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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Police gained’t wonderful Elon Musk for illegally livestreaming whereas driving

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“Had an officer noticed the motive force with the cellphone of their hand, they may have issued the motive force an infraction ticket for violating California’s handsfree legislation,” writes Palo Alto PD Captain James Reifschneider.

“As no officer witnessed it occurring in particular person on the time of prevalence, although, no ticket is forthcoming,” he advised me by way of e mail.

Musk’s livestream selfie.
Picture: Elon Musk

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 wonderful. (That’s the one punishment for a primary offense — you will get some extent towards 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 lately printed “Elon Musk’s Shadow Rule” at The New Yorker, a chunk of reporting that exhibits, amongst different issues, how SpaceX’s Starlink satellites turned so vital to the conflict in Ukraine that the US authorities was pressured to deal with him with child gloves.

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“He’s extra like a nation-state than a person when it comes to the implications of his energy,” Farrow told Fresh Air.

As my colleague Andrew Hawkins points out, the US authorities could also be about to make a serious resolution 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 automobiles hit stationary emergency automobiles.

Reifschneider, the police captain, says that there are sensible the 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 motive force’s id and driver’s license, and gather a license plate or VIN quantity for the automobile 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.

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