• Apr 17, 2012
We've never been falsely accused of a traffic violation, having earned every last second of our time before a judge, but when it does happen to us, we'll certainly want to brush up on our physics. Dmitiri Krioukov, a physicist with the University of California, recently pleaded his way out of a fine for rolling through a stop sign using the power of mathematics. Krioukov worked up a four-page physics paper underscoring the differences between linear and angular motion to prove that he could have theoretically come to a complete stop and resumed traveling in the time it took another vehicle to pass between him and the citing officer.

The idea is that perception of speed can be altered depending on one's viewpoint. Since the officer viewed Krioukov from the side and the physicist supposedly came to a complete stop very quickly before accelerating again just as fast, it appeared as if he never stopped at all. Or at least that was the notion. Whether or not the judge believed the professor didn't matter so much as the fact that Krioukov managed to shed some doubt on the accusation. He was declared innocent and spared the $400 fine.

But the story doesn't end there. The physicist left a flaw in his proof, and has invited everyone to see if they can figure it out. From our layman's point of view, it appears Krioukov's Toyota Yaris managed to fall from 22 mph to 0 and vault back up to 22 in the span of three seconds. Must be quite the machine. You can check out the full paper here.


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  • 276 Comments
      gunman1f16
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here's an idea: law enforcement stop enforcing asinine traffic "laws". The vast majority of stop signs in the US should be yield signs. There's no reason to come ot a "complete" stop except to fund police departments. Complete stops when there's no traffic present only serves to wastes gas and increase pollution and smog.
        WillieD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gunman1f16
        I agree completely. Luckily I have never been caught because I never completely stop at a stop sign unless it's actually necessary to do so. I've never gotten a ticket and I've never been in a crash. I must be doing something right.
        johnmichael.jfc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gunman1f16
        Well said. Look at videos of driving anywhere in Europe and compare the number of yield signs you see on the side of the road or painted, versus actual stop signs.
      kyprice9d
      • 2 Years Ago
      My son got a ticket for not completely stopping at a sign, and a week later his girlfriend got one in the same area. I was driving through that area one day and while coming up on an intersection, watched a female cop slow down and roll through without stopping. I got behind her and watched as she did the same at 3 more stop signs. Pissed me off! I guess the laws are different for cops!
        Adam Horton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kyprice9d
        Should have videotaped it. That is always a good way to get out of tickets.
      Dark Horses
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought Sheldon couldn't drive?
      Get real.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The reality is that the judge was just amused by his excuse and let him off the hook for the hell of it. Some judges are like that. Another judge could have upped the ante and found him in contempt of court, or even perjury since he should have known better (being a physicist) that his "proof" was a lie. It just depends on the nature of the judge you get, and the bottom line is he got lucky. Your odds of being lucky are slim these days.
        shadowfall6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Get real.
        True, I know someone who got called into traffic court for speeding in a military ambulance when not answering an emergency. He went to court in his Navy uniform and told the judge that he was in a rush to transport the ambulance back to the military base because the other ambulances were in the repair shop. The judge just said, "Your story is probably bullshit but it's the best bullshit story I've heard all day. Case dismissed."
      JetBroker
      • 2 Years Ago
      Clearly they just wanted him out of their courtroom.
      warrenag
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's the money nothing more
      tws952
      • 2 Years Ago
      This sounds like a story-line from "THE BIG BANG THEORY"! Are we sure this wasn't Sheldon?
      lindacharliebb
      • 2 Years Ago
      interesting article , but $400 for rolling thru a stop sign? thats nuts.
      Cindy
      • 2 Years Ago
      $400.00 for failing to stop at a stop sign is rediculous. Cops do it all the time and fly 90 miles an hour down the highway every single day. I'm glad the man got off. BTW, what ever happened to $50.00 tickets? Too bad the cops don't have a sign on the back of their car saying "How's my driving? Call ........" Would LOVE that!!
        thornebug
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Cindy
        Absolutely ! If this scenario was reversed with the cop on the receiving end of a $400.00 fine for a stop sign infraction they would be just as likely to claim injustice as the rest. of us. But they dont need to worry about thatt and if you're loosely affiliated with the fraternal order, neither do you. Busting out equations and quantam mechanics for proof isnt necessary when you have a "Get of jail free card" in the glove box.
      emailpat
      • 2 Years Ago
      $400.00 for a Stop Sign is insane. It's just a money generator not a traffic controler. These Representatives that pass these laws should have their heads examined.
      capitan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I AM A RECENTLY RETIRED U.S. FEDERAL AGENT AND I WAS EMPLOYED DIRECTLY AFTER COLLEGE IN THE JURISDICTIONS OF ORANGE, SAN BERNADINO AND LOS ANGELES COUNTIES. I HAVE NEVER LOST A TRAFFIC CITE IN COURT. THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME CHANGES OVER THE YEARS BUT THE CALIFORHIA STATE VEHICLE CODE REQUIRED A STOP TO BE A COMPLETE CESSATION OF MOTION PRIOR TO THE LIMIT LINE OR THE ELONGATION OF THE CURB. PERIOD. EITHER THE OFFICER, JUDGE OR MAGISTRATE GAVE THE PROF. A BREAK. THANKS, JOHN LAW
      ljncda
      • 2 Years Ago
      When it comes right down to it who CARES
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