The police can stop a driver for different reasons. These include reasonable suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, a traffic law violation, a vehicle equipment or mechanical violation and so on. While being pulled over doesn’t necessarily mean you will get into trouble, things can go wrong quickly.
Here is what you can do to avoid worsening matters:
Activate your turn signal
When the police flash their lights or turn on their siren, signaling you to stop, slow down and activate your turn signal while you find a safe place to pull over. Doing this lets them know you understand their signal and comply.
You may not always be in a location where you can pull over quickly. Trying to find a safe space to stop without communicating with the police can make them believe you are uncooperative.
Turn off the engine and audio devices
Once you pull over, turn off your engine and any audio devices that are on while you wait for the officer. If it’s at night, turn on the interior light.
Roll down the window
When the officer arrives, roll down your window if closed and keep your hands on the steering wheel.
Provide requested documents
The officer can request to see your driver’s license, proof of insurance or motor vehicle registration. Before reaching for them, inform the officer where they are. You want to avoid sudden movements as much as possible. After giving the officer the documents, return your hands to the steering wheel.
Ask for credentials
The officer will likely show their law enforcement credentials. But if they don’t, or if they are not uniform/their car is unmarked, request to see their credentials. You can also ask that they call their supervisor to the scene.
If a police officer stops you for any reason, you need to understand the steps to take to protect yourself.