Imagine driving down the highway on a Friday afternoon just after 5 pm; you’re singing along to your favorite song and not paying attention to your speed. You might find yourself thinking you’re going to make a fruit salad with dinner tonight and you think “I really like cherries and berries” until you see their colors in the rear view mirror.
Nobody ever wants to get pulled over by a police officer, but if you do, here are a few things to remember when you find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with the police after you’ve been pulled over.
- Acknowledge the officer by turning on your flashers. It’s everywhere now that you don’t want to pull over until you’re in a safe area, however, sometimes that area might be a bit of a drive. To let the officer know you have seen him/her and plan to pull over, you should turn on your flashers so they don’t think you’re trying to start a high speed chase.
- Turn off your engine, roll down your window and turn on the inside lights. By turning off your engine, it tells the officer you’re not going to try to get away. It will also save your battery and your gas; you don’t know how long this might take. If it is dark outside, turning on the dome lights inside your car allows the officer to see what is going on inside the vehicle at all times.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel. This may seem petty, however an officer doesn’t know anything about a situation until they have approached it and may consider any quick movements a threat. If you happen to be carrying a gun, Michigan is a “must inform” state so you absolutely have to tell the officer.
- Stay calm. Unless you’re doing something highly illegal, like driving intoxicated or possessing illegal drugs, getting pulled over is usually a routine traffic stop and the worst that will happen is you will have to pay a fine. Just remember to take a few deep breaths and relax.
- Don’t argue. If you plan to do this, do it in court to fight your ticket. The officer is just doing his/her job. Keep in mind if you plan on fighting your ticket, never admit any fault because “anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law.”
- Be safe when merging back into traffic. Before returning to traffic, collect yourself and obey traffic rules; make sure to use your turn signals and safely merge back into traffic.
Always remember to stay respectful. Police officers are just doing their job and if you’re breaking the law, you’re more than likely going to be caught eventually. If you are cooperative and respectful, who knows, you might even be let off with only a warning.
Have any traffic stop stories or any other tips we should follow when getting pulled over? Share them in the comments section below!