The “Do’s” and “Do not’s” of being pulled over

After getting a new car, it can take awhile to adjust to the car’s driving habits including the speed. You may easily find yourself speeding without even knowing it. Next thing you know, you’re seeing red and blues flashing in your rear view. And we all know this feeling… glancing back and forth in your rear view mirror trying to figure out if you are the one being pulled over. Some of you out there may start to panic and get nervous, while others simply become angry that they’ve been caught breaking the law. Either way, it’s pretty safe to say that nobody likes being pulled over. Traffic tickets can be pricey, cause your insurance to rise and add points to your driver’s license in some states.

If you’re hoping to avoid a traffic violation, the best thing to do is be as cooperative with the officer as possible. Being a smart mouth or short with him or her will only make the situation worse. There are some times where an officer will let you off with a warning simply because you were polite and apologetic. On the other hand, you may be getting that ticket no matter what. But wouldn’t you think it’s worth it to always act your best in these situations? I sure do. Here’s a breakdown of what you should do and how you should act when being pulled over.

Once you see the lights behind you, pull over as soon as possible. If you are pulling onto a shoulder, try and get as far away from the lane as possible. The officer will most likely be coming to your side, and it’s best to give him as much room as possible. Once you’ve pulled over, turn the vehicle off and roll down your window. It’s imperative that you do not get out of the vehicle. This is seen as a threat to law enforcement. If you’re wearing sunglasses, a hat or visor, take them off and place them on the dashboard. Then be sure to place your hands on the wheel so the officer can see them. Some people like to have their driver’s license and insurance ready to hand the officer when he walks up. But I’d suggest waiting to look around the car until he directs you to do. If an officer sees you moving around a lot, he may think you are trying to hide something.

While talking to the officer, be sure to use your “yes sirs” and “no ma’ams”. Answer each question honestly without any sarcasm. Once you’ve reached this point and are answering questions and remembering your manners, it’s really up to the police officer on whether or not he will give a citation. If you’re lucky, you’ll be let off with a warning and you’ll be able to head off in your pretty new car and go about your day.

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