There’s something special about Elon Musk’s products that make people just do weird stuff with them. Sitting in the back while their Tesla’s autopilot system drives the car into a tree, sleeping behind the wheel only for the car to ram into a nearby police vehicle. Now the latest is strapping a Starlink dish right on the hood of their car. Just when I think I’ve seen my share of weirdness for a month.
Someone fixed a Starlink antenna on the hood of their only for them to be stopped and fined by the police. This happened last Friday when a California Highway Patrol officer stopped a Prius after he spotted a big visual obstruction strapped on the hood of the person’s car. He ticketed the car owner for this visual obstruction because it was clearly hindering him from seeing what was ahead.
California Highway Patrol made a Facebook post about the incident with pictures showing a Starlink antenna strapped on top of the hood of a red Toyota Prius. According to the post, the officer who stopped the vehicle said that “Sir I stopped you today for that visual obstruction on your hood. Does it not block your view while driving?”. The driver’s response to this was that “Only when I make right turns”.
Despite the driver’s nonchalant response, the officer obviously issues him a ticker for a moving violation. Apparently, the driver was using the antenna to get wifi for a business they run out of the car. Guess he was really taking advantage of Starlink’s high-speed internet. Why use 5G when you could just install your Starlink dish on your car? Just kidding don’t do that, please.
The California Highway Patrol detailed on their post that “Yes, it is in fact illegal to mount a satellite dish to the hood of your vehicle, obstructing your view under section 26708(a)(2) of the California Vehicle Code”. They further added that “You also may not hang things from your rearview mirror, mount a GPS or cell phone in an unapproved location on your windshield, or display a handicap placard while the vehicle is in motion under this section. It’s about safety folks”.
A Starlink subscription is currently going for $99 per month and the equipment costs around $499 which includes a tripod, WiFi router, and terminal to connect to the satellites. Countries currently running the Starlink beta include Australia, the US, New Zealand, and parts of Europe.