Elon Musk broke the law, but he will not be fined

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It is illegal to use a smartphone while driving in California.

When Elon Musk was broadcasting live on his X trip to Palo Alto , California, he was holding a phone, and this is a violation of California laws. But the Palo Alto Police Department will not issue a fine, since the police officers themselves were not witnesses to the crime.

“If a police officer noticed a driver with a phone in his hand, he could issue a ticket to the driver for violating the California law on public address,” said Palo Alto police captain James Reifschneider. “However, since not a single officer was a witness to what was happening personally at the time of the incident, the fine was not issued.”

Elon Musk broke the law, but he will not be fined

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

At the same time, Elon Musk was definitely driving, although most of the time the car was driving itself. But at some point, he was forced to prevent a car from running a red light during a live broadcast. Then he showed that he was in the driver’s seat, turning the camera towards himself.

James Reifschneider clarified that there are reasons why the department does not issue fines if the police did not see the violation in person. Employees must tell the judge what they saw in person by verifying the driver’s identity and driver’s license, as well as verifying the vehicle’s plates and VIN.

“The officer needs to be prepared to testify in court that he saw [the violation] in person,” he writes.

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