Matt Yglesias writes about Adventures in Occupational Licensing: North Carolina Traffic Engineering Edition
I’m assuming this effort to deploy occupational licensing law to harras someone isn’t going to hold up, but maybe I’m wrong:
After an engineering consultant hired by the city said that the signals were not needed, Cox and the North Raleigh Coalition of Homeowners’ Associations responded with a sophisticated analysis of their own.
The eight-page document with maps, diagrams and traffic projections was offered to buttress their contention that signals will be needed at the Falls of Neuse at Coolmore Drive intersection and where the road meets Tabriz Point / Lake Villa Way.
It did not persuade Kevin Lacy, chief traffic engineer for the state DOT, to change his mind about the project. Instead, Lacy called on a state licensing agency, the N.C. Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, to investigate Cox.
As ever, it’s important to distinguish this from a law against fraud. Obviously people shouldn’t be allowed to misstate their credentials, be they engineering credentials or whatever. But nobody’s alleging fraud here:
Cox has not been accused of claiming that he is an engineer. But Lacy says he filed the complaint because the report “appears to be engineering-level work” by someone who is not licensed as a professional engineer.
Essentially the work is too good for a non-engineer to be allowed to produce.