivers who don't react as fast as the average 25 year old. For perception-reaction time, a variable used in the practice, ITE gives 1 second. But Kapuna and commercial vehicle drivers typically take about 2.5 seconds.

Also HiDOT refuses to disclose Redflex's red-light camera installation plans to me. The only time governments have refused a Freedom of Information Act (in Hawaii--UIPA ) request to disclose the installation plans is when the plans are illegal. The plans violate the State's Engineering Practice Act. I suspect the plans have not been signed and sealed by a Hawaii licensed professional engineer. Signed and sealed precludes installation, precludes operation.

Attorney McPherson told me on Jan 20, 2023 that someone told him that the plans are signed and sealed by a licensed PE.

The plans are still suspect.   The refusal to disclose this information immediately is similar to what happened in Greenville, NC.  We asked for the plans in Greenville.   The request fell into a black hole.    Months later, Greenville handed over plans with the seal of an NC licensed PE.     But the seal and signature were invalid.      It took Verra Mobility four months to find an engineer who would risk his career by aiding and abetting a firm to circumvent engineer licensure laws.    The PE had rubberstamped the plans.   The legal requirement is the plans be signed and sealed by a licensed PE who oversaw the project.   Because the PE did not oversee the project, the NC Board of Engineers suspended his license.


Jan 20, 2023
H2 Hawaii Engineering Practice Statute

Hawaii Engineering Practice Statute

Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 464-8 requires the engineer to know science. But the ITE practice is pseudo science. The ITE practice's yellow change interval equation conflicts with Newton's laws of motion. The ITE practice of using average instead of all-allowed vehicles is a misapplication of stochastic methods (misapplication of the math and physics). The latter is exacerbated by the 1/10th second grace period. All these things are demonstration of the engineer's incompetence -- a violation of 434-10.

Nov 24, 2022
H3 HAC 19-151 - Photo System

Hawaii Admin Code 19-151 - Photo System

Title 19, Subtitle 5, Chapter 151 describes the requirements of Photo Red Light Imaging Detector System.

The HiDOT is already violating 19-151-c: 1) By using ITE's practice, the yellow intervals are not appropriate. The yellow intervals violate the engineering practice act's conform-to-science requirement. 2) The HiDOT refuses to adjust the approach speed to the 85th percentile. Lee Nagano has already confessed that HiDOT breaks the law.

Nov 24, 2022



HL1 HAC 19-151 - Photo System

Attorney Who Can Help

The Law Office of R. Patrick McPherson
1001 Bishop St. Suite 1330
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: 808-797-3618
Phone: 808-386-6002
Fax: 808-537-1144

Nov 24, 2022