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Monday, October 24, 2005

Police Traffic Stops: What Should You Do?

WSET is reporting:

" A Farmville man will face charges of attempted capital murder after a shoot-out with a local officer. Russell Smith was pulled over on South Main Street in Farmville Friday afternoon about 4:00 for suspicion of drunk driving."

This brings to mind, safety issues when you see the red and blue lights behind you. We all should realize that when an officer pulls you over for any reason, his thoughts are this is an unpredictable situation. Any traffic stop has the possibility for presenting a life threatening danger for the police officer.

Here are ways to insure his safety and yours:

1. When you see that an officer is telling you to pull over do so as soon as possible. If it is dark try to pick a place that is well lighted.

2. Do not get out of your car. Police prefer that you stay in your car. If you get out of your car, police may confuse some of your movements, either as aggressive or they may think you have a weapon.

3. Do not start looking for your licence and registration. If you are moving a lot in the car the officer may think you are trying to get a weapon. What you should do is sit still with both of your hands on top of the steering wheel in plain sight of the officer.

4. When the officer approaches, let him know immediately if you have a weapon in the car, and where it is. If you have a concealed weapon permit inform him immediately, and tell him if you are armed or unarmed.

5. When the officer asks you for your licence and registration, tell him where they are before you get them. At no time would you want the officer to think you are reaching for a weapon.

6. Put your hands back on top of the steering wheel after handing the officer your licence and registration.

7. Treat the officer with respect. He is doing his job. Personally, I always call the officer sir.

If you follow these simple steps, not only will you place the officer at ease, you may avoid a citation. Treating people well has its own rewards.


At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great advice! I hope people read and see this.

Steve NVFC

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is terrific advice and a great way to help police officers and ourselves. Thanks for the tips.

At 5:50 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comments. As drivers in the United States, it is hard not to get pulled over at one time or another. These are the things that work for me, and I hope prove helpful to others.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Bob!


At 11:14 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Great post Bob.
When I was a Police Officer, I can't tell you how many people "wrote their own" tickets by their actions when I walked up to the car. When an officer stops you, he may not have made up his mind as to whether a summons or a warning is the best course of action. If you are a smart aleck and disrespectful, he/she is not going to feel that the benefit of the doubt is warranted and that you did what you did out of determination, intstead of as an honst mistake. Many police agencies have a ride-along program for civilians. I encourage EVERYONE to do it. It will open your eyes, and who knows, you may make a new friend.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks Jeff, showing respect for people in the long run is a quality that we all should strive to achieve. You can make your way much easier through this world if you do. It takes little effort to be kind. And I am amazed sometimes, that many people haven't learned this, which makes their life so much harder to live.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Russell Smith Was found Not Guilty on all counts. This can only mean that the jury believed his account that the officer shot at him and not the other way around. So If you want to stay safe, stay armed and never offer to the police that you are armed unless required by law. Your safety and security is more important than that of our public servants, the polce.


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