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Proper etiquette for being pulled over by the police

Photo by Andy Newson
Photo by Andy Newson

Lights and sirens appear in your rearview mirror. The police cruiser is definitely after someone, so you move to the next lane. However, the police cruiser follows you to the next lane. At this point, you realize that you're being pulled over.  

Quickly, you run through how you should act to minimize and possibly get out of this mess.  Those eighties sitcoms come to mind, where the woman puts on some lipstick and shows some cleavage. Bad idea.

The following will make the stop much easier for you and safer for police officers :

1. Pull over as soon as you know you are being stopped and use your turn signals.

2. Pull as far over to the shoulder as possible.

3. If it's dark out, turn your over head light on and wait for the officer to approach.

4. Keep your hands in one spot and where they can be seen.  

5. Wait to show your paperwork until the officer requests it. If you are seen moving about in the vehicle and searching for things, this can cause an officer to be alarmed.

6. When you're going to retrieve your paperwork, let the officer know what you are reaching for and from where.

7. If your paperwork is located where an object may be construed or mistaken for as a weapon, let the officer know this prior to you reaching in that area.


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