What To Do When You Get Pulled Over
Just seeing a cop car behind us makes us all a bit nervous. We immediately wonder if we did something wrong, check our speed, and become extra attentive. Then the blue lights go on and our heart sinks. While there is no sure way to get out of a traffic ticket, there are some things you can do to help the situation.
Pull over safely
- Pull over quickly when it is safe to do so, do not make the officer follow you for a mile.
- Use your blinker to switch lanes and pull over.
- This is probably the best thing anyone can do when they get pulled over. The officer is probably taking notes so he or she can remember you later if he or she needs to testify in court. You do not want the officer to remember you as the person who cursed at the officer or argued with the officer.
- Officers are people. You are courteous and respectful to employees at the supermarket or people who come into your work, you should do the same for the officer.
- Do not argue with the police officer.
Keep your documents in an easy place to reach
- Know where your registration, insurance, and drivers license are before you get pulled over.
- If the officer is walking up to the car do not reach for your documents, you do not want the officer to think you are hiding something or grabbing a weapon. At this point, keep your hands on the steering wheel.
- If the officer asks for your documents, politely ask the officer for permission to reach for your documents.
Think about the officer’s safety
- Traffic stops are not only a nervous situation to the driver but also to the police officer. The police officer does not know what he or she is walking up to. Anything you can do to make the officer feel safe is a plus.
- Always keep your hands where the police officer can see them, the steering wheel is a good location.
- Do not make any sudden movements and do not reach for documents when the officer is walking up to the car.
- Turn your interior light on if it is dark.
- Crack your windows if the windows are tinted to the point where you cannot see in them. The officer will be more comfortable knowing no one is hiding in the backseat.
Do not admit fault
- If you admit you were speeding when you get pulled over the officer will most likely make a note of it or even write it on the ticket.
- How much you say to the officer is up to you. While you may be mute, it may raise flags in the officers mind. If you talk too much you may end up admitting something.
- If you apologize, do not apologize while admitting fault.
Take the offense seriously
- If you get pulled over for running a stop sign let the officer know that running a stop sign is a serious offense. Do not just play it off as it was a safe roll through a stop sign.
- Show respect for the laws and the safety of everyone on the road, just do not admit fault while doing it.
You can even ask for a warning
- For the most part asking for a warning is not going to hurt. However, you may get the feeling from some officers that it is not a good idea.
- It is up to you, just do not aggravate the officer. It will not end well if you aggravate the officer.
Thank the officer
- Yes thank the officer! You get pulled over, get a traffic ticket, and thank the officer. It seems crazy but it’s something officers are not used to. Officers put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve us, but officers hardly receive the thanks and praise they deserve for their service.
- Thank them, it may not help you for this traffic ticket but it may help you if you get pulled over again by the same officer. It also may help the next driver who gets pulled over. We can all use happy police officers!
If the officer asks to search your car
- Sometimes, after giving you a ticket, the officer will ask if he or she may search your car.
- When this happens, you do NOT have to give permission. You have a right to say no.
- You should say NO, even if you have nothing to hide.
- Say no politely.
These are just some simple tips to make getting pulled over more pleasant for the driver and for the officer. Being polite and letting the officer know he or she is safe goes a long way when you get pulled over.