Monday, 16 April 2012

The REAL Value of a Scientific Education

Came across this unusual piece today from the UK Daily Mail.

Dmitri Krioukuv, a physics professor at UC San Diego, upon receiving a $400 ticket, ostensibly for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign (i.e., the notorious "California stop"), set to demonstrate his writing a four-page proof, which was subsequently published.

The paper, dubbed "The Proof of Innocence Paper: A Way to Fight Your Traffic Ticket" used arguments about linear vs. angular velocity.

The judge was, apparently, more convinced by Professor Krioukuv conclusions - "the cops' perception of reality did not reflect reality" - than the local CHP officer, dismissing the ticket.

I was at best a B- student of physics in college, so I'll have to rely on the "hope the officer fails to show" approach.


Brian in Oxford said...

I am at least a little curious, in the realm of speeding tickets, how the statutes define one's speed. Do the laws specify the distance and time to be used? Can the "magic box" of a radar detector can be relied upon 100%?

I'm not saying I should be able to drive 50 mph in a 25 zone for half an hour if I remain fully at rest the remaining half hour - but does the average police officer have the ability to explain the calculation of the speed they're writing on the citation?

DWBudd said...

Gordo -

I think this could have been a question on one of the Mookie Monster's problem sets back in Physics 13.

As long as the air speed of a swallow doesn't factor in...

Journey of Life said...

This is awesome! Next time, we should try! --Way too cool. Actually, one time my husband got the ticket for not stopping and the police car was at the angle that according to him was NOT possible to know for sure whether he stopped or not. So, he came up with an argument and picture and such. Ready to fight in the court and Woala. The policeman didn't show up. :-) I guess It was a win for us regardless.

DWBudd said...


yes; a win is a win is a win. The cop not showing up is the easiest "win," but one cannot count on it.

I got a red-light ticked once in San Jose, less than a block from my house at the corner of South 11th and E Santa Clara St. The irony is, I was part of the neighbourhood group that had begged the SJPD for stepped-up traffic enforcement.

I did not run the light, and I was ready to prove that the officer could not have seen the light and my vehicle simultaneously (11th St is a one-way street).

After some thought, it was less time and money to just plead no contest to the ticket and go to "traffic offender school" than to take a day off work and go to court.

Journey of Life said...

It is true. Sometimes it is just not worthy. I did that myself as well. Just showed up and plead guilty. Paid the ticket then attended traffic school. Done!