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What to Expect During a Traffic Stop

Do you know what to do if you are pulled over by a police officer?

Below is some information that can help to make a traffic stop less stressful and safer for everyone.

  1. First, when you notice emergency lights behind you, pull over to the right side of the road as soon as it’s safe to do so. Keep calm and try to remain still. Stay in your vehicle, open the driver’s side window and keep your hands in sight on the steering wheel.
  2. When the officer asks, provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. At this point in the traffic stop, the officer should tell you why you were stopped. If he or she doesn’t, it’s okay to inquire about the reason for the stop once you have provided your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. When addressing the officer, speak with the same level of respect you expect from him or her.
  3. If the officer issues you a citation, don’t argue the reason for it during the traffic stop. The best and most appropriate place to dispute a citation is in court.  
  4. When the officer tells you it’s okay to leave, make sure your seat belt is buckled and that it’s safe to enter the roadway before pulling out. As you get back on the road, follow all traffic laws, including using your turn signal. The officer will likely remain on the side of the road, with lights activated, until you have safely re-entered traffic.

If you feel the officer acted inappropriately or didn’t treat you fairly, it’s okay to follow up with a phone call to his or her supervisor.