Q The ticket given to the driver at 3:42 a.m. on the street in front of his house in Alameda for not having a front license plate was issued for a legitimate reason, and the time is irrelevant. I am very happy that I live in a town where police have nothing better to do than go around putting tickets on cars at 3:42 in the morning. If you read police blotters in the local newspapers, you will see that Alameda's crime rate is minuscule and involves much less serious crimes compared with neighboring cities, where police are busy chasing thieves and gang members in the middle of the night.
I say, "Bravo, APD!"
A Dozens of comments continue to roar in on this debate, almost all chastising me for calling this a Mickey Mouse ticket. We heard from cops last week, and today others weigh in.
Q I respectfully disagree that being tagged at 3:42 a.m. for no front plate is "Mickey Mouse." I refer you to the infamous "Son of Sam" serial killer, who eventually was caught with the help of a parking ticket handed out by a cop at night. Sounds like the Alameda cop was just doing his job.
QI have no sympathy for people who refuse to put a front license plate on their car. When I purchased my Audi TT, the dealer required me to sign an acknowledgment that he had informed me that two license plates are required. And my car already had the bracket for a front plate. I think California should prohibit the sale of any auto without the bracket for a front plate. Then the owner would have no excuse.
A Owners of Teslas and other expensive cars without brackets might not be happy. A few years ago the Legislature passed a law requiring two brackets be installed, but there was a huge loophole. If car owners don't want a front plate and are willing to sign a waiver, the dealer is off the hook.
By the way, around 30,000-plus tickets are issued a year for having just one plate.
Q Is the Tesla Model S exempt from having a front license plate? I see no provision for one on these cars that I see on the road and in Tesla showrooms like at Santana Row.
A No, they are not exempt. I'm curious -- has any Tesla or owner of a high-end car like a Corvette ever gotten a ticket for no front plate?
Q Maybe you would rather the officer be sipping a Starbucks instead of doing his job at 3:42 a.m.? We pay to have police on the job 24/7, and their job is to enforce laws 24/7. ... Kudos to the officer who leaves the patrol car to enforce the law rather than simply driving around empty streets.
Diane St. Denis, Larry Lund and many more
A And the final word -- for today at least.
Q There are three big downsides to front plates: On some cars they cause aerodynamic drag, they block various radiators and they look bad.
A As bad as I looked with my Mickey Mouse comment, eh?