The police in Antelope Valley in Palmdale California caught a strange driver this week and posted the incident on their Facebook account. The Toyota Prius driver was moving around with a Starlink satellite dish attached to his hood.
"Sir I stopped you today for that visual obstruction on your hood. Does it not block your view while driving?" asked the officer. And the motorist replied: "Only when I make right turns...."
In a Facebook post, the CHP wrote: "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."
"You also may not hang things from your rear view 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. These are the real stories of the Highway Patrol. Safe travels everyone," the CHP post continued.
Quickly the strange practice started to make headlines which caused CNBC to reach out to the police for comment. A representative of the law enforcement agency told CNBC that the motorist, driving the vehicle equipped with a Starlink satellite, received a ticket for a moving violation. The motorist further told the police that they used the antenna to get Wi-Fi service for a business they operate out of the car.
Just a mere three days ago, Elon Musk announced that Starlink will go global in about five week. "In August we should have global connectivity in everywhere except the poles," said Musk during a keynote speech at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. "You can think of Starlink as filling in the gaps between 5G and fiber," added Musk. "We'll have 500,000 users within 12 months. It's growing rapidly, and we're continuing to [roll out] the user terminal."
No mention was made on whether the service was well suited for the hoods of cars, but the safety danger alone should deter any driver from trying a similar thing.