When we're pulled over and given a ticket, we dream of fighting The Man and all the injustices he throws our way. We rarely do anything meaningful about it in real life. At most we pay some traffic ticket lawyers to deal with it, because why bother? Just take the money and leave us alone.
But not all of us.
You may think you're going the extra mile to fight your ticket by taking a picture of that STOP sign that isn't really as obscured as you remembered, but whatever work you put in to fighting your ticket pales in comparison to the crazy lengths some people have gone to not have to pay for a traffic violation. These are those people ...
#5. A Physicist Beats a Traffic Violation With a Physics Paper
The cop who pulled over Dmitri Krioukov for running a STOP sign didn't realize Krioukov was a dangerous man. Krioukov didn't have a weapon, but he was armed with a Ph.D. in physics and used it at the University of California, San Diego, where he taught physics. So he wrote a physics-laden four-page paper filled with equations, charts, and graphs to prove the ticket was a crock of shit.
I may not know physics, but I know that's a cleverly disguised middle finger.
In the paper, Krioukov argued that the cop had been tricked into thinking he was seeing him blow past a stop sign due to three conditions specific to the case, as stated in the abstract: "(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."
He followed that up with a whole mess of very convincing sciencey-sounding stuff. I'm dumb, so there's no chance I'm ever going to understand it well enough to explain it. Luckily for Krioukov, the judge didn't get it either and dismissed the ticket after reading the paper. That had to have been his intended purpose. A traffic court judge who sits nakedly under robes all day listening to people argue that a twig made an oncoming school bus difficult to see isn't going to understand a legit physics paper written by a guy who is cited in more physics papers than most of us have brain cells. It's a ran STOP sign, not the Kennedy assassination. So Krioukov probably got some "A" for Effort sprinkled on top of his Benefit of the Doubt, and the ticket was wiped away.
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"My other gavel is a penis."
That's not to say that he loaded four pages with physics gibberish knowing he'd get a pass because it looked right. Krioukov posted the paper online for all to read and challenged the world to find a flaw in his argument. So if you're a disgraced-physics-professor-turned-vigilante-traffic-cop, this is the case you've been waiting for your whole life. Krioukov is the Joker to your Batman, and he's daring you to come and get him.
#4. Man Buys His Old Car Back to Prove He Didn't Speed
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Englishman Dale Lyle could never fully appreciate the exhilarating flirtation with death that is speeding. His Honda Civic was 14 years old, an age where Lyle probably gave some serious thought to Old Yellering that wheezing bucket to end the suffering. And then one day he got a speeding ticket in the mail, which was like telling a mime to shut the fuck up.
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"OH MY GOD! WE GET IT, ALLEN! YOU'RE IN A GODDAMN BOX! NO ONE LIKES YOU!"
A traffic camera allegedly caught Lyle driving 98 MPH in a 70 MPH zone. If found guilty, he would have his license suspended. "I have never driven any car at 98 MPH," he argued. The magistrates' court told him he needed evidence.
Lyle couldn't prove anything without his car, which he had sold before the ticket arrived. So he bought his car back for 600 euros. He then took his car to a professional driver and had it speed-tested on a two-mile circuit track, which cost him another 600 euros. Spending 1,200 euros and going the extra mile (well, two, because of the circuit track) was worth it; he got the results he was looking for: Lyle couldn't have been going 98 MPH, because his Civic's top speed was 85.4 MPH. Everything beyond 85.4 MPH was a faint, beautiful ideal set upon a horizon his car could never reach.
Keep reaching, Dale's car. Keep reaching.
He brought the evidence to the court and the ticket was withdrawn. Boom! Justice. But consider this case a warning: When the machines inevitably rise against us, we're going to have to spend at least 1,200 bucks to bring them down.
#3. Woman Fakes Her Own Death to Avoid a Series of Tickets
Death is the ultimate problem-solver. Cops can't arrest you if you step in front of a train and get exploded. What are they going to do, slap cuffs on the sponges that soaked up your body-slop? It just sucks that the dying part is so obnoxiously permanent. Luckily, centuries ago, some brilliant scumbag invented lying about being dead, and people have been trying to pull it off ever since. Kimberly Du from Des Moines, Iowa, tried to do it, but ultimately she sucked at being dead.
See, this is why you always learn from dogs.
Du racked up a bountiful array of traffic tickets and refused to pay them. So she wrote a letter to a county judge claiming that she was dead, and then signed the letter with her mom's name. Figuring that she would need at least two pieces of hastily-thrown-together evidence to back up her lie, she forged an obituary and made it look like it was taken from a local newspaper's website. Surprisingly, it worked. For about a month.
Du forgot that even though she was "dead," she was still corporeal. And she forgot that she still sucked at driving. A month after the date on her fake obituary, she was pulled over again. The cop who pulled her over wasn't stupid, unlike Du. He didn't check her file and assign the ticket to "AHHH! G-G-G-GHOOOOSSST!" She was sent to jail, and about now probably wishes she actually were dead.
When she thinks of all that alcohol she poured on the ground in remembrance of herself ...