Two weeks ago, I was pulled over by a Wyoming HP officer for not having a front plate on my 550. I started two threads here to ask what others had done with the front plate requirements of their states and countries. http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57237 and http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57235 Today, I'm posting to tell you how, in less than a week, I effectively created-- all by myself-- a virtual exemption to U.S. federal and state laws and I learned about police powers in conducting traffic stops in general by visiting a police internet forum called Officer.com-- not listening to know it alls at Ferrarichat.com who also flamed me for being a "N" and an "A", too cheap to pay the $50 fines and who said, "You got to pay to play, so maybe you ought to drive a Pontiac." Ha! I do also drive a Pontiac Montana! The worst were the REAL "A" who said they would "NEVER" put a front plate on their F-car... not even a rear engined 360 which has a PLACE to put a front plate molded right into the front bumper. Stupid means predictable; And there's nothing more stupid than "A" with money who think that alone makes them "really special". Duh...I don't have a problem with TRYING to obey U.S. and Wyoming law (it sure beats lawless Iraq). No, the problem I had with putting a front plate on my 550 is that it's a front engined car with 4,000 hours of wind tunnel testing to ensure adequate cooling of a $40,000 engine. One nice 550 owner who wrote me a private email said he'd lost $2,600 in hoses when his 550 overheated due to a bra. So the prospect of hanging a 6"X12" (made-in-prison by a 1-in-138 American) license plate off the upper lip of my 550's front bumper not only revolted me aestehically-- transforming the Pininfarina designer D'April's masterpiece into a "Bucky Beaver". But more importantly, I was also sickened by the anticipation of creating boundary layer interference to the smooth laminar flow of air going into the radiator (boundary layer stagnation is why cars need windshield wipers). And I couldn't put it on the lower lip because of the 12 inches-above-ground federal and state requirement! I was thus faced with the miserable prospect of impairing my car to make it "legal" and then possibly overheating it and breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Under those circumstances, I was faced with the REALLY sick prospect of also "needing" to get a concealed weapons permit to protect myself and my (now "legal") trophy car when it broke down in the wild wild west. And having a gun in the car during ANY traffic stop is NOT my idea of fun. The solution: I called the headquarters of the HP and spoke with three senior officers. I didn't just deal with one cop. I got all three's opinions, over three days. None of them would tell me to break the law. But all agreed that my "solution" would "work". My solution technically breaks two Wyoming state statutes. But to see why this is not an issue, one has to understand why the front plate law exists in the first place and why my solution "works" for cops: 1. In oncoming traffic, cops can read the front plate (maybe they're looking for a stolen car or a suspect). 2. Also in oncoming traffic, they can read the annual registration sticker. And 3. By afixing the front plate (in two plates- required states) they're assured that the (missing) front plate isn't on another vehicle. What was my solution? First, I noticed that the 550's lower lip (and other Ferrari models) seemed designed to accept a European plate. So, I not only mounted the plate on the lower lip (in violation of one Wyoming statute, but a high-ranking HP cop said that "low-riders" had effectively buried that law), I then also hacksawed the top, bottom and sides of my Wyoming plate (in violation of another statute that prohibits "mutilation") and I got the front plate's size down to the same EXPOSED size that's revealed on my (framed) back plate (see attached image). Since then, I've even seen another car's back plate frame that even obscures the name "Wyoming". So (with a photo of that other car's framed rear plate) the next time around, I may hacksaw another half inch off ther bottom of the plate and remove the name "Wyoming". Then, the plate will be the same vertical size as a European plate. I think this would give my front end even better aerodynamics, since it would completely expose the air dam's lip. Right now, it's covered for 11.5 inches. FOR YOU: I'd suggest that Ferrari owners simply call their state HP headquarters and have a civilized conversation with the highest-ranking cops there who will take your call. Explain that A. You want to obey the law. but B. You're lucky enough to be driving a Ferrari (like a 612) that makes it impossible to obey the American law and so C. Here's your idea for a compromise... and you're calling them to see if that compromise would "work". If your state permits single party consent taping of a phone call, tape the cop and keep the tape to take to court with you if he agrees with your point of view. Then, get out your drill and hacksaw and make your Ferrari street "legal". ==================================================== Now, here's what else I've learned about American police traffic stops in general (from Officer.com) during the past two weeks: When you are pulled over by a cop, it's for a reason. You should EXPECT that the cop (excuse me for calling them cops, but it's shorter to type than officer)...will INFORM you about the NATURE OF THE STOP (ie speeding, weaving-- as though intoxicated, no front plate, etc) when he approaches your car for the first time. I'd suggest testing him and keep your mouth shut and see if he tells you, without your asking "Why did you stop me, officer?" Because if he needs to be prompted by you, you're probably dealing with a "D" and should beware that ANYTHING you say will likely become the basis of his trying to build a PROBABLE CAUSE or REASONABLE SUSPICION case on you and trying to change the nature of the traffic stop! "The nature of the stop" is a serious legal requirement that must be stated by the cop when he asks you to surrender your license, registration and proof of insurance. You are then being DETAINED. You are NOT under arrest. From the time he goes back to his car until he reappears at your window with your documents, he cannot change the nature of the stop-- unless his dispatcher informs him that there is an outstanding want or warrant for your ass or the car's been reported stolen, etc. He has no other reasonable suspicion or probable cause to elevate the nature of the stop to another. OK, so he comes back to your car after writing you a ticket. There are no wants or warrants for your ass. And, like a manly man with a .40caliber Glock he stands behind your left shoulder, with the Sun behind him to make you look back and up and squint as you look up at him and he gives you a little lecture--before giving you your ticket. You be nice and don't get smart like a "I know the law"jerk. BUT if he starts to ask you additional questions about what you're doing in his neck of the woods-- before giving you your ticket-- interrupt him and politely ask for your documents. Because now is his ONLY legal chance to play games with you and change the nature of the stop. First game: Now that he's given you your ticket, you are FREE TO GO! The nature of the stop has ended and your detention has ended! Thank him, tell him to "be careful out there" and start your engine, signal your intention to re-enter traffic and GO! Because this is the one time where he CAN change the nature of the stop, getting you to A. understand that you're free to go (but you already knew that didn't you? You read Ferrarichat) and B. He'll try to engage you in CONSENSUAL CONTACT, to ESTABLISH REASONABLE SUSPICION AND/OR PROBABLE CAUSE...SO HE CAN CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE STOP AND FORCE YOU TO SUBMIT TO A SEARCH OF YOUR CAR OR DRUG/BREATH TEST OR FACE ARREST WHILE THE CAR IS IMPOUNDED AND TOWED. Your dumb ass SHOULD, by now, be a quarter mile away from him...but, instead, you're sitting there in your shiny trophy car, telling him how fast it can go and why you're in his jurisdiction in the first place and where you're going and why. You have engaged in consensual contact with a man who has a gun and the power to arrest you for ANY reason that he has PROBABLE CAUSE OR REASONABLE SUSPICION to support. And with you being the dumb ass, he's now gonna say, "You don't have any guns or drugs or children's body parts in your shiny trophy car do you?" And you say "no, of course not". And he says, "So, you don't mind if I search it do you?" And you look at his Glock and submit. And if you say "NO, you can't search my car" he MIGHT now be able to tell the court that he DEVELOPED probable cause in the course of consensual contact and became reasonably suspicious by your refusal! But he better have his video camera going if he pulls that "S" and he BETTER be able to prove to a judge that his probable cause or reasonable suspicion WAS based on something...or his career is going to take a big hit! So, be smart (like a 17 year old who a cop on Officer.com described). When you get your ticket, LEAVE! And if the cop asks if he can search your car, remember Nancy Reagan and "Just say NO!" And leave! And if the cop says, "Why wont you let me search your car? You got women's clothes in there or something else you don't want me so see?" Don't answer...DRIVE AWAY! Later, you can go on eBay and (for 99 cents) send his office a nice used bra in the cop's size and tell him to buy his lipstick at KMart. And explain to the cop's boss in your letter how the cop was abusive and tried to abuse his authority during a traffic stop. I busted my first cop at age 22 in Sydney Australia (in Waverley, I took on a whole division of corrupt detectives and got the lead investigator axed). Since then, I've dealt with FBI counter-intelligence in Connecticut, the Wyoming State Police and U.S. Homeland Security. I now rent apartments to cops at a discount. I also carry a CO State Patrol patch in my 550's visor (a gift from the commander, for improving public safety in CO). And my best friend from high school is now the commander of the Wyoming HP (but I don't trust my old friend and therefore don't drag HIM into anything like the above). Bottom line: Show cops respect and let them know that you're the kind of person they're working for and risking their lives to protect and serve. Come off like --their-- Daddy or boss, SO appreciative of their good efforts. And ALWAYS remember: In their dangerous jobs, cops survive by reacting like frogs: A frog doesn't "see" a fly until the fly moves! So, if you move like a perp and act like a perp... then you're the fly and the frog has the Glock. Anyone driving a Ferrari ought to be smart enough to figure this out...instead of being so rich and stupid that they (think) can BUY their way out of trouble that they didn't need to get into in the first place! That goes for radar detectors especially! You should be smart enough not to "need" them. And if a cop sees that you've got one, it doesn't help your case... as in "What else has this dummy been doing in his trophy car besides speeding?" Maybe you smoke pot while you speed in your Ferrari...no?... mind if I search? Oh, I'm sorry that my handcuffs scratched your leather seats and that I stepped on that computer behind your driver seat and may have damaged your ECU! I'm sure you can afford replacements. Have a nice day!