Traffic Stops

If you are stopped by a police officer:

  • Remain calm.
  • Pull your vehicle to the side of the road in a safe location and park.
  • Turn on your flashers.
  • If you are pulled over at night, turn on your vehicle’s interior lights.
  • Turn off your engine, radio, and any other device that could block communication with the officer.
  • Roll down your window so that you can communicate with the officer. An officer may approach your vehicle on the driver or passenger side for safety reasons.
  • Keep your safety belt fastened and ask your passengers to keep their belts fastened.
  • Stay in your vehicle. Do not get out unless the officer asks you to.
  • Keep your hands in plain view, preferably on the steering wheel. Ask your passengers to keep their hands in plain view also.
  • Do not make any movement that will make the officer think you are hiding or reaching for something.
  • Carry proper identification: a valid driver’s license, proof of vehicle registration and proof of insurance. If the officer asks for these documents, tell him where they are and reach for them slowly, keeping one hand on the steering wheel.
  • If the officer is driving an unmarked car or is not in uniform, you may ask to see his or her identification.
  • Answer the officer’s questions fully and clearly. If you disagree with the officer, do not discuss your point of view at that time. You will have your chance to make your case in court.
  • You will be asked to sign the citation. Sign the citation; this is not an admission of guilt. Refusal to sign the citation may result in your arrest. Or, you may be required to go to the police station.
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