Man Uses Physics to Fight $400 Traffic Ticket

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This man's use of physics to beat a traffic ticket is pretty damn impressive.

“Therefore my argument in the court went as follows: that what he saw would be easily confused by the angle of speed of this hypothetical object that failed to stop at the stop sign. And therefore, what he saw did not properly reflect reality, which was completely different," said Krioukov.
 
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soulesschild

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For those that don't want to read the paper and since the articles are pretty bare, here's the papers conclusions,

However, this mistake is fully justi ed, and it was made possible by a combination of the following three factors:

1. O was not measuring the linear speed of C1 by any
special devices; instead, he was estimating the visual angular speed of C1;

2. the linear deceleration and acceleration of C1 were relatively high; and

3. the O's view of C1 was briefly obstructed by another car C2 around time t = 0.

As a result of this unfortunate coincidence, the O's perception of reality did not properly reflect reality.

Again, the physicist was lucky that point 3 occurred, else I do not believe he could have fought the ticket.
 

Cat1yst

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I failed to wrap my head around this as a introductory (calc based) physics student. I thought relativity only shifted at significant fractions of the speed of light
 

soulesschild

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I sort of understood it but if a physics major could explain it in layman terms that'd be nice :p
 

qbanb8582

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It didnt work for sheldon when he ran the red light lol. Maybe Dr Cooper should learn from this guy. Anyone who watches big bang theory it will make some sense.
 

TheWeazmeister

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I failed to wrap my head around this as a introductory (calc based) physics student. I thought relativity only shifted at significant fractions of the speed of light

Hence the point #3 up above ;D
 

Zangmonkey

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I sort of understood it but if a physics major could explain it in layman terms that'd be nice :p

Estimating angular velocity produces very similar observations for both a car running a stop sign and one coming to a full stop, if the observations are obstructed around the stop sign itself.

The officer's view being obstructed at the actual stop sign means that it is not possible to determine whether the vehicle stopped or ran the sign, because the officer measured it from the cross-street rather than along the same street.
 

Zangmonkey

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I failed to wrap my head around this as a introductory (calc based) physics student. I thought relativity only shifted at significant fractions of the speed of light

It has nothing to do with relativity, really.

The only problem was that because the officer's view was temporarily obstructed, he cannot be certain whether the velocity was constant (ie running the sign) or if the vehicle slowed and then accelerated (ie making a stop)
 
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I failed to wrap my head around this as a introductory (calc based) physics student. I thought relativity only shifted at significant fractions of the speed of light

There is no absolute frame of reference. How fast an object is moving is entirely relative and will be measured differently by all observers. This applies to objects moving at .0005% the speed of light and those moving at 99.9995% of it. The relativistic effect of time dilation I assume you're referring to is always present even when objects are moving at tiny fractions of C. For example, the clocks on GPS satellites must compensate for time dilation relative to ground observers constantly.
 

Zangmonkey

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There is no absolute frame of reference. How fast an object is moving is entirely relative and will be measured differently by all observers. This applies to objects moving at .0005% the speed of light and those moving at 99.9995% of it. The relativistic effect of time dilation I assume you're referring to is always present even when objects are moving at tiny fractions of C. For example, the clocks on GPS satellites must compensate for time dilation relative to ground observers constantly.

In fact, the differences in their atomic clock readings are precisely how they locate you.

Or, at least, this is the original theoretical foundation from Winterberg.... perhaps there are different ways nowadays.
 

mavalpha

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The physics here are just there for obfuscation. What is boils down to, the officer lost sight of the car behind another car that was stopping at the same time. The officer assumed because of this obstruction that the physicist's time to travel the covered distance was in line with someone who was running the stop sign, without taking into account the possibility of a man hitting the brakes hard, and then accelerating away again equally aggressively.
 

TheWeazmeister

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The physics here are just there for obfuscation. What is boils down to, the officer lost sight of the car behind another car that was stopping at the same time. The officer assumed because of this obstruction that the physicist's time to travel the covered distance was in line with someone who was running the stop sign, without taking into account the possibility of a man hitting the brakes hard, and then accelerating away again equally aggressively.

This ^^^ in a nutshell.
 

Stanfiem

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It didnt work for sheldon when he ran the red light lol. Maybe Dr Cooper should learn from this guy. Anyone who watches big bang theory it will make some sense.

Hahaha! If sheldon did not exist that show would bw WORTHELSS.
 

unhappy_mage

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This is an April fools' joke. Just FYI :) He claims to accelerate with 1g (see figure 3) in a Yaris.
 
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Schrödinger's car thought experiment tells us that when a car is obstructed from view, it can be said to be both stopped and moving at the same time. The car exists in a superposition of states. A distinction can't be made until an officer observes it. :D
 

GMSTBFLA

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Isn't there normally some minimum amount of time you have to remain stopped at the sign?
 

Tudz

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I failed to wrap my head around this as a introductory (calc based) physics student. I thought relativity only shifted at significant fractions of the speed of light

What level physics? It's nothing above high school level really.

All it's basically saying is that is the cop couldn't see the car when it stopped then they can't tell if it's stopped. The maths is just a convoluted way of saying it. The first two points...

1.O was not measuring the linear speed of C1 by any special devices; instead, he was estimating the visual angular speed of C1;
2.the linear deceleration and acceleration of C1 were relatively high;

...in and of themselves prove nothing without the third point...

3.the O's view of C1 was brie y obstructed by another car C2 around time t= 0.

The actual physics he used were frankly a bit shitty, things like...

Using 10m/s/s for deceleration and acceleration. That's more than 1g... if he was decelerating that fast he should have been done for dangerous driving (not to mention he'd have to be driving a car with sticky tyres).

"which moved at approximately constant linear deceleration, came to a complete stop at the stop sign, and then started moving again with the same acceleration"

Yeah fucking right. All parts of that are suspect, constant linear deceleration doesn't happen when coming to a complete stop, and start moving again with the same acceleration... of 10m/s/s... not unless he's driving a race car on slicks.

He basically wrote a 4 page defense to say "the cop couldn't see me not stop". The physics itself is all pretty meaningless.
 

Tudz

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There's also no way you'd get that discontinuity in the gradient of acceleration when coming to a stop and taking off again.

This is an April fools' joke. Just FYI :) He claims to accelerate with 1g (see figure 3) in a Yaris.

Well it makes more sense now :p
 

sfsuphysics

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I sort of understood it but if a physics major could explain it in layman terms that'd be nice :p
Haven't been a physics major in a long ass time... but as I understand it it's simply an illusion created by another car blocking the officers sight for a split second completely obstructing his car. He claimed he hit the breaks hard, and accelerated fast, which if you don't actually see the stop made it seem like he didn't stop due to the a fore mentioned car blocking the sight.

Overall you really don't need physics to show this could have happened, I think the physics came in simply to make it seem feasible that it could have happened.
 

weebling1

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" If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t "

I think both apply in his argument
 

CR2500

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I failed to wrap my head around this as a introductory (calc based) physics student. I thought relativity only shifted at significant fractions of the speed of light

You are probably thinking of special relativity. This professor is talking about general relativity. Google the difference if you're curious ;)
 

Aluisious

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This is all bullshit. The prof just bamboozled the judge. He damn well knew he ran the sign, and a cop is easily able to tell whether someone stopped and accelerated or whether they rolled through it, unless the driver damn near skids to a stop then peels out from behind the car.

Someone should kick this prof in the nuts.
 

J So

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Something the story doesn't state.

One of the few good things we have here in California is written trial by declaration. Basically you&#8217;re allowed to write in your defense and the officer is required to write in a retort. The judge then decides which he likes better and makes the decision.

But, just like in a trial if the cop doesn&#8217;t write in you win by default and since cops don&#8217;t get paid overtime like they do to go to court a LOT of them don&#8217;t even bother writing in.

I&#8217;ve seen people write nothing more than &#8220;I am not guilty&#8221; and send it in and because the office never submitted a reply they won so it could be possible the cop just never bothered to reply so he won by default.
 

toffty

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This reminds me of another great defense:

"...ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!"
 

Blazestorm

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My friend also used physics to prove his car couldn't have been going at the speed the officer claimed.

Something along the lines of he turned onto a street (which the officer saw) then accelerated and then the officer recorded his speed and pulled him over. I guess what happened is he got the speed off another car. But he proved that if he turned onto that street, even if he floored it he still would have been going under the speed limit where the officer said he was.

Much simpler, but it worked out for him.
 

BDS23

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The physics here are just there for obfuscation. What is boils down to, the officer lost sight of the car behind another car that was stopping at the same time. The officer assumed because of this obstruction that the physicist's time to travel the covered distance was in line with someone who was running the stop sign, without taking into account the possibility of a man hitting the brakes hard, and then accelerating away again equally aggressively.

Thank you... it finally makes sense now! :eek:
 

ferzerp

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The physics here are just there for obfuscation. What is boils down to, the officer lost sight of the car behind another car that was stopping at the same time. The officer assumed because of this obstruction that the physicist's time to travel the covered distance was in line with someone who was running the stop sign, without taking into account the possibility of a man hitting the brakes hard, and then accelerating away again equally aggressively.

Exactly. The entire paper is smoke and mirrors. If you read it and didn't catch what it was saying here it is summarized (with all distracting parts taken out).

My Yaris decelerated at 10 m/s^2 (over 1G) while behind another car, stopped, and then accelerated at 10 m/s^2 (again over 1G) to resume the same speed when it popped out the other side of the car from the cop's vision.

Thing is, a Ferrari 458 could do that. A Yaris? Umm, no.
 

Rdzona

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Something the story doesn't state.

One of the few good things we have here in California is written trial by declaration. Basically you’re allowed to write in your defense and the officer is required to write in a retort. The judge then decides which he likes better and makes the decision.

But, just like in a trial if the cop doesn’t write in you win by default and since cops don’t get paid overtime like they do to go to court a LOT of them don’t even bother writing in.

I’ve seen people write nothing more than “I am not guilty” and send it in and because the office never submitted a reply they won so it could be possible the cop just never bothered to reply so he won by default.

I have a hard time believing these kind of stories. Then why wouldn't the cop just write in something as equally simple. Hell, if it's a common occurence he could just type it once and print as many copies as he would need. These "loophole" type of things rarely are the gold mine that they are made out to be. Don't believe everything you hear.
 

Zangmonkey

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Exactly. The entire paper is smoke and mirrors. If you read it and didn't catch what it was saying here it is summarized (with all distracting parts taken out).

My Yaris decelerated at 10 m/s^2 (over 1G) while behind another car, stopped, and then accelerated at 10 m/s^2 (again over 1G) to resume the same speed when it popped out the other side of the car from the cop's vision.

Thing is, a Ferrari 458 could do that. A Yaris? Umm, no.

The rates of acceleration are just to make the math easier. Cut the rate in half and the point is still valid: because the observation was made of angular velocity, and the observation was obstructed right at the stop-sign, the officer cannot be certain whether the vehicle made a complete stop or not.
 

beowulf7

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This is all bullshit. The prof just bamboozled the judge. He damn well knew he ran the sign, and a cop is easily able to tell whether someone stopped and accelerated or whether they rolled through it, unless the driver damn near skids to a stop then peels out from behind the car.

Someone should kick this prof in the nuts.

396729_10101556689428724_2317276_78092862_796576229_n.jpg
 

topslop1

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Shit cracks me up when cops can 'eyeball' speed and write tickets. Lawyer up, you don't have to know anything about physics to beat a ticket.
 

topslop1

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Shit cracks me up when cops can 'eyeball' speed and write tickets. Lawyer up, you don't have to know anything about physics to beat a ticket.

Edit: I should say you don't need to know anything about physics to be able to avoid 'motorist' taxation schemes.
 

mope54

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I have a hard time believing these kind of stories. Then why wouldn't the cop just write in something as equally simple. Hell, if it's a common occurence he could just type it once and print as many copies as he would need. These "loophole" type of things rarely are the gold mine that they are made out to be. Don't believe everything you hear.
exactly

and cops get paid to write their paperwork. whether they get overtime is irrelevant because they do it on the clock. I'm not sure why people believe police sit around doing paperwork on their free time other than one or more websites selling information to supposedly beat speeding tickets.
 

total0

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With sufficient velocity one could (thanks to Doppler shift) make red light appear green and thus be able to run through a red light without breaking the law (in his own reference frame).

Of course the catch is in what is sufficient velocity.
 
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