“Had an officer noticed the driving force with the cellphone of their hand, they may have issued the driving force an infraction ticket for violating California’s handsfree legislation,” writes Palo Alto PD Captain James Reifschneider.
“As no officer witnessed it taking place in particular person on the time of prevalence, although, no ticket is forthcoming,” he informed me through electronic mail.
Let me be clear: I’m fairly certain Palo Alto Police have higher issues to do than chase down the world’s richest man for a $20 high quality. (That’s the one punishment for a primary offense — you will get a degree in opposition to your driving file for a second offense, however provided that it occurs inside three years of the primary violation.)
However Musk has been identified to repeatedly flout the legislation — see my linkbox — and a few are starting to query his energy. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow just lately revealed “Elon Musk’s Shadow Rule” at The New Yorker, a chunk of reporting that reveals, amongst different issues, how SpaceX’s Starlink satellites turned so necessary to the conflict in Ukraine that the US authorities was compelled to deal with him with child gloves.
“He’s extra like a nation-state than a person by way of the implications of his energy,” Farrow informed Recent Air.
As my colleague Andrew Hawkins factors out, the US authorities could also be about to make a serious choice relating to Musk — whether or not or to not pressure a recall of Tesla’s autopilot software program following the NHTSA investigation into over a dozen crashes the place Autopilot vehicles hit stationary emergency automobiles.
Reifschneider, the police captain, says that there are sensible explanation why the division doesn’t ticket with out personally observing a driver — they want to have the ability to inform a choose what they noticed, confirm the driving force’s identification and driver’s license, and acquire a license plate or VIN quantity for the car to assist the quotation.
“The officer must be ready to testify in court docket about what they personally noticed (specifically, that they noticed the cellphone within the driver’s hand),” he writes.