- Car Safety & Safe Driving
The Way to Handle Getting Stopped by Cops
Pull Over- Find an area that is safe for you and the officer and slowly pull into it. This could be on the side of the road or into a parking lot. Don't try to outrun the cops. They have been trained to stop runners by professional drivers and the charges will be much worse.
Keep Calm- Getting pulled over by the police can be a little scary especially if it is your first time being confronted by the law. Being nervous is normal during a traffic stop, but don't do anything rash. You may just have a headlight out. Be honest with the officer and do what they ask. Most of the time they are trying to keep both you and himself safe while getting the facts.
Keep Your Hands on the Steering Wheel- Police officers have to be prepared for anything. They deal with criminals on a daily basis and they don't know if you have a record or not. Hands that are not seen could be reaching for illegal drugs or a weapon.
Do Not Exit The Vehicle- This is an aggressive move that can be taken the wrong way very fast. Even if you were just stopped for speeding, the police officer knows nothing about you. Whether you are a wanted and armed criminal or never had a speeding ticket in your life, police officers have to assume the worst when threatened. Stay in your car and wait for the cop to come to you. He may be taking his sweet time, but he stopped you for a reason.
Locate Your Registration and Proof of Insurance Beforehand- Everyone should know where these are in a car that they drive on a regular basis. This just makes the traffic stop quicker and easier for both parties. If you do not know where these documents are, it says the vehicle is not yours or you do not have insurance in the car. Police officers have to make sure everything is in order and that means looking up who the vehicle is registered to and if the insurance is up to date.
What did you do to be stopped by the police?
Wait Before the Cop Dismisses You Before Pulling Away- Driving away too early can result in a charge of running from the police. This is a simple mistake that has drastic consequences. Usually the officer will not pull away until you do just to make sure you safely get back onto the road. Some people will tear up the ticket and throw it on the ground which counts as littering.
Know When Your Rights Are Being Violated- It's hard to think about police officers abusing their power, but it does happen. The police have a right to search you for weapons and look at what is in plain sight in your vehicle, but they do not have the right to thoroughly search your car without your permission or just cause. Patrol cars have cameras on them for your safety and theirs. If you feel like your rights have been violated, don't hesitate to file a complaint but wait until the traffic stop is over to make a fuss.