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Pulled over driving Model S

Oct 20, 2012
94
1
New York
I got pulled over yesterday while driving my parents' Model S! I was stopped at a traffic light and not even moving. The official reason the officer told me he pulled me over was that he couldn't read the temporary California sticker that Tesla had mounted in the rear windshield until the plates come.

But I'm skeptical that was the reason. He didn't even ask for license and registration. Instead he just asked a few questions about the car itself and sent me on my way - but kept following me until I reached my destination and parked. The delay almost caused me to miss my train.
 

Sparrow

S105/ Roadster 189
Dec 14, 2010
754
240
Marietta, GA
I've been worried about this too. That little piece of paper is virtually invisible in the rear window, plus even temporary tags in Georgia go where the license plate is suppose to be, so if you are in a hurry you might need to allow for a few extra minutes just in case you get stopped.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
I don't think it was the temp sticker.....There's more than a couple of Roadster owners who got pulled over just so the cops could look at the car and ask what it was etc. :rolleyes:

(P.S. I even had a cop ask for a ride)
 

Sparrow

S105/ Roadster 189
Dec 14, 2010
754
240
Marietta, GA
The non standard temporary tag makes for the excuse to pull you over. The real motivation may be to see the car, but I don't want to see those flashing lights for any reason. I was pulled over once in my Sparrow because of not having a tag, but the officer only wanted to see what I was driving. Once I got my tag I haven't been stopped in 11 years of driving it. I have been followed by police cars to my destination and then politely asked about it as I was getting out.
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
As flattering as it is, it sort of annoys me. I feel it's a bending/abuse of the law and their power. I had similar things happen in my R8, and while I remained cordial, it did irk me a bit. The worst was when a cop followed me for miles. One may argue that if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about -- but it is indeed stressful having that in your rearview mirror. I actually see it as a mild form of harassment.
 

Krugerrand

Is Cat
Jul 13, 2012
10,832
52,603
Tesla friendly place
If you want to be unique, or in this case drive a unique vehicle, you simply have to accept that you'll be stared at, pulled over, questioned, whathaveyou. It goes with the territory. I do agree with you, AnOutsider, on the other hand, if you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, draw attention to yourself, and peak the curiosity of human nature (even when it's dressed in a uniform of authority) then drive a minivan.
 

aviators99

Model S - R140
Jan 1, 2010
1,463
10
Weston, Florida, United States
If you want to be unique, or in this case drive a unique vehicle, you simply have to accept that you'll be stared at, pulled over, questioned, whathaveyou. It goes with the territory. I do agree with you, AnOutsider, on the other hand, if you don't want to stick out like a sore thumb, draw attention to yourself, and peak the curiosity of human nature (even when it's dressed in a uniform of authority) then drive a minivan.

*pique* the curiosity!
 

Rodolfo Paiz

Fidelius Family Office
Nov 19, 2012
788
108
Miami, FL
I didn't get the Roadster to attract attention. I got it because I consider it historic, an instant classic, and simply amazing in every way. That being said, I get questions about it at least 2-3 times a day and I appreciate that its looks cause a lot of people to become curious about electric cars. Certainly gets the conversation started! Plus, if an EV can compete with a Ferrari, it can certainly be an alternative to whatever they're currently driving, so the Roadster provides instant credibility to the idea of an EV in the minds of nearly all who ask me about it.

I'd be happy to humor a cop's curiosity. But if he pulled me over for whatever excuse just to see the car, I'd not be happy about it. As mentioned, it's an abuse of power. And those who have power must be conscious of the need to resist any and all temptation to abuse it.
 

contaygious

Active Member
Jul 25, 2012
1,102
64
Marina, San Francisco
Why must we accept that we will be pulled over? That's not right. I know people with nice cars with no license plates for years who have never been pulled over or even given a ticket while parked in sf because they still have their registration sticker in the windshield.

Doesn't the car come with a plate already in California though?
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
Agreed. I fully expect to be able to enjoy whatever I worked to earn without repercussions just because it's "nice". That goes for more than just police too. It's a really sad state of affairs when you can't enjoy something you have because of others.
 

Krugerrand

Is Cat
Jul 13, 2012
10,832
52,603
Tesla friendly place
Why must we accept that we will be pulled over? That's not right.

No, it's not 'right' or more accurately not 'fair'. But there is little in life that is 'fair'. As an adult, one must know that if they are going to walk down the street naked, others are going to, at the very least, stare. If you're going to drive an EV like the Model S without plates, you run the risk of getting pulled over for the weak reasoning *I couldn't read the sticker on your window.* *BTW, what kind of a car is this and can I take a picture?*
 

sublimaze1

8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins
Sep 6, 2012
1,132
76
Basin City, TX
One my cars is RHD. When passing through a vehicle diversion (accident on road - law enforcement moving us through an access road to adjacent thoroughfare) I was halted by the constable who put his hand at me, palm first, screamed "Woah" at the top of his lungs. Then he screamed "the steering wheel is on the wrong side" - looked at me another three seconds. Then said "go on!"

Police are people too. They are only upset with us when we cause them more work.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,521
2,989
As flattering as it is, it sort of annoys me. I feel it's a bending/abuse of the law and their power. I had similar things happen in my R8, and while I remained cordial, it did irk me a bit. The worst was when a cop followed me for miles. One may argue that if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about -- but it is indeed stressful having that in your rearview mirror. I actually see it as a mild form of harassment.
I agree with you here. If you want to gawk at or talk about my vehicle, don't do it in a police vehicle.
 

kendallpb

Model S: P 8061
Oct 29, 2010
1,251
52
MD, USA
If you want to be unique, or in this case drive a unique vehicle, you simply have to accept that you'll be stared at, pulled over, questioned, whathaveyou. It goes with the territory.

In the case of an on-duty police officer, I disagree. They should be professionals and not abuse their positions. A friend once, years ago, had a cop pull him over...turned out the cop wanted to go out. My friend was royally pissed, but once confirming that there was no legal/driving issue, told the cop never to do that again and drove off.

Also, a police officer following someone after pulling them over for a non-driving issue (e.g., tag, whether real or bogus) is harrassment, IMHO. Once confirming there's nothing wrong, there's no need to follow. I suppose one could (depending on circumstances) pull into a store, or circle a random block, or pull onto a side street and park, to get out from in front of the cop, but it's tedious.

- - - Updated - - -

P.S. That said, if I get pulled over for a valid reason and the curiosity leads to me getting out of a ticket...I won't complain. ;-) But that's different (cops have pretty wide discretion on whether and how to ticket).
 

Trnsl8r

S85 2012-2018, X90 since 2016, 3 since 2018
Aug 20, 2011
1,753
138
San Jose, CA
I agree with kendallpb...

For a cop to follow you until you stop on your own accord and ask questions is fine, but being pulled over in the middle of traffic with lights flashing for no other reason than "hey, what kind of car is this" is abuse.
I would be tempted to look the officer in eye and say something "so you just pulled me over to ask about the car officer [make point to read name tag], do you really think that is best use of your time?"

That said, I think one way to alleviate would be to have Tesla put on dealership style placeholders for the plates until the real ones come to indicate it's a new car, rather than just leaving space empty.
 

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