Proud To Live in America
Home Government Agencies Supporters Women's Issues American Life Testimonials


click here to read more articles: American Culture - What to do if pulled over by police - Immigration Test - Presidential Candidates - US Military Deaths - Privacy Issues - Starting a Business in the US 



What To Do If You Are Pulled Over by the Police


Many people believe that the police are looking for any reason or excuse to stop you or pull you over when your driving your car. Generally this is not true but what you decide to do after you are pulled over by the police can affect how an officer handles the situation. 


Pulling over a motor vehicle for a traffic violation is the number one cause of injuries and fatalities for police officers. A law officer’s number one concern is protecting the public and his own safety and well being. According to a retired police officer, the suggestions below are things you can do to help insure that police officers do not sense that they may be in a dangerous situation when stopping your vehicle. If a cop or law enforcement officer feels safe and the situation is not threatening it may help you not get a ticket or limit the number of tickets you receive.


• Pull your vehicle over to an area that provides safety for the police officer. Do this as quickly and safely as possible.


• Don’t drive slowly or “coast”. Taking too much time to stop can make the officer think you are trying to hide something inside your vehicle.


• Always pull your car or truck over to the right side or shoulder of the road. Always remember to use your turn signal.


• Turn off your engine immediately after you have stopped your vehicle. Some law enforcement officers recommend removing your car keys from the ignition and placing them on the dashboard.


• Keep your seatbelt fastened. If you unbuckle your seatbelt you may get another ticket.


• Do not use your cell phone to make any calls.


• If you have passengers in your car tell them to remain silent and not reach for anything on their person or inside the vehicle.  


• Stay in your vehicle unless you are instructed otherwise.


• Have your auto insurance card, drivers’ license, motor vehicle registration and any other necessary documents in your hand before the police officer approaches your vehicle. Reaching under your seat or into your glove box makes police officers fear for their safety. This may also raise “plain sight” issues that could result in the police searching your motor vehicle.


• If you have a gun or weapon in your car or on your person immediately tell the police officer.


• Roll down your driver side window. If your vehicle has dark tinted windows you may consider rolling down all your windows.


• Turn on your dome or interior light if you are stopped at night. A well lighted vehicle indicates you have nothing to hide. Turn your car stereo off.


• Keep both of your hands in plain sight or on the steering wheel.


• Always let the police officer talk first. You don’t necessarily know why you are being pulled over.


• Don’t talk too much because anything you say can be used against you. Before a law enforcement officer gets out of their vehicle they have most likely already decided whether they will give you a warning or a ticket and it is unlikely that anything you do or say will be helpful. Give brief answers like yes, no or sure if you feel you must talk at all.


• Depending on State Law you can be arrested for disorderly conduct if you swear or curse at a police officer. Virginia is just one of several states that this law applies. Once you are arrested your vehicle will be towed away. During the time that your vehicle is in police possession they have the right to search your vehicle.


• Never try to bribe an officer of the law. This tactic may work in the movies or other countries but it can get you arrested in the United States.


If you have not committed a moving violation like speeding or running a stop sign you are most likely being stopped for something you are unaware of. If you are driving your own vehicle or especially if you are driving friends’ vehicle, always remember to make sure you have the proper documents (driver’s license, insurance card, etc), check your head lights, tail lights, brake lights, license plate light, turn signals and most importantly that you vehicle registration, license plate or tag is not expired. Many traffic stops are a result of an expired registration or tag.


These suggestions are basic protocol for reacting to having your motor vehicle pulled over by the police. Typically they will help your situation and reduce the chance of escalating your experience.


The best defense is a good offense. Avoid getting pulled over for a speeding ticket in the first place.


Be aware of the posted speed limit. Pay special attention as speed limits may change from one town, city or locale to another.


• Don't think that police or local law enforcement will not give you a ticket if you are driving less than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit.


• Drive in the left lane for passing only. Most tickets are given to drivers using the left lane.


• Do not rely on a rader detector. They provide a false sense of security and are not much help when police are using a radar gun.


• Making your vehicle a personal statement with modifications like bumper stickers, dark tinted windows or loud mufflers will attract attention to your vehicle.


• Pay attention to areas on the side of the road that offer police a good place to hide. If you are approaching an area like this, slow down in advance.


• Be on the alert for speed cameras. There is not much chance of getting out of this type of ticket although some say that tickets from speed cameras are not reported to the DMV or insurance companies.


If you have committed a serious traffic violation, have multiple traffic violations/tickets or have been arrested after being stopped by the police you may wish to consult a lawyer.


                                                  Find a Lawyer in your area click here



 For more information regarding your Civil and Constitutional rights click here


 Things to know if need legal representation for traffic related issues or other legal matters. 















Advertise with UsContact UsFeedbackDisclaimerPrivacy Policy
Copyright © 2006 Proud To Live In America Inc. All rights reserved.