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Police: California Tesla driver riding in backseat arrested

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Posted at 11:33 AM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 14:33:11-04

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The California Highway Patrol says a Tesla driver was arrested after an officer saw him in the backseat as the car drove on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway.

Authorities say 25-year-old Param Sharma was arrested for alleged reckless driving and disobeying an officer. The arrest followed 911 calls Monday reporting a person seated in the backseat of a Tesla Model 3 without no one in the driver’s seat while the vehicle traveled Interstate 80 across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Sharma was released from jail Tuesday and told the KTVU television station that what he did was not dangerous and that he will continue to do so.

Authorities did not say if the Tesla was operating on the company's “Autopilot” partially automated driving system.