Tesla on ‘Self-Drive’ Crashes into Police Car at California Accident Scene

Elon Musk, Tesla chairman, smokes a "spliff" (marijuana and tobacco cigar) on the Joe Roga
The Joe Rogan Experience / YouTube

A Tesla vehicle operating in “self-drive” mode reportedly collided with a police car at the scene of a fatal accident in Fullerton, California, narrowly missing an officer investigating the prior crash.

KTVU reports that the incident has reignited concerns about the safety of autonomous driving systems and the responsibility of drivers using such technology. According to the Fullerton Police Department, the collision took place at the intersection of W. Orangethorpe Ave. and Courtney Ave., where officers were managing traffic following a deadly accident.

Despite the police vehicle’s activated emergency lights and several flares placed on the road to alert drivers, a blue Tesla failed to avoid the collision. The police car, which was strategically positioned to block traffic, bore the brunt of the impact. In a fortunate turn of events, the quick-thinking officer managing the scene spotted the approaching Tesla and managed to move to the side of the road, narrowly escaping potential injury or worse.

Upon investigation, the Tesla driver admitted to using Elon Musk’s “self-drive” mode while simultaneously using his cell phone, a clear violation of California law. This admission highlights the ongoing challenge of ensuring driver attentiveness even when advanced driving assistance systems are engaged.

In response to the incident, the Fullerton Police Department issued a statement emphasizing the importance of driver alertness: “Self-driving mode can be convenient, but always remember the importance of staying alert and ready to take over at any moment. While there are no laws against the ‘self-drive’ mode, all rules and laws of the road still apply to the driver while controlling the vehicle.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives in 2022 alone. The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on a phone, eating, and drinking.

While Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features have made significant advancements in recent years, they are not capable of replacing an attentive human driver. Instead, they are designed as advanced driver assistance systems that require constant supervision and readiness to take control.

This incident is not isolated. There have been numerous reports of accidents involving Tesla vehicles operating in autonomous modes, leading to increased scrutiny from regulators and safety advocates. The NHTSA has opened multiple investigations into Tesla’s Autopilot system in recent years, focusing on its role in crashes involving emergency vehicles

Breitbart News has previously reported that a Tesla driver who was suspected of using Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” automated driving system crashed into a fire truck in the Bay Area, killing the driver and injuring multiple firefighters on Interstate 680 in Contra Costa County, California. The fire engine “was stopped at the rear of the scene to protect personnel and assist in traffic diverting,” the California High Patrol wrote on Facebook.

The Wall Street Journal reports that early in the morning on February 18, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District fire truck was parked across two lanes of Intestate 680 to block traffic while first responders assisted with the towing of a disabled vehicle when a Tesla vehicle smashed into it. A passenger in the Tesla was taken to the hospital in critical condition, while the driver of the electric car was pronounced dead at the scene. All four of the truck’s firefighters had their seatbelts on, and were taken to the hospital with luckily minor injuries.

Read more at KTVU here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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