Judge says she didn’t understand physicist’s stop sign ticket paper, let him off anyway

After the world caught onto our story about Dimitri Krioukov, the San Diego scientist who used some advanced physics to argue his way out of a traffic ticket, the judge in his case spoke up to say physics had nothing to do with it -- and most of what he presented went over her head. Something must have stuck, because the reason she dismissed the ticket is the same argument he made in his paper.

Speaking with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Karen Riley, the San Diego Superior Court commissioner who heard the case, says her decision last year to vacate Krioukov's ticket for not coming to a complete stop "was not based on his physics explanation...It was based on the officer's view ... The officer, wasn't close enough to the intersection to have a good view." Krioukov's talk, later detailed in a four-page paper he published online titled "The Proof of Innocence," argued a confluence of events and physical phenomena, such as the difference between observing lateral and angular acceleration, that Riley said mostly escaped her.

Except: Krioukov's main point was the same: The officer observing the intersection didn't have a good view of the stop sign, and what viewpoint he did have was blocked for a moment by a passing car when Krioukov stopped his Toyota Yaris.


Even if the causes of the resolution are in dispute, it's clear Krioukov's physics defense still followed some old legal rules: If the facts are against you, argue the law; if the law is against you, argue the facts. And if the facts and law are both against you, confusing everyone with science can't hurt.

Image: Illustration/Flickr photo via thecrazyfilmgirl