The emergency lights are flashing, and the police car is right behind you - what to do?
In this podcast, we'll give you the correct procedure when pulled over by police to keep both yourself and the officer safe.
Correct Procedure When Pulled Over by Police
If a police vehicle pulls up behind you with just the lights flashing, you can drive to a safe location to stop.
Often that’s just around the corner on the next side street.
If the lights and sirens are activated, stop immediately.
When and if you're pulled over by police, you don't have to stop right away.
Pull onto a secondary road or into a parking lot to keep both yourself and the police officer safe.
Pulling over on the side of a busy road or highway is unsafe.
Even with the emergency vehicle lights flashing there’s a lot of danger on the highway.
Due to the long periods of time driving at speed, some drivers can “tune out” - even when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.
This lack of attention poses a threat to vehicles parked on the side of the road.
If you do pull over to the side of the road, move as far away from the roadway as possible.
Do NOT get out of the car.
Do NOT reach for anything.
Roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel.
If it’s dark, turn on the interior lights so the officer can see inside the vehicle.
When the officer approaches the vehicle, only answer her questions.
Do NOT deny what you did or ask, “Is there a problem officer?”
The officer will tell you why she pulled you over.
If the officer asks for your documents (license, vehicle registration and insurance) tell her where these are located.
Before moving to retrieve the documents, tell the officer that you’re going to reach for the document requested.
If you have a weapon in the vehicle, tell the officer that information.
Tell the officer where the weapon is located and it’s a gun; tell them you have a permit to carry the weapon.
If you are respectful and answer the officer’s questions, almost all the time the situation will go well.
If you are adversarial and are questioning the officer’s authority to pull you over, it can be guaranteed that IT IS NOT GOING TO GO WELL for you.
If you believe that the officer is wrong, pulled over on the side of the road is NOT the time to address that issue.
Courts provide a forum for you to dispute the charge.
Here you can plead the case before the court.
Not just in the United States, but in the world a few police officers have skewed our perception of police.
You have every right to be wary.
In no way are we denying that some have abused their power.
But most of the time, most of the police officers doing traffic stop are good people.
I have been pulled over many times in New York state and city, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky.
Every time the officers were professional.
Yes, some gave me a ticket, but they were always professional.
And remember, pick the best answer, not necessarily the right answer.
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