Convert-It or Ticket

One thing that most new science students have trouble doing is keeping proper track of units.  Beginning students will write down numbers, assured that they and everyone else will just know what units the number has.

Ten minutes later they’ve forgotten what the units of their numbers were and completely mess up their calculations.

Well, here’s yet another bad thing that can happen when you don’t pay attention to units.

OPP said the U.S. woman’s Mercedes Benz was clocked at a speed of 140 km/h heading west on Highway 401 just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday.


The total fine amounted to $405.

According to police, the Californian’s explanation for speeding was that the speedometer in her Benz only gave readings in miles per hour and she wasn’t familiar with the metric system.

She was driving in a 100 km/hr zone.  If we’re to believe this woman’s excuse, she saw the “100 km/hr” sign and thought “Whoo!  100!  That means I can drive 100 miles per hour here!  Floor it!

(Now if she really didn’t understand the system, she might have considered using a little common sense.  Her speedometer at the time would have been reading about 87 miles per hour, which is enough to get a ticket most places in the US.)

So here we have a case of mistaken units costing a woman a lot of money.  Something to think about if you’re a new student feeling a little lazy in the lab …

One Response to “Convert-It or Ticket”

  1. Kellie says:

    Since she’s driving a Benz, she’s not worried about the fine…strangely enough, the anti-spam word I just typed in to leave this reply 🙂