Every year, thousands of Officers are injured or killed while conducting traffic stops or traffic related duties. No traffic stop is "routine." Officers, no matter where their area of employment, come across things such as suspended or revoked drivers' licenses, drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs, illegal firearms or drugs, individuals with arrest warrants and more.
These are just some of the reasons why Officers are trained to place a great deal of emphasis on their safety while insuring the safety of the vehicle's operator, passengers and the immediate public remain safe. Initially, Officers often appear to have a defensive posture and they will maintain this posture as they assess the threat level and the risk of injury is determined.
If you are stopped by any Police Officer, here are some helpful tips that you as a driver or passenger can follow to reduce the risk of danger to the Officer.
- When you are being asked to stop, find the nearest place to safely position your vehicle.
- Use your turn signal and pull to the right and out of the traffic lane whenever possible, unless directed otherwise.
- After you have stopped, remain in your vehicle, keep the seatbelt fastened and exit the vehicle only if instructed to do so (Officers have the right to request that you exit the vehicle).
- Roll down your window and keep all other movement (driver and passengers) to a minimum. Do not duck down, make sudden movements or reach into the glove bx. Keep your hands in view.
- Please discontinue using your cell phone so that the Officer may speak with you.
- Understand that at times Officers may speak loudly as they must speak over traffrice. They are not yelling at you.
- If it is nighttime, you may consider turning on the interior lights so the Officer may see you.
- Always carry a valid driver's license, insurance card and vehicle registration.
- Most Officers will ask you for these documents prior to explaining the violation.
- Other Police Officers often stop to see if the initial Officer requires any assistance. This is not a sign that you have done something which requires additional units--so do not be alarmed!
- Do not argue with the Officer on the side of the road. Discuss it later with the law enforcement agency or in court.
Drivers- Drivers beware! Pedestrians often enter crosswalks unexpectedly or enter the roadway while walking along its edge.
- Watch out for bicyclists; they often ride two abreast or may enter the lane while attempting to ride along the edge of the road.
- Stay off your cell phones; talking or texting contributes to a high percentage of often fatal motor vehicle accidents as well as collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Refrain from programming a Global Positioning Device while driving.
- Always walk against traffic; there may be occasions when it is safer to walk with traffic (i.e. bad curves; better lit areas). Use caution when walking with traffic.
Pedestrians / Joggers
- If you walk or run at night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight so that drivers may see you.
- Consider NOT using your cell hpone; even though you are walking, it is still a source of distraction and may lead to walking into a vehicle's lande of travel.
- Always be mindful of traffic; drivers cannot always see you.
- You are obligated to follow the same "rules of the roads" as drivers; this means stopping at stop signs, and riding with traffic.
- Do not ride two or more abreast; you must remain as close to the right edge of the road as possible or, if available, on the shoulder.
- Do NOT use your cell phone while on a bike.
- Consider wearing a helmet.