Hispanic police officer - copyright: John Roman

Acknowledge the Officer

If you are being pulled over by a police officer, there are some important things to remember.

First, you must acknowledge the officer. If you fail to immediately respond to a police officer’s request to pull over, you may be charged with fleeing the police.

Pull Over

Use your turn signal to show that you are aware of the officer and that you are pulling over to the right side of the roadway. You should try to stop in a safe place, as far away from traffic as possible.

As soon as you have stopped, turn on your emergency flashers.

Stay Calm and Still

Do not start reaching for car insurance, driver’s license or vehicle registration. The officer may think you are hiding or reaching for something else.

Wait until the officer asks to see these documents.

Turn off Your Engine

Turn off the engine, radio, and all other devices that could interfere when talking with the officer.

Roll down your window and keep hands in plain view. It is a good idea to place hands on the steering wheel.

Keep your safety belt on.

Ask all passengers to stay in their seats, keep their safety belts on, and place their hands in plain view, as well.

Always Carry Necessary Documents

When the officer wants to see driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance, tell the officer where they are and reach for them slowly, trying to keep one hand on the steering wheel at all times.

Answer questions fully, clearly and politely. If you have trouble understanding something, there is nothing wrong in asking the officer to clarify.

You should, however, not argue with the officer about a citation. Save arguments for a court hearing.

Signing a Citation

If you are issued a citation and asked to sign it, you must do so.

Remember, signing a citation is not an admission of guilt.