No one likes getting pulled over by the police. It can sometimes be an overwhelming and stressful experience, especially if it’s your first time getting pulled over. Remember that the officer approaching you will often take precautions since many cops have been attacked during routine traffic stops. The best approach is to make sure you stay calm and cooperate with law enforcement officers to make the interaction as comfortable as possible.
What To Do When Pulled Over by Police Officers
The information below outlines the behavior to avoid while being stopped. We have also included helpful tips when being pulled over. The following best practices will help ensure your encounters with police officers are a smooth experience.
Turn On Emergency Flashers
When you see the flashing lights from the officer’s car, turn on your emergency lights. It will inform the other drivers that yours is the car that’s getting pulled over. Then, use your turn signal, slow down and pull over to the side.
Show That You’re Cooperating
Next in our list of helpful tips when being pulled over is to show the police officers you’re cooperating. Roll down your window, turn off the ignition and keep your hands on the steering wheel where they can be seen. If it’s a nighttime encounter, turn on your interior car lights. Move slowly and don’t make any sudden movements. Rummaging is a behavior to avoid while being stopped.
Wait until the officer asks for your license and registration. When asked, give the officer your name and address. Remember to be polite when you respond to the officer’s questions.
Stay In Your Vehicle
Unless you’re being asked to step out of the vehicle, you don’t have to get out of your car. Sometimes it will take some time before the officer will get out of the patrol car. Most likely, this is because they’re calling the police station to inform them that they’ve stopped a vehicle for a routine traffic stop. They may also be getting information about your car by running your license plate. The info they gather includes traffic infractions you may have incurred. In this scenario, be patient and stay put to show cooperation.
License, Registration and Insurance Policy
Let the officers do the talking. Expect them to ask a few questions. They will also ask for your license, vehicle registration and insurance card or policy. Gather these documents promptly. If one or two of these are missing, tell this to the officer and explain your reasons.
Keep Your Responses Brief
Respond calmly to the officer’s questions, but it’s best to keep your responses brief. You want to avoid extended stories or convoluted responses. It’s also not a good idea to refute any of the allegations against you at this point. Some officers will want to inform you about safe driving principles. Be patient and listen. If you are issued a traffic citation, calmly accept and avoid starting a conflict.
It’s also inappropriate to ask about point reduction or past traffic infractions. Another behavior to avoid while being stopped is being rude to police officers and arguing about getting a citation.
Step off your car only if the officer asks you to. They can pat you down if they suspect that you’re carrying a weapon. It’s best to remain cooperative and do as the officer says if you are subject to a pat-down search.
If officers suspect you have been drinking or driving or driving under the influence, they may ask you to get out of your car. Even though many states give drivers the freedom to refuse field sobriety tests, your refusal to cooperate will inevitably make you look guilty if you decline. In many instances, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you may have your license revoked or suspended for a year. Cooperate with the officers and take the test.
Getting Things Up To Speed
Getting pulled over is not always a pleasant experience, especially if you’ve disobeyed the speed limit. It can also mean working on getting the point reduction after a citation has been issued. At Comedy Defensive Driving, our experts can help you remove traffic violation points while enjoying comedic relief. And we don’t just help you with point reduction —We help you avoid the traffic infractions that may get you pulled over in the first place. Call today and let’s start cleaning up that driving record.