MCKINNEY, Texas (KFOR) – Heidi Oberlin was pulled over Tuesday on a Texas highway for what the officer called an unreadable tag. He warned her after pulling her over that he couldn’t see her National Weather Center license plate.
“My mind was spinning when he pulled me over. What are the possibilities for why he did it,” said Heidi Oberlin.
She says the incident happened around 5 p.m. on Highway 75 near Mckinney.
Heidi’s license plate has a picture of a sunset behind blue letters and numbers with bold white letters that read “National Weather Center.” She said she’s a meteorologist and storm chaser and paid extra to have the plate.
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“I love storm chasing and meteorology,” explained Oberlin. “So, I wanted to pay extra to support the NWC. Many people have that plate. Does that mean everyone that drives through Texas with that plate will be pulled over?”
“I asked him if I was speeding and he told me I wasn’t,” said Oberlin. “When and where he pulled us over was crazy busy. He had put my family at risk for having me pull over during rush hour. All because he couldn’t make out what my tag says?”
Heidi’s daughter Addelyn was recording the entire conversation while in the backseat. In the video, the officer states that in Texas, no matter what, it is required to have a readable plate.
“We were headed back from a specialist appointment,” said Oberlin. “Now I feel like I’m going to continue to get pulled over every time I drive through Mckinney.”
Service Oklahoma said that the plate is completely legal and that they put their plates through a process at the Department of Public Safety that ensures officers can read them.
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The Mckinney Police Department stated that due to Texas Code 504.005 all license plates are required to be reflective and readable. However, that code only points to license plates made in Texas not ones in other states.
The department stated that the officer was in the right in this situation and that anyone could be pulled over if they feel that the license is not readable. That person could also be given a ticket for it as well.
Heidi claims that the officer continued to point out that he wouldn’t understand why the plate would even be made in the first place.
“You can see it perfectly fine in bold letters on there. It stands out because my daughter and I will be out and she’ll find it so cool if she sees another tag. We’ll wonder if it is another meteorologist or another storm chaser,” said Oberlin.
Heidi was only given a verbal warning but said that she will be filing a complaint soon.