Traffic Stop

What Should I Do if I Am Stopped by the Police?

Please keep in mind that an officer does not know you or your background. Unfortunately officers are injured, sometimes fatally while making routine traffic stops. Any unnecessary movements increase stress for the officer. Taking the following steps can help to make a traffic stop less stressful for both you and the police officer.

  • Pull the vehicle to side of the road or into a parking lot that is well-lit. Turn on your emergency flashers lights to protect you and the officer from other traffic.
  • Remain calm and keep both hands on the steering wheel or in plain sight so the officer can see them.
  • Remain in the vehicle unless you are asked to step out by the police officer.
  • Roll down the driver side window or passenger side window (if the officer approached from that side of the vehicle) to allow for clear communications with the officer.
  • Tell the officer where your license, registration, and insurance documents are located.
  • Tell the officer what you want to do before doing anything (such as reaching for a paperwork item - license, registration, etc.).
  • Comply with the officer’s requests. The officer needs to complete certain tasks to complete his duty.

These steps will ease your stress and allow the officers to perform their duties safely. Remember that the officer is only the enforcement entity. If you disagree with the enforcement action, you have the right to contest the ticket in a court of law.