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Traffic Stops 

What to do during a traffic stop?  

   You are driving along and see the flashing lights of
 a police car in the rearview mirror, thoughts start racing
 through your mind . . . Did I run that red light? Was it
 still yellow? What exactly is the speed limit here? 

   If the police officer indicates that he wants you to pull
 your vehicle over, that is exactly what you should do. 
Make sure it is safe to change lanes over to the side, 
and don't move so suddenly as to put you or another 
driver at risk. Signal and show the officers that you are 
trying to stop for them.

   Once you do stop, don't make any sudden movements that may give thoughts to the police officer of weapons or other illegal activity. Turn the inside lights on inside your vehicle, turn off the ignition and leave your hands on the steering wheel. Only start getting documents from the glove compartment after being directed to do so by the officer. You don't want him to think that you are reaching for a weapon or to conceal drugs.

   During your conversation with the officer, try to stay as calm and polite as possible. Once the officer approaches, you may ask, "What seems to be the problem, officer?"  You want to be as average as possible and don't do anything that will make you stand out in the officer's mind. In addition, it is never a good idea to try to argue with the police officer or get angry. Getting angry will only make your situation worse.  One thing to keep in mind is to never admit to anything. You don't have to argue with the police officer, merely state that you are not sure how fast you were going, or that you couldn't remember if the light was yellow or red. Anything that you admit to may be used in court against you and the chances of successfully fighting your ticket will be diminished.

   Keep in mind that the police officer is only doing his job. If you can make their day better by being polite and respectful, they may be more inclined to let you off with a warning rather than write you a ticket.