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Pulled over driving Model S

Lyon

2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Dec 26, 2011
2,004
215
Eugene, Oregon
The fact of the matter is that pretextual police stops are legal in this country. In this case the officer claimed not to be able to see his temp tags and pulled him over to ensure that the vehicle was properly registered as required by state law. There's nothing illegal about the stop. If a cop wants to find a reason to pull you over, he or she will be able to. Don't expect this to change any time soon, the Supreme Court of the United States and most state supreme courts bend over backwards to come up with justifications to allow the police to violate the Constitution... don't even get me started on sobriety checkpoints!

*takes lawyer hat off* It's absolutely wrong for the cop to pull someone over because he/she is curious about what kind of car the person is driving. It's unprofessional and it further deepens society's distrust in our police forces. It's an abuse of police power (the trust placed in the police by civilians) to use that power for personal/selfish ends. Every time someone has an experience like this it makes them much more likely to believe allegations of the more serious abuses by the police. Think of it as a slow eroding of trust over time; the broken windows theory applied to the police. Were it me, I would write a letter to the police chief and CC the local newspaper.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,866
Toronto, ON
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.

I've often wondered what the deal is in a number of US states where you can't get plates right away for a new car. Here in Ontario, Canada the car has to be plated, but it's no big deal because you (or the dealer) just goes down to our equivalent of the DMV and they hand you a plate off of a big pile they keep on hand. You do have to wait for vanity plates, but they give you a random numbered plate in the mean time.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
Just my opinion: I really don't get why anyone should get worked up about this. I actually found it kinda pleasant, it's something to talk about and the local police know it's my car which is potentially helpful if it ever gets stolen. Being nice with the local cops really has no downside that I can see, but picking a fight with one may have unintended consequences when you do get pulled over for an infraction.
 

Trnsl8r

S85 2012-2018, X90 since 2016, 3 since 2018
Aug 20, 2011
1,753
138
San Jose, CA
Just my opinion: I really don't get why anyone should get worked up about this. I actually found it kinda pleasant, it's something to talk about and the local police know it's my car which is potentially helpful if it ever gets stolen. Being nice with the local cops really has no downside that I can see, but picking a fight with one may have unintended consequences when you do get pulled over for an infraction.

Hmm, ok good point.
 

Robert.Boston

Model S VIN P01536
Oct 7, 2011
7,844
36
Portland, Maine, USA
Keep in mind that the OP is a New Yorker, the policeman is a New Yorker, and that, like most states, New York's temporary tags are large and easily visible. How many times before do you think that this policeman had seen a California temporary tag? Even if he saw the tiny strip of paper on the window, why would he think that that was a valid temporary registration?

So, I don't have any problem with the initial ​pull-over. What creeped me out was the "being followed" part.
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
Just my opinion: I really don't get why anyone should get worked up about this. I actually found it kinda pleasant, it's something to talk about and the local police know it's my car which is potentially helpful if it ever gets stolen. Being nice with the local cops really has no downside that I can see, but picking a fight with one may have unintended consequences when you do get pulled over for an infraction.

Oh, I didn't advocate picking a fight -- I just felt it was unprofessional personally. Give me a thumbs up at a light (as one cop did), but don't pull me over or tail me.
 

Lyon

2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D
Dec 26, 2011
2,004
215
Eugene, Oregon
Oh, I didn't advocate picking a fight -- I just felt it was unprofessional personally. Give me a thumbs up at a light (as one cop did), but don't pull me over or tail me.

Right, and didn't OP indicate that the Model S driver in the story almost missed his train? I'm all for pleasant interactions with the police but having an interaction forced on you like this isn't pleasant.
 

Ardie

Member
Oct 4, 2009
202
44
I feel its more a case of Noblesse Oblige. Getting stared at, stopped, questioned, and even requests for a demonstration is a part of life on the bleeding edge. Yes, there have been (and will be) instances of curiosity overcoming courtesy and professionalism. It is our duty to rise above this. My mother would be *appalled* if I was ever caught being snippy to anyone, no matter who they are.

If I'm ever questioned by Law Enforcement Personnel, I will, to the best of my ability, become a Boy Scout and be trustworthy, helpful, friendly, cheerful, courteous, etc. They deserve it. It becomes *really* easy when you know someone who has been injured in the line of duty.

I have been accosted by complete strangers who want to know more about my cutting edge technological marvel, and I have tried to be a goodwill ambassador as I explain what it is, how it works, and hint that it might their life better. I'll draw the line at giving them the keys for a demo, though.


-- Ardie
"Oh, just look at the time. I really must go. Perhaps we can pick this up later."
 

Jaff

Active Member
Aug 15, 2010
3,135
318
Grimsby, Canada
+1 ...in my case, the officer had not seen a green plate before...I gave him permission to take a picture of the plate for training purposes...I also used the occasion to educate the officer about EV's...

Agree Nigel...it doesn't pay to antagonize them...


.
Just my opinion: I really don't get why anyone should get worked up about this. I actually found it kinda pleasant, it's something to talk about and the local police know it's my car which is potentially helpful if it ever gets stolen. Being nice with the local cops really has no downside that I can see, but picking a fight with one may have unintended consequences when you do get pulled over for an infraction.
 

Doug_G

Lead Moderator
Apr 2, 2010
17,881
3,346
Ottawa, Canada
Remember the real golden rule: don't piss off someone with power.

I recently had a random stranger - not a police officer - stop me. Seriously. I was dropping off a coworker at the local bus station, and as I was driving by this guy sees my car, starts waving, and steps in front to stop me. No kidding.

I roll down the window and he starts asking me about the car. I would have happily answered all his questions if he had come up while I was stopped, but in this case I felt he crossed the line. I simply told him it was a Tesla Roadster and then drove off.
 

Sparrow

S105/ Roadster 189
Dec 14, 2010
754
240
Marietta, GA
Yes, it is annoying when people just assume they can hinder you in your daily activities. Just today I was driving thru a parking lot when a guy with a landscape trailer just pulls out and stops in front of me completely blocking my way. His better half then gets out to take pictures of my car while I am trapped in the parking lot. They didn't even say a word to me.
 

kevincwelch

Active Member
May 13, 2012
2,060
99
Chicagoland
Just my opinion: I really don't get why anyone should get worked up about this. I actually found it kinda pleasant, it's something to talk about and the local police know it's my car which is potentially helpful if it ever gets stolen. Being nice with the local cops really has no downside that I can see, but picking a fight with one may have unintended consequences when you do get pulled over for an infraction.

How is it picking a fight? If you want to deprive me of my movement, then arrest me. Otherwise, leave me alone.

If you want to stop me and ask me questions while I'm in the parking lot or in passing, fine.

Sent via Tapatalk.
 
Oct 20, 2012
94
1
New York
Right, and didn't OP indicate that the Model S driver in the story almost missed his train? I'm all for pleasant interactions with the police but having an interaction forced on you like this isn't pleasant.

In the end I made the train with 3 minutes to spare so no harm, no foul. I didn't mean to stir up anti-authority sentiments, just wanted to share an unconventional experience I had while driving a Model S and see if it had happened to anyone else.
 

kevincwelch

Active Member
May 13, 2012
2,060
99
Chicagoland
I feel its more a case of Noblesse Oblige. Getting stared at, stopped, questioned, and even requests for a demonstration is a part of life on the bleeding edge. Yes, there have been (and will be) instances of curiosity overcoming courtesy and professionalism. It is our duty to rise above this. My mother would be *appalled* if I was ever caught being snippy to anyone, no matter who they are.

That's fine. There is something distinctly different about using one's empowered capacity and abusing it to serve ones own purposes that have nothing to do with the reasons behind giving that individual the power in the first place.

It's simply an abuse of power. No one would ever pull over at the beck and call of some other individual driving a car that wasn't a police marked vehicle.

Sent via Tapatalk.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
How is it picking a fight?

Well, maybe "picking a fight" sounds more dramatic than I meant but I was referring to comments like these which are not likely to endear you a police officer:

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?"

Get the name and badge number; report him or her.

Maybe my European upbringing makes me less sensitive to these type of civil liberties infringements.
 

kevincwelch

Active Member
May 13, 2012
2,060
99
Chicagoland
Maybe my European upbringing makes me less sensitive to these type of civil liberties infringements.


Fair enough.

However, I for one feel civil liberties are the last refuge for free citizens to defend themselves from tyranny.

Thus, it upsets me substantially to learn of how the authority abuses its power to infringe upon the free movement of citizens (among other things).

Sent via Tapatalk.
 

VolkerP

EU Model S P-37
Jul 6, 2011
2,464
27
Germany
Great thread until recently :tongue:. Before we discuss amendments being made to the constitution, I want to bring forward a different approach:

Seek out your local police. Call the officer in charge and present your case. "There were reports of professional curiosity among officers from different states, so I thought I might be of help here. What would be the best time to bring my new fully electric car to the police station and make everybody familiar with it?"

Might be a really funny experience if it really happens! :biggrin:

And in case the officer in charge dismisses that: "No, sir, that would be an inadequate use of our limited time." - you have a statement from highest authority to bring to the officer's notion, if you get pulled over for nothing. :wink:
 

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