What to do if you are pulled over by a police officer

At one time or another, the odds are that you have been pulled over by a police officer. And, when it happens there is nothing worse than the feeling you get in your stomach. Whether the traffic stop is warranted or not, there are a few things that you can do to make your interaction with the police cordial:

  • Pull over in a safe area: Once you see the flashing lights, pull over in a safe area. Try to do so as quickly as possible. Avoid driving for multiple blocks. Once you stop, put on your hazard lights and put the car in park. 
  • Take a deep breath: Remain calm. The last thing you want to do is act suspicious (whether intentionally or not). If you are acting nervous this may give the officer reason to believe that you have something to hide.
  • Stay in the car: Never get out of the car unless you are instructed to do so by the officer. Getting out of the car could put both you and the officer at risk.
  • Wait for the officer to instruct you what to do: Wait for the officer to come up to your vehicle before you do anything. Follow all of their instructions. Be prepared to provide your driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle ownership.
  • Don’t be rude: Being rude to an officer is only going to make matters worse. Keep in mind that you probably don’t know why you have been pulled over until the officer tells you. Being rude could turn a warning into a ticket.
  • Pull away safely: Once your interaction with the officer is complete and you are free to go, pull back onto the road safely. Make sure the road is clear before re-entering traffic.

Getting pulled over by a police officer is never pleasant. But, if you are not cooperative you can make an unpleasant situation even worse. Be polite, do what the officer says, and get on with your day. 

 

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