July 27, 2022

Three Essentials of Traffic Stop Etiquette

According to The Stanford Open Policing Project, more than 20 million motorists every year are pulled over. If you find yourself being pulled over, here are three essential tips to keep in mind:

1. Pull over safely

If you see those flashing lights behind you, pull over your vehicle as soon as you can. You should pull off to the right side of the road and turn of your car.

In addition to pulling over, you might want to turn on your hazard lights so as to alert other drivers that you are pulling over.

Whenever an officer is behind you with flashing lights, it is always a good idea to pull over, even if you are unsure about the reasoning for the stop. Pulling over will show the officer you are aware of your surroundings and that you are willing to be cooperative.

2. Remain in the car

Unless the officer has directed you to exit the vehicle, remain in your car, with your hands on the steering wheel. Be sure to fully roll down your window when the officer approaches the vehicle. Once the officer has greeted you. you will be asked to present your driver’s license and vehicle registration.

3. Be Respectful

You might be confused as to why you were pulled over, maybe even irritated as you have things to do, but it is very important you remain calm and act respectful towards the officer. Acting otherwise could lead the officer to escalate what was once a simple stop.

Being respectful toward the officer can also be helpful towards your case. Sometimes the officer will issue you a warning instead of a ticket. Regardless of what the officer does, always remain respectful because if you end up in front of a judge, everything will be repeated to the judge.

Remember, no one likes getting pulled over but following these few tips will help make the process go smoother. Police officers are human too so be respectful, it might even reduce your penalty.


Findings – The Stanford Open Policing Project

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