There you were, driving on the road towards your destination when, from the rearview mirror, you spot the flashing red and blue light of a police car behind you. If you’ve been driving for a while, you may know what to do. But given the controversies surrounding police in the USA, you may become nervous, tensed, confused, or afraid. This may be truer if it is your first time to experience being pulled over.
What to do when you get stopped by a police or highway patrol?
Read on and heed these tips.
If you’re feeling tensed or nervous when you saw the flashing lights, take five deep breaths and relax. Calm yourself and know that the police are there to keep you and other people safe in the highways. Don’t think of the thousand ways that you may have broken traffic rules. Besides, if you are calm and relax, the process will go more smoothly.
As soon as the police officers or highway patrol shows you sign to pull over, you should put the parking signals and let the other vehicles and the police officer know that you are slowing down your vehicle to pull over it to the side.
Try to pull over the vehicle to the shoulder at the farther side of the highway. This way, you don’t block traffic in the middle of the road and you ensure your safety and that of the police. This will communicate to the police that you are driving safely and are respecting their authority.
As soon as you pull over your vehicle, turn off the engines. Never do anything as an intention to get away. Immediately pull down your windows as the police officer approaches your vehicle. If you’re in the highway, the police officer may talk to you at the passenger side. You can ask the police officers credentials if the officer has an unmarked police car.
Sometimes it may take some time for the police officer to come to you because the police officer needs to report that your vehicle has been pulled over. In that case do not get out of your vehicle.
The police officer after approaching may ask you about some details such as the license, emission certificate, insurance papers. If everything of these are correct, there may be other reasons for them to pull you over. Some cases maybe speeding, signal run or other traffic violations. After asking some questions, the officer will communicate to you the reason why they stopped you and asked you to pull over. Respond and talk to the police officer calmly and politely. If the officer gives you a ticket or a citation, do know that you have the chance to contest that in court.
While being pulled over by a police officer or highway patrol, your emotions may get the better of you. Resist that. Be calm and collected, don’t do anything drastic, and show respect. If you feel that you had been slighted or that the police officer was disrespectful to you, get his name and the police department he belongs to so you can report him to his superiors