18/08/2022 by Tricounty Driving School 0 Comments
How to Handle a Traffic Stop Safely
Police maintain order and safety on the road and have the right to flag you down if you violate traffic rules. While you may be anxious or worried, you must remain alert and understand what to do. Otherwise, you might break more rules or worsen the situation's outcome. Read on to understand what to do when police stop you on the road.
Pull Over at a Safe Place
The first thing to do when a police flags you down is to find a nearby safe place to park. If you cannot find a spot nearby, slow down and use hand gestures or lights to notify the police that you plan to stop. If you speed off or attempt to outrun the police, you may attract felony charges in addition to the traffic rule violation.
The ideal parking spots include road shoulders, rest stops, or highway break lanes. Preferably park as far to your right as possible so that you will not create a traffic jam. Finally, as you find a place to stop, restrain your speed to prevent confusion.
Keep Your Hands Visible to the Officer
After you pull over, place your hands on the steering wheel. If you have other occupants, each should have their hands where the officer can see. Also, switch on the inner lights to enhance visibility if your car's interior is dark.
You should always have your registration, driver's license, and insurance proof when you drive. Often, officers ask for the three documents, which could be out of immediate reach. If you must search through items to get the documentation, notify the police beforehand. Otherwise, the officers may misinterpret the search as a dangerous move — to which the officer is allowed to react.
Cooperate With the Officer
Give any documents and take any actions the officer asks you to do. For instance, the police may ask for proof of identification or consent to search your car. If probable cause exists for why the police should search your vehicle, do not resist, as you may face second-degree misdemeanor charges.
If the police ask you to get out of your vehicle, do not refuse because you have no right to remain inside when asked to leave. Compliance makes the process easier since most officers can give warnings and exceptions to compliant drivers. Besides, you can save yourself the worse consequences of 'failure to comply' charges.
Be Composed and Respectful
You may get annoyed or anxious when an officer flags you down but remain calm and kind. Do not say or do anything rude since a lack of respect reduces the chances that the police will be lenient. If the police arrest you, do not resist even if you feel the detention is unjustifiable.
Be polite when you answer the questions but do not give more information than necessary. Remember that whatever you say can be used against you in court, and you have a right to remain silent. So, if you think that the answer you give will incriminate you, politely inform the officer of your right to remain silent.