Friday, June 17, 2022

No, Really Don't Do That During A Traffic Stop

A client of mine from out of town got a ticket.

He stated the police officer was a bit of a jerk at the time.

When asked for details it turns out he was pulled over for a driving offense that he clearly did do, but nothing major and a fully lawful stop by the officer, and I got the following story:

It was raining so he kindly thought he'd make the officer's life easier by getting out of his car and going up to talk to the officer and apologize for driving while dumb.

Yeah, don't do that.

The Officer immediately yelled at him through the car speaker to get back in his car.  Client thought that was rather unfriendly.

You do NOT get out of your car when pulled over unless the officer asks/tells you to do so - and then you do so in a carefully non-threatening manner.

Apparently, in the town/state he's in, it is considered friendly to do so, especially with you getting wet instead of the officer.  

Here, it is really not considered friendly, and is instead considered a potentially threatening move towards the officer.

Client is now suitably enlightened as to how to handle traffic stops properly in the future:

Pull all the way over to the side of the road, keep your hands in view and don't be flailing around the interior of your car, shut the car off, have the window down, and if at night your interior lights on.  

Much more likely to get a friendly result that way.


pigpen51 said...

I always figured that the police officer was the one who initiated the stop, so it was his or her playground, and therefore they called the shots. I just sit there, no early reaching for any paperwork, license, etc. and no anticipating ANYTHING. Just sit there and wait for the officer to tell you what to do.
Correction, I do tell the cop if I have a carry permit and if I have a firearm with me. That is it, not the kind, where it is, no extra info, unless asked. Remember, the cop makes the rules, and it is your job to follow them, as closely as possible, until you are told you can leave freely and safely. It is not a game, just a traffic stop, done all day with others, to insure everyone's safety. Do your part correctly, and be on your way smoothly and with minimum hassle. Try to get smart or be the big shot or know it all, and you might get a free trip and an all expenses paid tour of the local jail, which is not as exciting as it sounds.
And honestly, from my admittedly limited experience, most cops don't have a hard on for motorists, they only stop cars that are actually breaking the law, to the point that they actually create a possible danger to other drivers. While I am sure that some police agencies still have quotas for tickets, I suspect that most of them do not have that in place anymore, based upon unions and distrust between management and union members.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

As a life long traffic law scofflaw I second everything you recommend.

Old NFO said...


Matthew W said...

We literally need to have classes in how to interact with LEOs from grade school through college.