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# Dmitri Krioukov, Physicist, Writes Four Page Paper To Avoid Paying Traffic Ticket

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/16/2012 5:47 pm Updated: 04/17/2012 10:47 am

There are plenty of ways to get out of a traffic ticket: charm, flattery, fakery, full-on tears, "My uncle is a cop"
all come to mind. Submitting a four-page paper with math equations and graphs proving that your traffic violation was the result of the officer suffering from an optical illusion isn't the strategy most people would employ. It worked, though.

In his paper "The Proof of Innocence" Dmitri Krioukov, a physicist at the University of California in San Diego, outlined for a judge the mathematical reasons why he was not guilty of running a stop sign. It may seem like a lot of effort for one ticket, but Krioukov is no longer on the hook for the \$400 he owed.

In making his case, Krioukov wrote that a police officer can perceive a car as not having stopped -- even though it really did stop -- if three different criteria are met:

"(1) the observer measures not the linear but angular speed of the car; (2) the car decelerates and subsequently accelerates relatively fast; and (3) there is a short-time obstruction of the observer's view of the car by an external object, e.g., another car, at the moment when both cars are near the stop sign."

For those who'd like a simpler explanation, the blog Physics Central broke down Krioukov's argument in layman's terms with an illuminating analogy about trains:

When Krioukov drove toward the stop sign the police officer was approximating Krioukov's angular velocity instead of his linear velocity. This happens when we try to estimate the speed of a passing object, and the effect is more pronounced for faster objects.

Trains, for instance, appear to be moving very slowly when they are far away, but they speed past when closer. Despite these two different observations at different distances, the train maintains a roughly constant velocity throughout its trip.

In addition to including colorful diagrams, Krioukov was thorough with his details of the events that transpired: he wrote of having a cold on the day of the supposed violation and expounded on the impact a single sneeze had.

"D.K. was badly sick with cold on that day. In fact, he was sneezing while approaching the stop sign. As a result he involuntary pushed the brakes very hard. Therefore we can assume that the deceleration was close to maximum possible for a car."

Still, in his conclusion, Krioukov was understanding towards the officer in question.

"This mistake is fully justi fied," he wrote, reiterating the three factors at play that led to the errant ticket. "The O's perception of reality did not properly reflect reality."

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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Mover
Father, Husband, Ret 1SG
12:06 PM on 04/23/2012
Personal experience. The time you you take up in traffic court, the bigger your fine. At age 18 I was charged with running a stop sign, but ti was green when I started through and I had my story ready. Fortunately, I sat through 9 or 10 other violators explaining their excuses and I noticed the pattern.

Plead guilty/no contest without the drama: Low fine.
Tell the Grimm faery tale, or 'what really happened', and the fine gets really stiff.

This is 1970, so ...

Running a stop light with imaginative story: \$75.00 plus court costs.
Running a stop light with "I'm sorry, guilty": \$5.00 plus court costs.

I paid \$5.00 :)

The justice system in action. :)
06:43 AM on 04/23/2012
Count three seconds slow after you stop behind the first line the police told me when u come to a stop sign.
06:01 AM on 04/23/2012
Plus he slipped him 20 bucks, which they don't mention.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Ronald Ferreira
03:42 AM on 04/23/2012
stop anyways no excuses.
03:38 AM on 04/23/2012
Hint number 2... Dimitri "Crock-of" ?
Have good number of chuckles as you check out just how many sites on the internet have this item posted as factual.
This user has chosen to opt out of the Badges program
03:37 AM on 04/23/2012
I was married to a CHP sgt. He said when the hub caps ( wrong terminology I guess, today) STOP turning, you are stopped. He also said that no one ever got out of one of his tickets. That's why they are out there on the road! He never stopped being a COP even when he was home.. He is retired now but STILL a cop. You just can't see the uniform anymore. I finally got out of his "jail!" Nuff said?
06:41 AM on 04/23/2012
that means your divorce? "got out of his jail".
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04:26 PM on 04/23/2012
Yes indeed vxenon67. After 13 years of total control, his jail was enough.However, strange as it seems we have remained good friends.
03:20 AM on 04/23/2012
OK folks - take this as example of how the internet works. HP and many other sites have posted and reposted this story. Check out the link to the original paper - and pay attention to the publication date before you try to wrap your head around the physics. April 1st. Does that date mean anything to you ???? Yes - this was a gag... now picked up and repeated within the echo chamber of the internet. Yes, I do hold several physics degrees.. But really people - you should not need to check the math on this item to understand what's really happening!
03:05 AM on 04/23/2012
It was explained to me (a long time ago) by a cop that when you come to a complete stop your car will rock backwards. Forward inertia stoped.
05:44 AM on 04/23/2012
True, unless you release some brake pressure just before you come to a complete stop. This is a technique tought by Rolls Roice to students at it's executive driving school (future proffesional limo drivers).
05:48 AM on 04/23/2012
oops... Rolls-Royce
02:48 AM on 04/23/2012
The TRUE story:

SAN DIEGO -- A San Diego court commissioner is denying that a scientist's physics paper had anything to do with her dismissing his \$200 traffic ticket.

News outlets reported this week that Dmitri Krioukov of the University of California, San Diego, used an equation-filled paper on the physics of a car in motion to successfully appeal a ticket for failure to stop.

Superior Court Commissioner Karen Riley says not true. She tells U-T San Diego that she listened to the physics argument but much of it went over her head.

Riley says she found Krioukov not guilty because the officer who cited him wasn't close enough to the intersection to have a good view.
02:45 AM on 04/23/2012
The judge involved in this case has told the press that the professor's explanation had absolutely nothing to do with the dismissal of the ticket.

It was based on the fact that the officer was not in a good position to see an unobstructed view of the intersection.

Leave it to HUFFPO to hype an erroneous story.
04:07 AM on 04/23/2012
umm. That is one of the three arguements. That, the officer did not have an unobstructed view of the Professor
02:43 AM on 04/23/2012
It's BS because there's no angular velocity approaching a stop sign. However, others have presented similar arguments in physics and have still been found guilty because the true purpose of traffic tickets is to make money for the jurisdiction and for the state from alleged scofflaws, guilty or not. Our system of justice is selectively corrupt when it comes to traffic violations.
04:11 AM on 04/23/2012
I don't think you understand what angular velocity means, in this context. A way to understand it yourself is to hold your hands in front of you about 1 foot apart. Now, if someone were walking by right in front of you, they would get from one hand to the other very quickly. Now if that same person crossed your path, but were 100 feet away, they would have to be going much faster, to get from one of your hands to the other.
So, from your perspective, the time it takes someone to get from one of your hands to the other is angular velocity, but the true velocity that the person is walking at is the linear velocity.
10:03 PM on 04/23/2012
Very good description indeed, however, that depends on the position of the observer. The officer is likely not that far away for the angular optical illusion to apply and the distance of a plane flying overhead would be more applicable. The only point traversed that counts is at the intersection corner, which is not necessarily where the stop sign is located as per the vehicle traffic and safety handbook. So, it's unlikely but even so the vision obstruction would have to be right at the corner to apply here.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
01:55 AM on 04/23/2012
Hmm, well he's wrong about the train. Trains do change how fast they are going. I take the train all the time and they do have to change the speed of the train according to where they are.
02:03 AM on 04/23/2012
Wow.
hard2swallovv8
02:06 AM on 04/23/2012
I think he meant you can see a train from two different perspectives that make it appear to be either going slowly or fast yet the train is moving at the same speed.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
03:29 PM on 04/23/2012
This is what he said I am referring to.." Despite these two different observations at different distances, the train maintains a roughly constant velocity throughout its trip."

.The train does not maintain a roughly constant velocity throughout it's trip. If a train appears it is going slow it could just be going slow no matter how close you get to it. The arguement that the train will appear to be going slow from a distance but is actually going fast is not always true.
01:04 AM on 04/23/2012
I wish i had of had this explanation when they kept writing me tickets for not stopping, i always thought that when you wheels stopped at the corner that it was ok to move again but that is not the way that some cops think, some think that you have to stop for at least five seconds before moving, that is what i have been told several times in the long ago past. oh well i hope they used my money for a good cause.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
02:01 AM on 04/23/2012
You have to stop long enough to make sure if it's safe to go forward. It's not just about the car stopping it's about the driver actually taking the time to make sure it's safe to go. I see people all the time kind of stopping and then not pay attention and almost hit someone walking accross the street because they are so much in a hurry and just doing the least stop they can.
02:08 AM on 04/23/2012
yes that is what I have been told too. How about the time I got a ticket in my driveway for doing 62 in a 55 while turning into my driveway and the actual speeding car zoomed right on by the neighboring house, Never mind that to make the turn into the driveway one had to manuever over a 8" new curb the city had installed during road maintenance a few months before making it impossible to get in or out of the driveway without dragging the front of car even at dangerously slow speeds. You definately did not want to turn in at 10 miles per hour much less the accused 62, went to court the judge says anyone here when the game starts will be sorry. The basketball payoffs were being played and was down to the last 4 teams left. I was hoping to get home to watch it as well no one fought their tickets that day even though 5 of us had intended to,
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
03:34 PM on 04/23/2012
Sounds to me that you're just mad you are the only one who got a ticket but you still deserved one, so I don't get the problem... :O) Oh and thanks for making it clear how stupid men really are over sports.
12:41 AM on 04/23/2012
Perhaps he should see about getting a law degree on the side. Make a great defense attorney.
12:18 AM on 04/23/2012
This excuse works! I just used it myself at a red light here in Texas!
HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Ron Simmons
Think before you speak
01:37 AM on 04/23/2012
Wrong state, Texas would probably give you a ticket for slamming on brakes to avoid squirrels crossing a road.
HUFFPOST SUPER USER