Last week, one of my friends dropped off her 1996 Civic EX late at night so I would have access to the car the next morning in order to perform some "Power Page" testing for Import Tuner. I clearly noted the time she dropped it off-it was 10:50 p.m. Since she didn't have an alarm on the vehicle, I removed the necessary items to prevent the vehicle from driving away in the middle of the night. At 12:30 a.m., I was awakened by my cell phone. On the other line was my friend telling me that her car got stolen. I peered outside and where the Civic was once parked, I saw an empty space. The cops had called her and explained that her car had been stolen and that they had recovered it. I got dressed and walked outside to find four police cars surrounding my friend's Civic a mere 50 feet away in the intersection.
In this segment of "Tech Scene," I will try to help you, the readers, keep from getting tickets from ignorant cops who don't know their own laws. Let's face it, there will always be a cop out there waiting to pull over the next fixed up car he sees, especially if it's one of them imports, and he/she will bust you for everything you got; even if it is street-legal.
As I approached the Civic, the cops immediately pushed me back and said I shouldn't get too close to the vehicle because they were performing official police business and were removing fingerprints from the driver side window and door handle. Obeying the cops, I asked if they could open the trunk to see if anything was stolen, since all the products I was planning on testing out were in there. The thieves stole the AEM cold-air system and DC Sports header out of the trunk.
Since the cop took the liberty of filling out the police report without asking me any questions, I asked if he could add that an intake system and header system were stolen out of the trunk. His immediate remark was that an intake system and header were illegal to use on any car. I immediately explained to him that the products were 50-state legal and were CARB-approved. The cop persisted, stating that any product installed that affects emissions is illegal to use. I tried to explain it to him again, but it was no use. His mind was made up. Being a law-abiding citizen and not wanting any trouble, I held myself back from calling him an ignorant (think three letter word; starts with "p" and ends with a "guh" sound). At this point, I wasn't even angry at the thieves who tried to steal the car, I was angry at the ignorant cop who had his head stuck so far up his (you know what), that he wasn't even listening to reason.
1. Aways have the documentation (or at least photocopies of) all the products with which you have equipped your car. Make sure the documentations have CARB E.O. numbers matching the products you purchased.
2. Search the Internet for local laws regarding sound ordinances or specific information regarding emissions laws. The highway patrol usually sets and posts these laws and regulations on its Web site.
3. If the cop gives you a ticket, state that you want the CARB E.O. numbers also listed on the ticket alongside the violation(s). Fortunately, you need a college degree to be a judge and not just the high school diploma it apparently takes to be a cop.
Don't get me wrong, I respect the police officers who do their jobs, just not ignorant ones who are close-minded bullies. Just because you wear the badge doesn't mean everyone is automatically going to respect you. You have to earn it, just like everyone else. Unfortunately, there is one cop that has a long way to go before reaching that level.