Using Physics to Get Out of a Ticket

You read that right: if you thought last week’s story about the woman who got out of a ticket with punctuation was amusing, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego did one better: he proved his innocence by publishing a full-blown mathematical paper – and even won a science prize for it!

When Dmitri Krioukov was faced with a court hearing over allegedly driving through a stop sign, he did something few others would every think to do (let alone manage to pull off): he got to work on a paper called The Proof of Innocence, which has since been published and awarded a special academic prize of $400. The abstract of the paper begins: “A way to fight your traffic tickets”, which it definitely managed to live up to.

Delving into some sophisticated mathematical principles, the paper is quite a lot of sift through. Basically, Krioukov’s argument rests on the fact that three coincidences occurred simultaneously that lead the officer to think he saw the physicist run a red light when he in fact did not. Here is an excerpt:

…If a car stops at a stop sign, an observer, e.g., a police officer, located at a certain distance perpendicular to the car trajectory, must have an illusion that the car does not stop, if the following three conditions are satisfied: (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.”

Other physics sources confirmed this argument: since the officer was about 30 meters from the intersection, “a car approaching the intersection with constant linear velocity will rapidly increase in angular velocity from the police officer’s perspective” – pretty obvious stuff, right?

Krioukov went even further and created graphs backing up argument, which were presented and explained at trial. Ultimately, the paper rather humbly concludes that the citation isn’t the police officer’s fault, as his or her “perception of reality did not properly reflect reality” through forces beyond their control. While many people would no doubt say the same about any officer who gives them a ticket, this is probably the first time someone has backed it up with science.

Granted, not everyone could make use of such a clever method to escape their pesky ticket. That is why Hochman & Goldin, P.A. offers professional Miami Traffic Lawyers that can help you resolve a variety of civil traffic issues, from red light cameras to speeding tickets.

To learn more, contact 305-665-1000 or Feel free to visit our office at 9703 South Dixie Highway Suite #202, Miami, Florida 33156. All our services are made available in Spanish. Also call if you need Miami Expungement Lawyers.

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