TWINSBURG — As they approached their attendance for the 22nd consecutive time at the annual Twins Days festivities, Andy and Chad Baker are starting to become known to Ohio law enforcement.
The twin Nashville residents certainly did not plan it, but for the second year in a row, they were pulled over at the same time while driving twin blue Tesla Model 3s that they drive in the festival’s Double Take Parade.
Last year’s traffic stop was more straightforward. According to citations a Twinsburg police officer gave to Andy and Chad, it was for driving at 58 mph in a 35 mph zone on Route 82.
But this year, the brothers were "both dumbfounded," said Andy Baker, when an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper stopped them on the highway as they approached Twinsburg. Baker explained that the Tesla 3 has an autopilot feature and, learning from their experience last year, they had it set in both cars to drive at the speed limit and at a safe distance behind the vehicle in front. Baker said the system is "not fully autonomous" but "it’s just as close as you can get in this day and age."
"I was very confused as to why I was pulled over," he said. "I wasn’t sure if he was pulling me over or pulling my brother over."
The trooper told them he stopped them after noticing that they had what appeared to be identical Tennessee license plates on their identical cars. Baker said the plates are actually very close, but not identical, with one being SUBJ T0 (ending with a zero) and the other SUBJ TO (ending with the letter O). Baker said he and Chad are real estate investors and the license plates refer to jargon in their profession: "Subject to" existing financing.
Baker said it was straightened out with no citations for either brother this time.
"The officer was very nice," said Baker. "He explained the logic. I guess this is a practice of higher end criminals, that they’ll duplicate a [vehicle identification number] and they’ll duplicate a license plate. I guess it’s just a strategy some of these criminals implement when it comes to car theft so he had very good logic and understanding. I was glad he explained it because who the heck would have identical plates. It didn’t make sense. But he explained it and was a good sport about it and we all got a good laugh about it."
The Baker brothers are certainly now known to the Twinsburg Police Department.
"It's time for the Twins Days Festival and on behalf of the Twinsburg Police Department, I want to welcome all of our visitors this weekend, but especially Andy and Chad Baker, the Tesla driving twins from Nashville, Tennessee," wrote Police Chief Chris Noga in an Aug. 2 post on the department’s Facebook page. "Because you are guests in our City this weekend, the men and women of TPD want you to know we are committed to your safety while you are visiting our community. As such, we want to remind both of you that the speed limit on State Route 82 in the City of Twinsburg is still 35 MPH and let you know that our annual radar unit calibration certifications for all of our cruisers were completed just this morning. We also want you to know we are appreciative that your Model 3's are a most excellent shade of blue (our favorite color). Here's to a safe, fun and traffic violation free visit with us this year."
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, email@example.com or @JeffSaunders_RP.