When Stopped By Law Enforcement

law enforcementWhen You See the Flashing Lights of the Patrol Car

  • Turn on your hazard/flashing lights.
  • Reduce speed and pull over to a stop on a side street and/or exit the freeway (to ensure the officer’s safety).
  • Roll the driver’s side window completely down.
  • Place your hands on the steering wheel at the 10:00 and 2:00 positions.

When Stopped At Night

Turn on the interior and dome lights and roll down all the rear windows so the officer can see what/who is in the rear seat(s).

When the Officer Asks To See Your Driver’s License and Insurance Card

  • First, ask his/her permission to reach into your back pocket, purse or glove compartment to retrieve the documents.
  • If the patrol car is unmarked, call 9-1-1 and ask them to confirm the unmarked car is one of theirs or have them dispatch law enforcement to the scene. Inform the 9-1-1 operator that you are driving to well-lighted public place such a shopping center, fire station, gas station, etc. The 9-1-1 operator will notify the officer.
  • If the police officer is being inappropriate, request that the police officer’s supervisor to come to the scene.
  • Keep your passengers quiet and respectful.
  • Do not reach for other things in your vehicle, purse, pockets, glove box or trunk without asking the officer’s permission.

Do not make small talk with the officer.  Answer his/her questions in a respectful manner. The less memorable you are to the officer, the better.

In most cases, the police officer will appreciate your cooperation and concern for his/her safety and either not write a ticket or reduce the fine.


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